For several weeks each year Casa Azahar in the historic quarter of Granada, Spain opens its doors home for personalized
cooking classes to a small number of guests eager to share in the food, wine, and culture of one of Spain's most diverse and
vibrant regions. Participants also have the option of taking morning Spanish language classes from neighboring Escuela Carmen
de las Cuevas. Guests cook with wild Mediterranean herbs gathered from behind the house, salad greens and vegetables from
local markets, olives from the abudant groves, and prepare unique Mediterranean, Spehardic, and MozArabic dishes. Included
is a field trip to Europe's highest viticultural region, the up-and-coming D.O. Vinos de la tierra Norte de Granada. The two-week
English language program includes hands-on cooking sessions led by Vaughn Perret & Charles Leary, as well as guided visits
to markets, vineyards, shops, and local restaurants. All cooking programs take place in the afternoons, allowing for morning
Spanish classes if desired.
Each day’s program offers something different; the prepared menus shared while taking in views of the Alhambra Palace,
the insider’s guide to the regional production of olives and oil, and cheese, and tastings from the rich selection of
local and regional wines, including the famed Sherries from Jerez and Montilla. All instruction is in English. Recipes are
geared to the home cook. Guests are supplied with aprons as well as detailed recipe booklets that are theirs to keep.
The class is limited to 8 guests. The week begins with dinner on Sunday night and ends after lunch on Friday. The fee is
$5,000 and includes market visits, all tastings, transportation for local visits, lunches on Wednesdays & Saturdays, and
dinners Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The fee does not include lodging or transportation. (A list of recommended hotels and
apartment rentals is sent to enrolled guests.)
The Granada Cooking & Wine School operates from an
historic address in the Albaycin district of Granada, Spain, directly across the Dauro River from the Alhambra Palace. The
creation of Vaughn Perret, Charles Leary, and Daniel Abel, the Cooking School welcomes a limited number of guests to afternoon,
one-day, and multi-week culinary classes and/or food and wine tastings. The School's focus lies on Mediterranean cooking in
general including not only Spanish or Andalusian cookery, but also French, Italian, and Turkish. Hailing from south Louisiana,
the chef-proprietors also provide insight into the Creole style and the history and culture of Creole cookery from the Indian
Ocean to the Caribbean.
The school has a specially designed teaching kitchen with a traditional casa cueva (cave) pantry and pastry area, beautiful
Goa verde granite counters, multiple cooking stations, a rooftop terrace, and garden patio.
Mediterranean Cooking School, Granada, Spain
Want to feature you culinary vacation program here? Please e-mail us.
Recommended by The Guardian
, "Moorish delights"
(June 17, 2006) and the Miami Herald: "Where to Go: Hot Stuff in Cool Places,
What's Cooking: Spain"
(April 30, 2006)
|The Albacyin and Alhambra Palace, Granada
Upcoming 2009 programs
Mediterranean Cookery, 2-week program, starting early January, 2009 and running through
April, 2009 at regular intervals including visits to food markets, Renaissance palaces, olive culture museum, and Europe's
highest wine region
Walking Food Market Tours plus Daily Food and Wine Tastings November & December, 2008
The Mediterranean Cooking School opened earlier this month in the Albaycin district of Granada, the historic
Arab neighborhood across the Dauro River from the Alhambra Palace. The school offers 3- and 4-day culinary vacations, walking
food market tours, and food and wine tastings from within the ancient Arab district. Your well-traveled hosts -- Daniel Abel,
Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary -- are also the proprietors of Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia and the Inn at Coyote Mountain
in Costa Rica. The school offers rental apartments, including a cave house that dates back more than 800 years. Oh, and part
of the kitchen is in a cave as well."
Charles Buhman, Miami Herald, April 30, 2006