Man with a Plan

Since my acceptance into this program a few months ago, many of you have asked me exactly what I will be doing in Spain–and I had absolutely no idea. We all laughed at the lack of information thus far–how bad could it be, right?

Well, I just received a few sheets of paper outlining my life for the next 6 months and, dear reader, I think I need to change my underwear…

Never did I anticipate upon applying for this program that I would be a part of such unique opportunities to eat, learn, grow, eat, make friends, drink, and eat (and eat, and eat) .

Frankly, I figured my time here would be spent locked in a basement somewhere in La Mancha picking herbs, peeling potatoes, and being a subserviant bee-yotch to my whip-cracking taskmaster.

Au contraire! As I pick my jaw off of the floor and wipe the drool from my keyboard, I will now, to the best of my ability, detail for you what I never expected in my wildest, wettest dreams to be my first few months here. 

The scholarship is broken into 5 major parts:

1. 3-week tour of major Spanish gastronomic and cultural centers
2. 6-month culinary internship (I will be at Restaurante Adolfo in Toledo)
3. 3-week tour of major gastronomic and cultural centers, including 1-week at Madrid Fusion
4. 6-month culinary internship (I will be at Calima in Marbella)
5. Final graduation and culinary competition (unfortunatly, I will miss this last part due to a conflict with the beginning of my final semester at Cornell)

August 17 – September 10:
Location: Madrid
Language course, day-trips to festivals in Madrid, other free time w/ festivities and debauchery

September 11:
Location: Madrid
Meet team, dinner in Madrid

September 12:
Location: Madrid
Assist with prep for previous team’s cooking competition

September 13:
Location: Madrid
Assist with execution of previous team’s cooking competition

September 14:
Location: Madrid
AM: Welcome, lectures on traditional and modern Spanish gastronomy
PM: Practical session on cooking pisto manchego and Tortilla Española, potajes, and vegetable preparations; olive oil tasting

September 15:
Location: Segovia
Demonstration on traditional roasts, including cochinillo asado!

September 16:
Location: Madrid
AM: Visit Mercado Madrid, demonstration on churros and chocolate
PM: Visit the Prado, tapas at La Latina

Septmber 17:
Location: Toledo
AM: Visit Pago del Ama vineyards, wine tasting, marzipan factory tour, demonstration of making Migas
PM: Visit Adolfo wine cellar, dinner & wine pairing at Restaurante Adolfo–where I will be spending my first 6-month internship

September 18:
Location: Toledo
Walking tour, Bus to Alicante

September 19:
Location: Alicante
AM: Saffron cooking demo at Monastrell, Lunch at Monastrell
PM: Visit turron factory

September 20:
Location: Alicante
AM: Walking tour
PM: Train to Denia, lunch at El Poblet, train to Valencia

September 21:
Location: Valencia
AM: Seminar on rice, paella demonstration and practicum, train to Barcelona

September 22:
Location: Barcelona
AM: Bus to Sant Sadurni D’Anoia, visit wineries
PM: Lunch at Sant Sadurni, tasting of Cordorniú and Freixenet, dinner at ABAC

September 23:
Location: Barcelona
AM: Guided tour of La Boqueria, market Apertivos
PM: Lunch at Ca l’Isidre, visit Oriol Balaguer, walking tour of Barcelona

September 24:
Location: Barcelona
AM: Depart to Girona, morning lectures at local cooking school
PM: Lunch at Aula Gastronomica, visit El Bulli (!!!), dinner at Celler de Can Roca

September 25:
Location: Girona
AM: Return to Madrid, free day
PM: Flight to San Sebastián, dinner at Akelarre

September 26:
Location: San Sebastián
AM: Tour of San Sebastián, tour gardens and kitchen of Mugaritz
PM: Dinner at cider house

September 27:
Location: San Sebastián
AM: Depart to Axpe Valley, visit Txakoli wineries, visit bacalo producers
PM: Lunch at Extebarri, depart to Laguardia

September 28:
Location: Laguardia
AM: Visit Rosa winery, traditional lunch at Haro,
PM: Visit Loped de Heredia

September 29:
Location: Laguardia
AM: Tour of Marqués de Murrieta with enologist, depart to Ezcaray
PM: Lunch at Echaurren, return to Madrid

September 30:
Location: Madrid
AM: Wine tasting, depart to Málaga
PM: Dinner at La Moraga gastro-bar

October 1:
Location: Málaga
AM: Traditional Andalucian cooking demo/participation, lunch at Calima
PM: Bus to Jerez, dinner and flamenco show

October 2:
Location: Jerez
AM: Cooking with sherry course, sherry vinegar tasting
PM: Winery tours

October 3:
Location: Jerez
AM: Traditional cooking course, lunch at Sanlúcar de Barrameda
PM: Visit Bodegas Hidalgo and La Gitana, flight to Madrid

October 4:
Location: Madrid
AM: Day off
PM: Farewell dinner before restaurant sendoff

October 5:
Location: Madrid
Sendoff to restaurants


6 Responses to “Man with a Plan”

  1. i usually don’t comment on blogs but since its you jeffrey i made an exception. good luck to you in spain and you get to work with the king of liquid nitrogen-dani garcia. make sure you share your experience with us stuck here in the states.

  2. Daniel Czebiniak Says:

    Wow! I’m a little jealous… Enjoy it and keep us posted!

  3. Norma Dove Says:

    Oh to be young(ish) with the world at my feet again! Jeffrey, I couldn’t be happier for you! Soak it all in buddy!

  4. Katie Campagna Says:

    Jeff… just found your blog… this is amazing! Looking forward to reading of your adventures!!

  5. Joder Tio, estoy tan celosa. Dije a Lital que vaya a visitarte. Cuando estas en Marbella?
    San Sebastian es mi ciudad favorita.
    PS: Love the nicknames.

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