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Thursday March 12, 2009 - Wine Shop-

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Cooking, Food & Wine Tours of Spain

Cooking, Food & Wine Tours of Spain - In a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine there is a great article featuring Spain's Top Food Critic Jos? Carlos Capel discussing issues like "Why is Spain the world's most exciting food destination right now?" more... As well in this same issue Anya Von Bremzen gives some insider tips on... "Where To Go Next: Catalonia, Madrid, Galicia | Spain"

This year we have many new exciting culinary & cooking holiday and deluxe wine tours for travelers who would like to savor Spain with a Gourmet Appetite!

Starting off your journey you could try a Galician Coastal Cooking, Food and Wine Tour on the Atlantic Coast of Spain. Galicia is famed for it's fresh, abundant Seafood, highly-acclaimed Albari?o white wines and recently new young chefs like; Xose Cannas of Pepe Vieira who was just mentioned in this months issue of Food & Wine. On the Rias Baixas the sea plays an important role in peoples lives, come visit this magnificent coastline from the sea on our Gastronomic Sailing Journey. For an in-depth view of this undiscovered region of Spain try our 8 Days or 12 Days Deluxe food & wine tours. Even if you only have a couple of days in this region you could take a one day wine tour sampling Albari?o white wines of the D.O. Rias Baixas or Mencia red wines of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra. If you are just stopping through, or arriving at one of the ports of call on cruise and have time only for a half-day, we can offer guided tapa tours in Vigo, La Coru?a, Santiago de Compostela and Lugo.

Moving across Northern Spain to the Basque Country, one of the most notable regions for it's dynamic cuisine with top chefs like; Arzak, Berasategui, etc... In San Sebastian you could take a half-day hands-on Basque cooking class in one of the authentic gastronomic societies or a Pintxo tapa tour of the old quarter enjoying the "tasty little bites" in the most emblematic bars and taverns. For more days we could recommend our week-long Basque Country & Cantabian Cooking Holiday. For wine touring you could visit a Txacoli white winery from Bilbao, as well we can't forget to mention the world-renowned Rioja wines of the Basque/Rioja wine region D.O. Rioja which are a "must-taste" if your are in the area.

On the Eastern side of Spain you will discover the delights of Catalan Cuisine!Another region of "Hot" chefs like; Ferran Adria. Either basing your stay in Barcelona or exploring the countryside of Catalonia we have various tours to offer, for example in Barcelona how about a half-day private cooking class with a visit to La Boqueria Market to shop for the special ingredients for your class with a professional chef. Evening or midday tapa tours with a Food & Wine guide are also a lot of fun to wander the city's old quarter. Venturing out from Barcelona for the day you could learn about the Roots of Catalan Cuisine or a private wine tour to one of the regions like; Penedes, Cava, Priorat & Montsant, Emporda-Costa Brava, Coster del Segre or Conca de Barbera. As well you could try a short-break or week-long trip to learn in-depth about the wines with a expert wine guide. Gourmet Culinary Holidays in the Priorat region are also available for short-breaks or week-long stays.

If you are traveling as a group of ten or more you could stay at the Luxurious 5* Read's Hotel on the Balearic Island of Mallorca and learn the cooking secrets of the Michelin-starred Chef Marc Fosh.

In the middle of Spain lies Madrid, the heart and capital of this country which has much to offer for culinary travelers. Learn about Castilian Cuisine with a professional chef for a half-day cooking class or up to week-long cooking vacations. In the evenings or for lunch this is yet another Spanish city where tapa tours are very popular, or try a more "sit-down" gourmet dinner with a commented Spanish Olive Oil tasting in Madrid at a prestigious city centre restaurant. Ribera del Duero, one of Spain's most important wine regions can be reached in a day as a private VIP chauffeur driven tour or joining a deluxe small group tour from Madrid. Or how about a group excursion of Toledo and the wines of Castile Spain. Explore Quixote Land and discover the roots of Spanish Saffron of La Mancha.

Down South in Passionate Andalusia we have various, cooking, food & wine related tours. Leaving Madrid by high-speed train you could join in on a one day or short-break deluxe tour of Cordoba and the Wines of Montilla. In Seville we have two options for private half-day cooking classes. Learn how to make Spanish Tapas in the well-equipped kitchen of the apartment of an expert chef, or an exclusive cooking classes with one of Seville's most prestigious chefs Willy Moya at his restaurant Poncio. Also within reach from the city are day wine tours to Jerez (Sherry), Sanlucar de Barrameda or Ronda as well visits to Olive Oil Mills and Spanish Cured Ham producer. Try a 4 Day or 7 Day stay in Seville and enjoy all these culinary activities. Nearby Seville in the beautiful Andalusian Countryside can be found the 5* Grand Luxury Hacienda Benazuza, where you could learn the original recipes of Ferran Adria in La Alquer?a Restaurant (two Michelin Stars) prepared by chef Rafael Morales, under the management of the "El Bulli" team. In Granada learn about the ancient Arabic influences in the rice dishes of the region by cooking with local women of Granada. Down on the Costa del Sol in Marbella relax, play some golf and do a bit of wine touring.

After this delectable summary of cooking, food & wine tours we offer to Spain, we are also capable of creating a "personalized" culinary holiday just for you! Lets us know your desires and we will do our best to fulfill your appetite for a food and wine adventure in Spain... as well as Portugal!
For more info go to Euroadventures or CityGuide Europe

About the Author

Publisher CityGuide Europe

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I am not a good cook and my baking skills consist of mix, pour, and throw some frosting on cake. I just happened across this book and loved it. It was clearly for beginners, did not require any fancy or complicated bake ware, and the items used for decoration you can find in any grocery store. The authors even listed a ton of stores and websites in which you could shop and order these decorating items, and even listed what decorating products you'd be able to find at each store and website. I thought this would be fantastic for someone like me who had no experience and I was right! It is super easy and I just order all of my stuff on-line so I don't have to run out to the stores. The book instructs on many things, including how to make certain frosting designs using a Ziploc baggie. Plus, it offers practical advice on how to make your cupcakes firmer by altering the box ingredients slightly. This actually cuts down on the sweetness. Everyone just loves how the cupcakes come out. You would think with some of the recipes that the cupcakes would be too sweet, but they are not. I even use low-fat buttermilk and egg beaters and nobody can tell the difference. My advice is to read the book first so that you can get an idea of what is needed BEFORE you start baking. Then practice BEFORE baking. Yes, practice. I made the mistake of not practicing and my panda cupcakes came out goofy looking. You especially need to practice the frosting techniques if you are a beginner. I practiced on wax paper. Next, go through the book and decide which cupcakes you would like to make. I found a few and I had a lot of birthdays coming up, so I wrote down all of the things I would need to make all the recipes and then went on-line and purchased everything I could not find in the grocery store. I also stocked up on such items as various color baking cups so that I would not have to keep ordering in small quantities. I even stocked up on sprinkles, candies, food coloring, etc. Word of caution, get gel food color and not that liquid stuff at the store. The liquid made my frosting too runny. I could have put it in the fridge but I needed it at room temp for easy spreading. I purchased gel food coloring from one of the websites listed in the book and it was much much better. And they don't leak all over like the liquid does. For batter and frosting I waited for some sales. In my city they sometimes have these items on sate $10 for $10! So whenever I see the sale I stock up! Another word of caution, some items, such as the Oreo O's cereal are no longer available so improvising will be necessary. One final tip, it may be easy but they take forever to decorate! My advice is to work on the cupcakes over a the span of a few days to cut down on the time. Super fun book!
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