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Ask any London foodie and they'll know all about the Moro Restaurant, which by now is a byline for unpretentious excellence, and many will have one of the famous Moro recipe books to hand in their kitchens. It's a massive feather in Las Chimeneas' caps to have the restaurant's owner and founder, Sam Clark, come work with them. He's a lovely, charming fellow, and a gastronomic genius.
Las Chimeneas is a boutique collection of adjacent houses in the village of Mairena, the so-called "Balcony of the Alpujarras." There are nine rooms, each different to the next, furnished in local style. All have fabulous views, en-suite bathrooms, are air-conditioned, and have either a balcony or a terrace.
Sam and Sam Clark, founders and owners of London's celebrated Moro Restaurant, are inspirational food heroes to many. Their restaurant is packed night after night with people of all kinds, and their beguiling recipe books adorn bookshelves across the world. During this culinary holiday, you will have four days of cooking / tuition with Sam Clark.
Las Chimeneas is very pleased to welcome back their friend and gastronomic mentor, Sam Clark, the owner of the celebrated Moro Restaurant, London. He'll be at the finca in October with two other Moro chefs for a master class in which you'll observe how these skillful chefs and teachers create a sensational menu. You will then settle down to enjoy the product for yourselves that same evening.
The self-effacing Sam is as charming and as gifted in the classroom as he is in the kitchen, and this week will be amazing. On the first day, Las Chimeneas will pick you up at the airport in Almeria and transfer you to Mairena in a large and comfortable air-conditioned coach. There follows a week of cooking sessions, interspersed with outdoor lunch at the finca with its wood-fired oven and as much walking as you like.
This includes plenty of foraging as the terraces will be alive with figs, pomegranates, grapes, almonds, walnuts, and herbs. All will be guided by local experts and with 4x4 support. It will be a perfect holiday for you: you'll relax, you'll learn stuff, you'll eat wonderfully well in the hands of a top chef, and with all that walking you won't pile on the pounds. What's not to like?
Mairena sits at the heart of the Alpujarra hills, on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada in Southeastern Spain.
Next to Casa Las Chimeneas stands the newly restored restaurant Las Chimeneas, where breakfast and evening meals are served. The dining room is a truly wonderful place to enjoy an intimate meal in the winter months or a cool beer after a long day's walking. Olive logs burn in the cast-iron stove through the winter, and the terrace provides uninterrupted views over the surrounding mountain ranges and on to the Meditteranean in the distance.
The evening meal is served in the small dining room where the very best of Alpujarran food is cooked by the ever-smiling Soledad, with whom Las Chimeneas has worked for many years. It has been a pleasure to exchange recipes handed down over the generations by Alpujarran families. Explore the flavors of North Africa in a delightful fusion of Andalusian and Moroccan food.
There will be an opportunity for those who wish to visit Granada for the day, again in the company of a guide. You'll be able to see the gardens of the Alhambra and wander around the less touristy old town, with lunch at the lovely market and coffee-with-a-view high up in the Albaicin.
Chef Sole's cooking receives overwhelmingly positive responses. She says, "of course they enjoy it, its made with cariño" roughly translated as care and love. Using local produce and traditional recipes from the village, cooking, and dining at Las Chimeneas restaurant will be one of the highlights of your visit.
Join Sole in the kitchen for a glass of wine and an informal cookery demonstration. This is especially exciting if you have enjoyed something on the menu and would like to know how it is made! In general, this holiday focuses on cooking to be a bigger part of the holiday. The activities are not set on stone. You can mix and match different activities according to your taste.
Learn to make local Spanish dishes such as tortilla, patatas a la pobre, or paella. Depending on the time of year, sometimes this is organized at Las Chimeneas' own organic farm where the cooks Sole and Conchi demonstrate a range of dishes cooking in the traditional way over an open fire. More formal cookery weeks are also an option.
As opposed to the Western Alpujarras, which have become increasingly busy with tourists and visitors, here they are lucky to be based in and utilize the more remote and unspoiled sector of the Eastern Alpujarras.
Villages on the doorstep like Yegen and Mairena are still seen by many walkers and tour operators as less accessible and consequently, Mairena and its surrounding network of paths and villages benefits from being less visited than the Western Alpujarran walking centers around Orgiva and Trevelez.
They offer you a menu of possible walks and day trips from which you can choose from each day.
This gives you the option to make use of their detailed knowledge of the area and to choose exactly what you would like to do on a daily basis depending on the weather and your energy.
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