We woke up Tuesday morning in Barcelona, hungry and ready to attend Just Royal BCN’s Market Tour and Cooking Class! We took a short bus ride to Plaça Reial and arrived a few minutes early. We watched the restaurants receive their shipments and set up their patios. Nestled in one of the corners of the plaza was the entrance to Just Royal BCN, once we rang the doorbell the door unlocked and we walked up a few flights of stairs. We were greeted by Chef Alfredo and Janelle at the door, and it felt like we walked into an old friend’s home.
The interior was absolutely gorgeous. Spacious, bright, modern and airy are just a few ways to describe this cooking school. The room was filled with natural light and the open balcony doors overlooked the plaza. The modern decor had a clean color palette of white, green and blue. The kitchen was set up for us in the back of the room with an apron, cutting board, knife and a wine glass.
The Market Tour
Before our class, Janelle walked us down La Rambla and provided a tour through La Boqueria. The bustling market was full of people buying food and goods. Colorful juices, fruits and vegetables lined the isles. There were so many types of food to try and taste! Of course, you can’t forget about the Jamon stalls. We learned about the different types, price points, and quality. We got to sample the oldest nougat in Catalonia, a sweet treat while we stroll through the market. Here at the market you can find all your ingredients for your perfect pan of paella. Next, we walked through the seafood section where people were buying fresh seafood by the pound!
When we got back to the kitchen, it was time to taste different tapas. Before each taste, they told us about where it originated and what ingredients were used to make it. We had the classic cured meat platter, warm croquettes, anchovies and cheese, shrimp, patatas bravas, mussels and my ultimate favorite, octopus with olive oil and paprika sauce. Each tapa was from a different region in Spain. Our taste buds were happy as we took a culinary tour around the country without leaving the room!
Now, it was finally time to cook our 3-course lunch. Everyone in the class had different tasks in order to complete the final dish. While one person cut vegetables, someone else beat the eggs. Chef Alfredo showed us how to do all the tasks, before letting us take a stab at it. First, we made Catalan Creme, a custard made with milk and citrus peels topped with caramelized sugar and berries. Next, we made Seafood Paella, a classic Spanish rice dish with prawns and squid. We also used the white wine we were drinking! Lastly, we learned how to cook the perfect Tortilla, a Spanish omelet with potatoes.
Lunch is served! We all brought our final dished to the table and filled up another glass of wine. We all shared stories of our vacations in Spain and reminisced about our past travels. We had an amazing feast with good company and we ended the class with a cup of coffee with a chocolate. We left the class with recipes to try at home and memories we’ll never forget!
Reserve your spot now: Just Royal BCN: Cooking Class and tour of La Boqueria Market