A perfect blend of cooking, wine and culture. Discover Gaudi's birthplace in Reus, follow the Modernist architecture route, and enjoy hands-on Catalan-Spanish cooking and Priorat wineries. See our Calendar page for dates.. Check the Calendar page for dates
Grape Harvest Special
4-Day and 6-Day 6 Day 2013 FULL
Join us for a real harvesting tradition! Spend a day harvesting grapes, learning how the Priorat/Montsant wines are made, and having a traditional outdoor harvesting lunch with the whole winery crew. Check the Calendar page for dates
Olive Harvest and Olive Oil Special
In November Only
As an additional bonus to our normal 4-day cooking and wine vacation, spend a day learning how olives are picked, indulge in a traditional outdoor harvesting lunch and watch the whole process of olive oil being produced. Check the Calendar page for dates
Paella & Rice Special
April to September
Full immersion into Catalan cooking and Priorat/Montsant wines, with a special emphasis on the famous rice dishes of the region, and a visit to a rice field and producer. Check the Calendar page for dates
December 20-26 ONLY 2 ROOMS LEFT
Spend the holiday season with this wonderful culinary experience when as an addition to our normal 6-day program you will learn how to make a traditional Catalan Christmas meal. A great way to do something different for Christmas! Check the Calendar page for dates
cuisine is a form of cooking that still closely reflects its
medieval origins. Occupied for nearly seven hundred years by
the Romans, followed by several centuries of the Visigoths,
and then four hundred years by the Moors, the influences were
The first ones brought the wine, the olives and the bread, and
the Moors brought the exotic element such as saffron, oranges
, dates, raisins, almonds and the combination of sweet and savory.
soon after the last of these occupiers left that the first known
Catalan cooking manuscript, the Libre de Sent Sovi,
emerged in the fourteenth century. This was to become quite
an influence on Italian and French cooking of the time.
the fifteenth century the first actual cookbook to be printed,
the Libre del Coch, attributed to Roberto de Nola, was done
so in Barcelona.
must also remember that the discovery of the new continent by
Columbus in 1492 brought many new fruits and vegetables to Spain
and helped change the shape of spanish cuisine before the rest
of Europe had the benefit of these new tastes. Today, basic
Catalan cooking has not changed all that much since the days
of the Libre de Sent Sovi, but thanks to some innovative chefs
many new dishes have emerged, and old ones have become more
colorful and subtle. This is what makes this region so interesting
for a culinary vacation in Spain.
may divide Catalan spanish cuisine into three broad categories
determined by geographical location:
- An important coastal cuisine based on fresh seafood.
- An inland cuisine which often uses seafood as well.
- A mountain cuisine which generally has a smaller variety of
Each of these categories are in turn different according to
whether they are prepared by the middle-class, the peasants
or fishermen, or whether it is popular cuisine for festivities.Catalan
cooking is based on the use of fresh elements, whether they
be vegetables, meat or fish usually
purchased from the local market on the same day that they will
be used. It is also a healthy cuisine as vegetables, fish, lean
meats and fruit are its main ingredients, and cooking fat is
These are the produce most typically used in Catalan
and legumes: rice, fava beans, lentils, chick-peas,
white beans, black-eyed peas.
eggs, potatoes, olives.
most common catalan cooking techniques either use a cassola
(a thick, low sided, earthenware pot), or a paella pan ( a low-sided
metal pan with two handles located on opposite sides). Also
very common is to cook al caliu (on hot coals), or a la Plancha
(on the griddle).
dishes start with a sofregit, a base of mainly onion but which
can also use garlic, tomatoes, peppers,- that is slowly cooked
in olive oil until it is caramelized and consistent. This then
forms the base upon which the remainder of the dish is built
upon. Also typical of many a dish is the use of the picada.
This is a mixture of garlic, olive oil, almonds and /or other
nuts, fried bread, herbs and spices crushed together in a mortar
and used to thicken and add flavor to the dish near the end
of the cooking. The most used accompanying sauces are the famous
allioli, olive oil and garlic mixed together until creamy in
consistency, mayonnaise (most Catalans still make this fresh
and by hand), romesco a mayonnaise consistency sauce made with
olive oil, vinegar, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, bread, tomato,
parsley, nyores (a dried pepper), and samfaina, a mix of onions,
garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers cooked in
is a list of some of the dishes you will learn how to make during
your Catalan cuisine classes: (click on pictures)
the leader in Cooking Vacations with Catalan cooking classes, food courses and wine vacations in El Priorat and Barcelona, Spain.
Enjoy one to six day gourmet Spanish culinary vacation and classes in a private boutique cooking hotel in Catalonia, Spain. Single
day Catalan paella food course also available at our school in Barcelona.