As you have probably noticed, food features big for me, it’s who I am! Having learned recipes in Nepal, Bangladesh, India including a delicious sausage hotpot recipe from budding child chef, young Rory Telfer in New Zealand, I could not leave out learning some Spanish recipes given the food we had enjoyed along the Camino was so scrummy. My sister Grace is a trained chef so we both decided to sign up for a Galician style cooking class. Boy were we in for a surprise!
With the help of the tourist information office, we signed up for a cooking class as part of the inaugural Compostela Gastronomica festival – a food festival in Santiago that celebrates Galician food. It was being lead by food writer and Galician food advocate Javier Ozores who was partnered with Gabriela Araujo – our chef for the day. We donned lovely aprons emblazoned with the Compostela Gastronomica logo, and joined the class to listen to the Introduction, which of course was in Spanish. Which we did not understand of course. Next thing we knew, we were being ushered out the door and we assumed we were headed for the fresh food market adjacent to the cooking class to buy the ingredients. That wasn’t how it panned out!
Instead we were lead off through the narrow cobbled streets of Santiago by Javier, who clearly was very well known. Women stopped him along the walk, chatting and taking photos and generally in awe of him. We were soon joined by a TV crew complete with cameraman, producer and TV Presenter Imna Mordeira who presents a food show called Festa Sopa. What we soon found out was, our cooking class was going to be featured on Imna’s show. Darn it! And not a screed for make up between Grace and I for our first Spanish TV appearance! Anyway, after we got over the mortification of being filmed walking the streets of Santiago and being interviewed by Imna (we were the only foreigners attending the class), we settled down into the actual cooking class. We found Javier, Gabriela and Imna all to be down to earth people with a deep love of Galician food and enthusiastic to share this love with us. The other attendees at the class were locals and just fabulous. What should have been a 2.5 hour class, ended up being a 4hour delight 🙂
The recipes we made were a lovely custard based dessert called Natillas con pure de frambuesa, a squid starter Croquetas de Chipiron followed by a pork based entree Solomillo de Cerdo Strogonoff.
I certainly learned a ton, having never cooked squid or cooked with squid ink, and was thankful to have Grace at my side, explaining a few things. Here are some photos of the cooking class that we so enjoyed. Pity it’s not 4D where you could smell and taste too!