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Seven of the best cookery classes in Spain

Whether you want to prepare a traditional tortilla in Madrid or discover molecular gastronomy in San Sebastián, there’s a host of Spanish cookery classes to choose from.

Kitchen Club, one of Madrid's most popular cookery schools.

Photograph by Cristóbal Prado
By Tina Nielsen
Published 1 Aug 2022, 06:00 BST

1. Classic cookery, Madrid 
In the heart of Madrid, Kitchen Club is one of the city’s most popular cookery schools. Designed for all ability levels, the courses here include Great Spanish Classics, which teaches amateur cooks how to make iconic dishes from all over the country, including tortilla de patatas, ham croquetas and Basque cheesecake, as well as lesser-known but equally traditional plates such as hake in green sauce. Price: €70 (£58) for four hours, including an apron to keep.

2. Andalucian flavours, Seville
There’s no better place to experience the cooking of Andalucia than at Seville’s Triana Market, which sells produce from across the region. At Taller Andaluz de Cocina cookery school — spread across two stalls — courses include a chef-led market tour that gives you the chance to meet stallholders before learning how to cook Andalucian favourites such as cod croquetas and the cold soups salmorejo and gazpacho. Price: €60 (£50) for four hours. 

Taller Andaluz de Cocina, a cookery school based at Seville’s Triana Market.

Photograph by Taller Andaluz de Cocina, S.L.

3. Avant-garde cooking, San Sebastián
Known for its professional cooking courses, the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián has produced some of the world’s most exciting chefs, including Santiago Lastra, who went on to open Michelin-starred restaurant Kol in London. But it’s not just for top chefs of the future — the school also runs the BCC Culinary Club, a summer programme for home cooks who are serious about food. Courses range from weekends to full weeks — among the former is Avant-Garde in Two Days, which will teach you modern cookery techniques such as making foams and spheres using liquid nitrogen. Price: €245 (£204) for two days, excluding accommodation. 

4. Michelin inspiration, Barcelona
Catalonia has led the way in earning Spain a place on the world gastronomy map. In the Catalan capital, Barcelona, keen cooks can learn the tricks of the trade at Sabores Taller de Cocina cookery school, recreating plates served at some of Spain’s most renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, past and present. The afternoon course will show you how to make dishes including a banana and cacao dessert from ABaC, Barcelona, and El Bulli’s deconstructed tortilla. Price: €55 (£46) for 2.5 hours. 

5. Local favourites, Sanlúcar de Barrameda
The fact it’s Spanish Capital of Gastronomy for 2022 is reason enough to head to the city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, on the edge of Doñana National Park on the southwest coast. But if tasting your way around the pretty town isn’t enough, you can also immerse yourself in preparing local specialities. Espacio DécimoArtes’ small-group cooking experience starts at the Mercado de Abastos market, where the chef will seek out the day’s best produce and design a menu based around it. Price: €30 (£25) for five hours, including wine and beer. 

Club Cocina Valencia teach you how to make the classic paella Valenciana, made with chicken and rabbit. 

Photograph by Club Cocina Valencia

6. Seafood specialities, Galicia
Spend the morning on a local fishing boat on the Ría de Arousa estuary, watching the fishermen catching some of the seafood this northern region is famous for: razor clams, mussels, clams and squid. After the two-hour boat trip, the instructors from Cocinando en el Salnés cookery school will lead you to the kitchens of Quinta de San Amaro hotel, where you’ll learn to cook a menu of Galician favourites based around the day’s catch, which might include grilled razor clams or steamed mussels, ending with a sweet, almond-based tarta de santiago. Price: €90 (£75) for five to six hours. 

7. Paella prep, Valencia
The Valencia region is home to an array of rice-based dishes, but paella is undoubtedly the best-known — and you can learn to make it yourself with Valencia’s Club Cocina hands-on classes. They start with a market visit before chefs talk the group through how to make a classic paella Valenciana, made with chicken and rabbit. At the end of the day, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour, washed down with wine and sangria. Price: €40 (£33) for 2.5 hours.

Published in Issue 16 (summer 2022) of Food by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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