Spanish Cooking Classes in Magical Vejer de la Frontera

A Spanish cooking class at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen.
Fish for lunch?

*SPECIAL TOUR* — In September 2017 I’ll be leading a 9-day tour through Andalusia, featuring a stop at Annie B’s kitchen! Find out all info here: Devour Andalusia 9 Day Culinary Tour

Nearly everything I know about Andalusian cooking I learned from my mother-in-law. She’s an excellent home cook, and in true Andalusian fashion never measures anything and never follows a recipe. Her cooking is simple, yet extremely flavorful, and her recipe for salmorejo is still the best I’ve ever tried.

But the Andalusian kitchen is so rich and complex that I could dedicate many more years to learning its nuances. Luckily, I had the chance to dive into some new recipes with my friend and cooking instructor Annie, the owner of Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen.

Taking a cooking class when traveling is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. There’s nothing like homemade food– and it’s even better when you’ve learned how to make it yourself, in the hands of a local expert! Here in Spain, I’ve taken cooking classes in Seville and in León, both of which were excellent experiences. So when I recently visited the beautiful village of Vejer de la Frontera the first thing on my list was taking a cooking class with my friend Annie, an expert in local Andalusian cuisine and sherry wines.

Cooking class in Spain in Vejer.
Annie is a fantastic cooking instructor!

Alejandro and I met Annie and her four other students at the Barbate fish market and were quickly whisked through the colorful market stalls in search of the freshest local almadraba tuna and small fresh anchovies. I knew Annie from my work in Spain’s travel and tourism industry, but actually met her for the first time only recently when she joined one of our Madrid tapas tours. But, this time, we were on her turf, only a short drive from Alejandro’s hometown but what feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid.

Barbate fish market in Spain. Food Tours in Spain.
The colorful Barbate Market.

Shopping at the Barbate Market

The Barbate Market is small and unassuming but is arguably where some of the world’s best tuna and fresh fish is sold daily. Annie compared stalls for the best cuts of tuna, a whole octopus, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Everything would be used during the week’s cooking classes held at her home and cooking studio in the gorgeous white village of Vejer de la Frontera.

Almadraba tuna from Barbate Spain is bluefin tuna available in May and June.
The incredible local “Almadraba” tuna.
The tuna at the Barbate fish market in Spain.
The expert slicing some tuna belly.
Tuna heart for sal at the Barbate fish market.
Bizarre foods alert! Tuna heart for sale!

Time to Cook

After the market, we made a quick pit stop for some pre-class fuel at a local venta, where we tried melt-in-your-mouth zurrapa, a paprika-infused lard spread with chunks of Iberian pork, and some local alfajores de Medina Sidonia (a delicious Moorish influenced cookie, made with ground almonds and hazelnuts and lots of spices and sesame seeds), which are perfect with coffee.

Zurrapa is a Spanish pork spread, often eaten for breakfast in Andalusia.
Incredibly delicious local zurrapa spread.

Well-prepared and back in Vejer, we marveled at Annie’s gorgeous home and kitchen, which was perfectly cool on the hot Vejer day (as most traditional Andalusian homes are). On the menu? A lot. I was surprised to learn we’d be preparing four dishes, a sauce, and a dessert! All while learning about local sherry wines, of course– Annie’s specialty.

What we Made

Boquerones Fritos (Fried Anchovies)

Gutting anchovies at a Spanish cooking class.
Annie teaches us to gut anchovies.
Making fried anchovies in Spain.
We split the anchovies open for better presentation.
Fried anchovies at a Spanish cooking class in Vejer.
The finished product! Lightly fried anchovies with lemon– delicious!

Gambas Hervidas (Boiled prawns with Garlic Chili Dipping Sauce)

Boiled prawns in Spain.
Delicious boiled prawns.

Atún Encebollado (Tuna and Onion Stew)

Delicious paprika spiced tuna stew.
Delicious paprika spiced tuna stew.

Pescado a la Sal (Whole Fish Cooked in a Salt Crust)

Whole fish cooked in a salt crust in Spain.
Delicious whole fish cooked in a salt crust.

Salsa Verde (Green Sauce)

Annie B's Spanish kitchen cooking classes in Vejer.
The final meal on Annie’s terrace– then we were up to the rooftop for dessert!

Tarta de Chocolate y Almendra (Chocolate and Almond Cake)

Annie B's Spanish Kitchen
A dessert with the best views ever– and plenty more sherry!
Cooking classes in Spain
Gorgeous views of Vejer from Annie’s rooftop terrace.
A delicious and moist cake topped with Pedro Ximenez infused raisins!
A delicious and moist cake topped with Pedro Ximenez infused raisins!

Sherry Pairings: Manzanilla (for the anchovies and shrimp), Amontillado (with the tuna stew) and Pedro Ximenez with dessert! We enjoyed local white wine with the fish.

How to book

Annie B. offers different classes and packages all year round, and you can see current availability on her website or get in touch with her for more information. The other (lovely) ladies who shared the kitchen with us that day were staying a total of four days for all sorts of delicious classes (including one dedicated to Andalusian and Moroccan salads– yum!).

Website

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*If you book, please let Annie know I sent you her way!

Have you done a cooking class while traveling? Where?

If you’re headed to Madrid, Seville, Malaga or Barcelona as a part of your gastronomic getaway, be sure to check out my Devour Spain Food Tours and Tapas Tours!

Comments

  1. Food looks amazing! Curious about the salt crusted fish. Is it pure salt? Is it then removed after cooking? Beautiful pictures! Wish I was with you!

  2. Annie and I connected a few years ago through WABAS. I loved her approach to food, laugh and love for sherry! I WILL make it on one of her tours and classes some day!

  3. Hi, I am going to Tenarife and will stay there for a week, are there Anie B’s classes in Tenerife? Or any others cooking class there? Thanks

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