What’s the first thing I do when I land in a new place? I hit a grocery store or an outdoor market because the fastest way to feel a connection to other countries, cultures and their people is through their food. Naturally, it follows that the next thing I like to do is to take a cooking class.

Because you will make the most popular dishes of the region, it’s a great introduction to the food you will be eating for the remainder of your trip. If you’re wise, you’ll suck up to the instructor and hit them up for restaurant and shopping recommendations as well as other insider intel.

Choosing a class to take in Barcelona can be daunting because there are quite a number of highly rated schools as well as popular, private instructors who will make paella for you on their rooftop patio. On my next trip, I’ll try one of those, but for my first trip, I wanted a bit make more than one dish and ultimately chose Cook and Taste Barcelona.

Their shop is a stone’s throw from the famous Boqueria Market so I sprung for the optional, morning market tour (and extra 13€ on top of the €65 for the hands on cooking class). Cook and Taste gets great reviews and they don’t require you to pay for your class upfront, asking only that you give advance notice if cancelling. Since I like to keep my travel itinerary as fluid as possible, this was a very appealing option for me. Since most of the schools offer a similar menu, format and pricing, that was the deciding factor for me.

After the short walk to the market, our cooking instructor gave us a bit of a short history lesson on the Boqueria as he purchased seafood, ham and produce for our lesson.

Back in the kitchen, we were given our aprons, instructed to wash up and after perusing the recipes, we were all assigned prep tasks.

We worked our way through oven roasted vegetables with romesco sauce, thyme soup with a poached egg and a cheese tuile, seafood paella and pears poached in spiced wine as well as the Catalan staple, Pa amb tomàquet, toasted bread rubbed with tomato, salt and olive oil.

Cook & Taste offers these half day hands on cooking classes daily, at 11am and 5pm, as well as hosting private events, team building activities for companies and they also a foodie tour and private classes that can be customized upon request.

Cook & Taste
Carrer del Paradis, 3, 08003 Barcelona (next to Placa Sant Jaume)
Telephone +34 93 302 12 20

Read more about Barcelona and an in depth lens on the culinary creations over on Carole’s other site- The Yum Yum Factor.