A Stay at Catacurian- September 2012
A warm & hospitable cooking school in the village of El Mosraig about 140 Kim's south west of Barcelona. Alicia xxxx, the owner has taken her grandparents old home & converted it to a home with all the modern amenities. Ensuites attached to each of the three guest rooms, a large guest common room with balcony overlooking her garden, as well as a dining room, kitchen & wine cellar, absolutely lovely.
Catacurian is advertised as a cooking school. I think of it as a great introduction to Catalunyan ( I didn't write Catalan for a reason. You will have to go to find out why.) culture & food. Alicia's not a formally trained chef, but she did learn the art of Catalunyan cooking from her grandmother & gramma taught her very well. For those looking to improve their hands-on culinary skills they will be disappointed, as you will be relegated to chopping the odd onion or green pepper.For the foodie voyeurs in the crowd, happy to eat & not wanting to improve their knife skills, you will be ecstatic. Iberian ham, a variety of paellas,veal & wild mushrooms, all made with seasonal locally sourced products & produce, with each lunch & dinner accompanied by wines from wine cellars in the two local appellations, El Priorat & Montsant.
You have a warm & hospitable host, her wonderful assistant Maite, in a beautiful home, in a quiet village & you are drinking good wines and dining on delicious food. Can you guild the lily? Yes you can. Ensure your stay provides for a wine tour of several local cellars. From the husband & wife team who run Ficaria Vins, producing a mere 8500 bottles a year ( Do not leave without taking home several bottles of Pater, his premium wine) from grapes grown on vines planted by his grandfather over 100 years ago, to the cooperative at El Mosraig which will bottle this year more than a million bottles of wine. Take advantage of the deal of a life time at the co-op by buying 2 litres of young wine for a 1.30 Euros. You have had $20.00 bottles of wine that were no where as high a quality as this.
Go, stay & enjoy
David O'Gorman, Also Known as "The Godfather of Consuelo"
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