Learning to cook new things is something I really enjoy. It’s always surprised me that there are no cookery schools on Mallorca offering courses of a few days or more – the sort of thing you find advertised in glossy magazines and quality Sunday newspaper supplements in the UK. Or perhaps there are and I have yet to find them?
But there are certainly opportunities on Mallorca to brush up one’s kitchen skills. In the past on the island I have learned to make sushi. And earlier this week my friend Sandra and I attended the Gourmet Tapas workshop at Palma de Mallorca’s The Galley Club cookery school, run by Katy Rosales.
The Galley Club is in Palma’s Santa Catalina district, which is jam-packed with restaurants, cafes, and bars. The cooking school is just a few minutes’ walk from the area’s great indoor produce market – ideal for Katy to stock up on fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables for the school.
Most of the workshops start at 6pm and have a limit of eight participants – many of whom work in the nautical sector cooking for boat owners or charter clients. Some longer courses are specifically designed for yachties; others are also designed for keen – or even novice – cooks.
Seven of us were there to learn how to knock up some impressive tapas (there was a no-show, which was a pity, as there were more people wanting to attend than there were places). England, Holland, Colombia, South Africa, and Hungary were all represented around a central work station; the only male participant was a Mallorcan. Katy is Spanish but speaks good English (she has travelled the world – very often as a yacht chef), so the workshop was conducted in English, with some Spanish thrown in for the Colombian and Mallorcan participants.
We each had a list of recipes for different gourmet tapas, and were asked to choose one we’d make. I opted for coconut shrimp with mango mint dipping sauce, and was soon de-shelling and de-veining a bowl of plump prawns, as my companions followed the recipes for their own choice of tapa.
From the kitchen to the table
Katy kept a watchful eye on us all, giving tips and help as required. When it came to cooking, we (somehow) managed to have everything ready to eat at once. The evening ended around a dining table, laden with the fruits of our labours – and a couple of bottles of wine – and we spent some enjoyable time eating what we’d made and chatting . . . not suprisingly, mainly about food. My place for this evening cost 40 euros – which included all the ingredients, recipes, and our tapas ‘supper’ – and I felt it was good value, as well as fun.
If you want to spice up your life in the kitchen, check out The Galley Club’s website (in English and Spanish) for a wide variety of evening workshops and courses.
Thanks to Sandra (below), who used my camera to take some of the photos while I was up to my elbows in cornflour, egg white, and a combo of coconut and breadcrumbs! Anyone offer a course on how not to be a messy cook?