My First Cooking Class Ever!

After a hard day's work of tanning and swimming at the beach, it was time to move on to more important activities. Like a cooking class! This was my very first cooking class, so I kept on telling José, "I do not want to be late to class!" Needless to say, however, we were late. And it wasn't because of my shoes. (I made sure to wear flat shoes that day.) But we were late by only a few minutes, so there really was nothing to worry about.

Food & Fun. The name of the company where we took the cooking class. An English name. Should I be worried? I don't think so. The course was being taught by Raúl Aleixandre, one of the best chefs in Valencia, according to José. I took one look at Chef Raúl. He was tall and BIG. And that can only mean one thing...that he really must be a good chef. However, if I become a chef, I will do everything in my power to stay as petite as possible. I would want to be the cute and pretty chef with the pink chef's hat.

I will be honest, I was a little bit sad that the students weren't able to contribute significantly in the preparation of the meals, as that was what I was looking forward to the most; however, I did think it was pretty cool that our class was being filmed. I think our cooking class might be broadcast on Spanish TV, but I'm not completely sure. But if it is, then I would be on Spanish TV!

The course itself was taught in Spanish. At first, I was a little nervous because my gastronomic vocabulary isn't so sharp. But surprisingly, I didn't have any problems understanding Chef Raúl at all. Although, it was nice having José, my back-up translator, just in case.

Okay, enough about that, let's get down to the nitty gritty. The food. Is he as good of a chef as everybody says?

Crema de foie con gelatina y puré dulce de manzana. (Foie cream with gelatin and sweet apple puree). When it's translated into English, it doesn't seem very appetizing. I actually haven't eaten foie in years. And when I ate it, it was foie gras, and not foie cream. But it was smooth and silky in texture, a little bit denser than a mousse. To be honest, it's actually very hard to describe. (I think part of the reason has to be because it's been about two weeks since I've eaten this.) Definitely nothing like I've ever eaten before, but then again, I'm always open to trying new and different flavors.

Suquet de pescado. Apparently the dish that Chef Raúl is known for. His fish. And yes, the fish was excellent. Cooked to perfection. Tender and flaky, the way fish was meant to be cooked. The sauce was excellent. Smooth in texture, and flavorful, yet never overpowering the focus of the dish, which was the fish. I didn't really appreciate the few bones that I found in my fish, however.

Ganache de chocolate. The name says it all. And hands down, my favorite dish of the night. But then again, soy muy golosa, according to José. Warm chocolate ganache. Thick, dense, but smooth as silk as it slides down your throat. The vanilla ice cream added the perfect balance between warm and cold. It was simply perfect.

So, does Chef Raúl live up to his name? I think so. It was an honor to be in the presence of such a highly respected chef, to eat a delicious meal that was specially prepared for us, and to share this experience with one of my dearest friends. And at the end of our wonderful meal, unsurprisingly, another food baby. This time I named him Raúl in honor of Chef Raúl.