Barcelona is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world and there are many reasons for that: the architecture, cultural life, great weather, nightlife and, of course, the food. Not only can you find the best of the Spanish cuisine in the city, but also explore the catalan gastronomy.
The idea behind Paella in Barcelona is “share the passion for food”, as Manu Caballero, project manager of the company, explained to DeliveryRank. Find out more about the concept, how you can learn to cook those fantastic dishes with the help from chefs and what to eat in Barcelona.
I'm from southern Spain and came to Barcelona when I was 20 years old. In these almost seven years, I've been working in restaurants and, for the last 3 years, have also been doing cooking lessons. I found that to be much more entertaining and fun than working as a chef and it opens the possibility to share the passion for food.
Most times, people are not from Spain, so they are very enthusiastic and passionate about learning new things and it's very fun to teach them. I started Paella in Barcelona with this idea of sharing. Even though paella is mostly what we do, it is also very enjoyable to teach many other Spanish dishes, mostly to foreign people.
Going out with friends for Tapas is very common in Spanish culture. It means ordering many small portions to share among friends – let’s say 8 dishes for 4 friends. or four of your friends. The spirit of Tapas is to share many dishes, talk with friends and basically order the whole menu.
This is experience with tapas – and there are thousand types of them – is something we do. Some Catalan cuisine features are Canelones, which can be made of meat, Croquetas, codfish fritters and more.
Our current best-selling class is called Cooking Class on Market Tour. We gather at the entrance of a market, mostly at the Abacería Market, in the neighborhood of Gràcia, and sometimes at the Boquería Market, which is the biggest market of Barcelona, very colorful and vibrant with people.
We have a tour around the market for about 45 minutes, so that people see products firsthand. In Spain, markets are very vibrant and tourists sometimes get to see things they probably don't have in their country such as seafood, fresh fish, ham and fruits.
Then, we take a walk back to our workshop. In Gràcia, it is near Plaza de la Revolución, whereas the Boquería workshop is in the Gothic Quarter. Once we get there, the cooking class starts and they get to the cooking class which usually consists of 3 tapas.
At the moment, we are doing Gazpacho, a traditional fresh tomato soup from Andalucía. Also, Patatas Bravas, one of the famous dishes in Barcelona: fried potatoes with spicy sauce, made from scratch. The third Tapa is also from Catalonia and is called Escalivada – baked vegetables with Romesco sauce, with nutty almond flavors and also typically Catalan.
Then, they do the Paella, which can be made out of meat or seafood. Everything is done from scratch, except for the stock. If they have some experience in the kitchen, I let them do everything, but I assist a little more. if they need some more guidance. When meeting customers, I see if they want to participate more or just want to have fun to provide what they expect. Finally, comes the Crema Catalana, a Catalan dessert similar to Crème Brûlée, also done from scratch.
I would say 90% are from the United States at the moment. Some other times we get people from other countries in Europe, such as France and Germany. There are companies scattered throughout Europe and they sometimes do team-building meetings and their people come from all over Europe.
We always find that we don't sell ourselves very well. Often in the market, when I present to people the Jamón Ibérico, they’ll compare it to Prosciutto. We sometimes fail to market some products that are very good in Spain and could be sold to the world, if compared to Italian products, for example. We have Mediterranean cuisine, healthy cuisine with a lot of vegetables, and a lot of seafood too.
If you are a foodie in Barcelona, you are in a good place! Spanish cuisine has developed the most in two places: Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, and the Basque country, which is a small region in the North.
If they come to Barcelona and have the time, they should try to get authentic Catalan cuisine. But to do this, they’ll always have to avoid getting trapped in places such as Las Ramblas. Have a stroll and do some sightseeing there, but don’t go there to eat. Being a big city, Barcelona has amazing places to eat as well as very, very bad places. So, sometimes it can be tricky to get the right place.
I consider two paths. One of them is doing team building, focusing on companies. This would mean taking big groups of more than 40 people, usually to integrate and entertain different departments of companies that don’t often get together.
This is an amazing type of experience getting popular now and my offer is a gastronomic experience of cooking Paellas and making a contest between teams. I'm planning to get to these companies through this year and in the next one, to show them my experience and the potential of this type of experience to help reinforce the bonds between colleagues and how they can have fun.
The other path is to provide an experience for tourists. I take couples or small groups of friends coming to Barcelona for the cooking class. Sometimes, I put them together, other times I just get a couple, depending on how many people I get per day, and I do the cooking class with them.