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1 Week Cookery Course in Andalusia Spain

1 Week Cookery Course in Andalusia Spain

  • Finca Buenvino, Los Marines 21208, Huelva, Spain

Cooking Vacation in Andalusia, Spain

Finca Buenvino welcomes you to beautiful Andalusia, Spain. Set amongst 60 hectares of mixed forests, fruit orchards and olive groves, the main house is a family home, which is run as a bed and breakfast and welcomes guests and cookery students from all over the world. Finca Buenvino is famous for good food, a relaxed ambiance, old world charm and stunning scenery. At the top of the hill sits the beautiful infinity pool with views out over the rolling hills. There are 3 independent self-catering cottages dotted about the orchards and woods and some distance from the house. Come and enjoy some home-killed cured ham and gather some organic vegetables.

Highlights

  • Prepare light soups for summer
  • Experiment with traditional Spanish ingredients
  • Learn to cook hearty roasts and game dishes for winter
  • Create stews with ground and dried nuts, olives and bread
  • Explore the Mediterranean milk and egg desserts
  • Focus on seasonal Spanish recipes
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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Finca Buenvino provides accommodation for their students. Their house is filled with an eclectic mix of furniture, paintings, pottery and books. Bedrooms are all distinctive whether due to hand-painted walls, oriental hangings, a bath tub with a view, or a fireplace. We have not forgotten modern living and comforts such as central heating and Wi-Fi connectivity in the main house for guests use.

The corner room

The corner room is a small suite, set apart on its own level just below the second floor. Here youll find a comfortable bedroom, with hanging space, bookshelves and a dressing table. Next-door is a small study with a desk, a sofa / daybed and a collection of books. The en-suite bathroom has a steam hammam and massage shower for two people. It is totally relaxing.

Pink room

The Pink Room has twin beds, amazing views and an en-suite bathroom. The old fashioned tub has an arched window beside it, which looks out over the treetops and down to the valley below. Its a sensational feeling laying back in the bath and watching as the evening light changes on the wooded hill across the valley, bathing it in a pinkish glow.

The poolroom

The poolroom is available in summer. Its a large, high ceiling bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, which has a steam hammam massage shower, wonderfully warming if you have been out for a midnight dip. The views out from the infinity pool are staggeringly beautiful, especially at sunrise or sunset. (Please bear in mind that the pool is in use from 10:00 until 21:00, but the early or late swim is yours entirely).

Yellow room

The Yellow Room has a queen-sized bed and there is a small sitting dressing room adjoining. The sitting room offers a good selection of books as well as spectacular views north to Extremadura. The private bathroom is only a few feet away across the passage, with a steam hammam and massage shower for two people. The perfect way to relax after a country walk.

Finca Buenvino runs several cookery courses per year. Its a fun way to spend time with friends, and learn about Andalusian and Catalan dishes, try out some local restaurants, and visit a sherry bodega. The finca (farm or ranch) lies at the heart of the Jabugo area, which produces the finest Iberian acorn-fed ham. You will visit a famous producer and learn about this delicacy and its production.

Day 1

You will be collected by Finca Buenvino from outside the Vieria San Telmo in Seville at 11:00. Its a good place to meet as if Finca Buenvino is a little late you can have coffee there. They will send you details of how to get there when you book.

You will leave immediately to visit a bodega in Jerez de La Frontera and see how sherry is made. This is about a one-hour drive from Seville. You will lunch in Jerez after your visit and tasting, then leave for the seaside town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, to catch the catamaran to Cdiz. If its too rough, you will take a train, but the catamaran is more picturesque and gives you an idea of how the old city of Cdiz sits at the tip of a peninsula and is surrounded by the ocean and the bay in which Sir Francis Drake Singed the King of Spains Beard.

Check into your hotel in the old town, where you will spend the night, dining in one of the local restaurants, or doing a tapas crawl if preferred.

Day 2

You will enjoy breakfast at a local caf and the shop for fresh fish in the wonderful market of Cdiz. Afterwards, youll catch the ferry or a train back to El Puerto have an early lunch at a famous fish restaurant then drive up to the Finca Buenvino in the Aracena mountains, hopefully arriving at around 17:15.

Here, guests will settle into their rooms, come down to the fireside for tea / coffee and cakes, and perhaps take a walk around the property before heading for the kitchen at 19:00 to prepare the mornings market acquisitions and make some tapas. You will change and come down for pre-drinks and tapas or bringing their drinks through to the kitchen to see how Jeannie cooks the fish for their dinner. (Since fish needs a short time to cook Jeannie might cook this first night dinner).

Day 3

Breakfast is served at nine, and Jeannie will meet you at 10:00 to discuss the recipes for the day and to start cooking. She will tell you about the areas star ingredient, Iberian pork.

During the morning, lunch is cooked and you might start preparing some of the dishes for the nights dinner. At around 13:00, relax over pre-lunch drinks and then have lunch at 14:00. Enjoy some free time for walking or siesta until 17:00. At 16:00, Sam will take anyone who wishes to go on a short trip around the area, returning about 17:30. This can either be sightseeing or shopping (depending on group vote!).

At 19:00, cooks start cooking again and prepare dinner. You can have a glass of wine as we put the last touches on dinner and after all is said and done, youll go to dine from 20:30 to 21:00.

Day 4

You get to cook in the morning starting around 10:00 to prepare a starter and puddings for dinner. Then, youll walk or drive into the local village for lunch. This varies according to the weather and fitness of party members. Walk or drive back and relax until 19:00, which is when everyone will get together in the kitchen before tapas and dinner.

Day 5

After breakfast, you will leave around 09:30 to visit a small family-run jamon factory that is owned by the fourth generation of the same family and has won many awards for its products, which are exported worldwide.

At around 12:30 you will be collected and brought back to the finca to prepare some lunch dishes and tonight's dessert. (These things will vary in small ways; you may already have prepared a dessert the day before if there was time. A lot depends on weather as well as on how many cooks are on the course and so forth).

In the afternoon you will go foraging. You will be gathering quinces in the orchards, which should be ripening by then.

If there has been some early autumn rain, you might be lucky and find ceps or amanita caesaria in the forest. Its all up to nature, so mushrooms cannot be guaranteed, but you can forage and see what you can find.

At 19:00, everyone will gather in the kitchen and prepare the main dish of the evening and a starter or dessert, whichever has not yet been prepared. Drinks and tapas before dinner, then bed.

Day 6

After breakfast, you will have your last full day in the kitchen. This day will be organized much like day 3. Any last minute wishes or shopping will be considered.

Day 7

After breakfast, Sam takes clients to Seville. Drop off at the Vieria San Telmo will happen once more, unless you have a pre-booked train or plane and want to be taken straight to the airport or train station.

Each cook / student receives an apron, folder, pen and notebook as well as a signed copy of The Buenvino Cookbook, Recipes from a Farmhouse in Spain. which Finca Buenvino published in 2014. You will be preparing dishes from the book itself and students can decide which recipes they would like to attempt. Other recipes, such as those for bread making, will be on loose sheets, which you can add to your folder as you go along.

Finca Buenvino is located just outside the beautiful town of Aracena in Andalucia (Huelva province) in southwest Spain, very close to Spain's border with Portugal. Due to its location in the mountains, the climate is cooler than in Seville. The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Nature Reserve was formed in 1989 by the Andalucian Government in order to preserve the countryside, villages and way of life of this unique area. Hills, thickly wooded with sweet chestnut and cork oak, give way to small groves of olives or walnuts and orchards of apples, plums, peaches and figs. Wild, rocky escarpments are covered in cistus and heather. Stonewalled mule tracks meander from village to hamlet and are perfect for walking or riding. In spring, the wild flowers carpet the meadows and clumps of peonies grow in the shade of the chestnut trees. Whitewashed villages with cobbled streets hang from the side of a hill or nestle in a valley. In autumn, chestnut pickers fill their baskets in the woods, as mules stand patiently to be loaded with sacks for the return journey to the village. Los Marines is not a major tourist destination, so you can expect a quiet and relaxing visit, and a taste of the 'real' Spain.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shopping nearby
  • Steam room
General
  • Caf nearby
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant nearby
Services
  • Free Wi-Fi

Finca Buenvino provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for their students. For one week, students enjoy daily gourmet meals that have been prepared by themselves, professional (instructor) chefs and / or dining out. Mediterranean cooking goes beyond the well-known French and Italian influences and at Finca Buenvino, they often use traditional Southern Spanish recipes, which are a legacy of the Caliphate of Cordoba. North African Maghrebi influences can be felt in the use of spices and nuts and the interplay between sweet and savory. You will learn to cook with pulses and nuts.

You will learn to cook the hearty roasts and cocidos and game dishes of winter, and the light cold soups of summer. You learn how to use a picada of ground and roast nuts, spices and bread fried in olive oil for thickening stews. You will cook the traditional paella and the less well-known black rice, made with squid Ink. Youll learn to put a new twist on many refreshing Mediterranean milk and egg desserts.

Typical dinner menu

Butter beans with clams and tomatoes, fillet of Iberian pork with red peppers, oloroso and cream, saffron mashed potatoes and green beans. Rosemary Sorbet with Rosemary honey.

Grilled goats cheese with aubergine, cumin and sun-dried tomato pesto. Grilled bream with romesco sauce, black venere rice, Rocket, walnut and orange salad. Hot chocolate souffl.

Poached farm eggs with raw spinach and toasted pine nut salad, magret of duck with quince allioli, rosemary sauted potatoes, hot beetroot in butter and lemon. Lavender panna cotta with raspberry coulis.

Squid ink pasta with prawns and sun-dried tomatoes, roast quails with quinces, couscous with butter and coriander leaves and string beans. Chocolate and Rosemary cream with fino sherry.

Botanical nature walks

Canoeing

Climbing

Mountain biking

Walking around the country side

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • A signed copy of the Buenvino cookbook
  • Apron, folder pen and notebook
  • Daily meals prepared by students, chefs and / or local restaurants
  • Instruction working with traditional Spanish recipes
  • Shopping at local markets
  • Transfer to and from the airport
  • Wine tasting and food sampling
  • Airfare
  • Health insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Travel insurance

Driving directions From Seville Airport (SVQ)

  • Turn left out of the airport towards Sevilla.
  • After 1 km or so take the first turn on the right signed Isla de La Cartuja and Mrida A66 / Huelva.
  • Follow this road around to the north of the city. It takes you over 4 roundabouts, the last of which is just after the looming greyish Olympic Stadium on your left.
  • At this last roundabout, follow the signs to the left (todas direcciones) and up the ramp signed Mrida A66. This brings you out onto the causeway heading west over the Guadalquivir Canal.
  • Take the first right turn (blue sign) for Mrida via the A66. Continue up the M'way for about 35Kms or so and you'll see the turnoff for Aracena and Portugal (N433).
  • Get onto this road and continue until kilometer marker number 95, which is right outside our gates, on the right. (Youll see little white posts every 100 meters, and then the larger red and white kilometer signs, so its easy to count up from the beginning).
  • The important thing is to count carefully so that you do not overshoot. Give adequate signals as you come down the hill, as sometimes drivers don't believe there can be anything to turn off into, and are driving right up behind you.
  • Some manual slowing signals sometimes help if this is the case!
  • Turn down the ramp through gates and then after 100 meters fork left up the hill. Its a rough country road about three quarters of a kilometer from gate to main house.

From Jerez Airport (XRY)

  • Take N1V or Motorway A4 to Seville, then the A66 and N433 towards Aracena / Portugal.

From Malaga Airport (AGP)

  • Take N340 by-pass on to N331 (signed Antequera) then A92 to Seville, then continue as directions above.

From Lisbon airport (LIS)

  • Take the new Vasco de Gama Bridge and then the motorway south as far as the turnoff for Beja and Serpa.
  • Follow the road through to Spain and you will be on the N433, which goes past our gate.

From Faro

  • Take the road signed Loul and shortly after the Almancil turnoff, drive past the stadium and get onto the motorway to Spain (signed Espanha).
  • Cross the bridge into Spain and then continue past Ayamonte and Huelva on the motorway (signed Sevilla).
  • When you reach the turnoff for San Juan del Puerto and Beas /Trigueros, turn off and head northwards (signed Badajoz).
  • Shortly after the town of Zalamea la Real, youll see signs for Rio Tinto.
  • Turn off to Rio Tinto and then follow signs for Aracena.
  • When you reach Aracena follow signs for Portugal.
  • This will bring you out onto the N433 heading in a westerly direction.
  • We are at Km 95 marker on the right hand side (dont overshoot!) Its about 10 minutes from Aracena to our gate.