Creative Arts Learning Vacations in Southern Spain

Spanish Food

Spanish Cooking

"Michael‚s food has spoiled us forever!" Marlene, West Vancouver, Canada

"Superb. Simply the finest food" Morag, North Vancouver, Canada

"Your meals were outstanding in their variety and 'Spanish-ness'. "
Penny and Neil, West Vancouver, Canada

"Vegetables have never tasted so good" Debbie, Ottawa, Canada

"Thank you for the amazing food and wonderful holiday" Ann, Nashville, USA

TIME Magazine called Spain, „The New Food Mecca for Culinary Pilgrims,š in the fall of 2006, and the San Francisco Chronicle stated, „Spain now rivals Italy as a food lover‚s destination,š in January 2007. Join Chef Mike Powell and his partner Hilary who will lead you on a journey of discovering Spanish Mediterranean food. You will visit local markets to select natural ingredients picked fresh daily for the cooking classes, you will visit the ancient spice market in Granada, perhaps an olive mill, a local winery, and restaurants to try out specialty foods.

Discover the health and mouth watering flavours of delicious Spanish cuisine. Savour the leisurely lunches in the cool courtyard, Tapas by the poolside, and long evening dinners full of food and laughter.

Mike Powell was a slow food chef long before the start of the Slow Food movement. Trained in the French Escoffier tradition, he grew to love the simplicity of Spanish cooking when he and his partner Hilary ran their restaurant, La Cascada Verde, on the Costa del Sol for many years. Mike is absolutely passionate about Spanish food: its freshness, its historical legacy left by the Moors, and the quintessential flavours of Southern Spain∑the Mediterranean diet at its best.

The main intent of Spanish cuisine is to preserve and intensify original flavours as much as possible. Produce is market fresh daily, only enough fruits and vegetables are picked so that they can be sold without refrigeration, which immediately saves 40% of the favour and nutritional value. The Spanish eat only fruits and vegetables that are in season so they have created many different ways to prepare them.

Food is central to the Spanish way of life. The Tapas ritual involves meeting with friends and associates in a bar before a meal and spending at least an hour slowly sipping a glass of wine or sherry while nibbling on a few appetizers and having very animated conversations. This process in itself is a digestive aid as the sherry and Tapas work their magic and take away hunger pangs, so that one in fact feels less hungry when it comes to the main meal. These sessions also work as little mobile community centres as people air their problems and frustrations, joys and pleasures, releasing the safety valve that we may have forgotten how to use here in North America.

A Flavour of Spain is a member of Slow Food Lions Gate Convivium in Vancouver Canada.

To view a complete set of pictures, please go to our photo album by clicking here.