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Have you been wondering which paella cooking class in Barcelona to take? Look no further! This review will help you make the best decision.
I’ve returned many times to sample haute cuisine at Gastronomika in San Sebastián, explore olive oil in Jaén and enjoy Basque dishes such as bacalao a la vizcaína.
The one Spanish dish that has wowed me the most is paella. This one-pot dish of aromatic saffron rice topped with meat, seafood, green beans and/or chorizo is famous throughout the world. You can find fantastic paella restaurants in Valencia, Barcelona and throughout Spain.
There’s no better way to learn how to make an authentic version of this classic Spanish dish than in a Paella Cooking Class in Barcelona.
Not only will you shop for ingredients at the colourful La Boqueria market, but you’ll get a hands-on lesson from a Spanish chef and enjoy tapas and pitchers of sangria in a historic building near La Rambla in the heart of Barcelona.
Paella Cooking Class Overview
More than just a cooking class, this Barcelona Culinary Experience includes:
✅ Shopping for ingredients at La Boqueria Market with a Spanish chef,
✅ Hands-on cooking class.
✅ Tapas and Spanish sangria.
✅ Professional kitchen and food-safety standards.
✅ Recipes to take home.
This paella cooking class is a fun, authentic introduction to Spain’s classic dish.
Overview of This Paella Cooking Class in Barcelona
During this 3-hour Barcelona Culinary Experience you’ll meet your chef and fellow participants at the cooking school located in the Gothic Quarter in central Barcelona.
Then you’ll walk to La Boqueria Market to select ingredients for the seafood paella. (There’s a vegetarian option if you don’t eat seafood).
Back at the cooking school you’ll chop the vegetables and prepare the seafood learning the secrets of making an authentic Spanish paella from the chef.
While the paella cooks, you’ll snack on tapas and sip refreshing Spanish sangria. After enjoying the delicious paella lunch you get to take the recipes home!
Barcelona Cooking Class Features
1. Shop for Paella Ingredients at La Boqueria Market Barcelona
One of the highlights of this cooking class is the opportunity to visit Barcelona’s Mercado de La Boqueria with Chef Gabriel, the instructor.
Set in the heart of Barcelona the market has been in operation since 1836 and is bustling economic, cultural and social hub. With 200 vendors offers everything from meats, cheese, fresh produce and glistening seafood, it’s an exciting place to start your day.
Shopping with a chef offers the opportunity to experience the market like a local rather than a tourist. You’ll learn how to choose the freshest squid, mussels, clams, prawns and other seafood while gathering ingredients for the paella.
2. Have Fun with Hands-on Instruction
A goal of any paella cooking class in Barcelona is to have fun. And this class at GAB LAB/ Gastronomic Arts Barcelona delivers.
It’s a small-group class (our class had just six people) so there’s lots of opportunity for questions.
We enjoyed rolling up our sleeves to clean the seafood (well maybe not so much for me when it came to the squid) and chop veggies.
Plus we learned a lot about making paella at every step in the process.
3. Learn the Secrets of Making Authentic Seafood Paella
Do you know how to remove the ink sac of a squid? Or devein a shrimp in one easy move?
Or how to create the coveted socarrat, that deliciously crispy, caramelized crust on the bottom layer of paella?
What’s the best type of rice to use?
You’ll pick up tons of tricks and pro tips at this centrally-located Barcelona paella cooking class. And the time will fly by!
4. Enjoy Tapas and Spanish Sangria
There are lots of paella cooking classes in Barcelona to choose from, but not every class includes sangria and tapas!
At the GAB LAB/Gastronomic Arts Barcelona you’ll not only enjoy chilled glasses of Spanish sangria with your lunch but you’ll learn how make it.
This sangria recipe is sure to be a hit in the summertime when entertaining at home. Wondering what makes it so special?
Hint: One of the sangria ingredients is a generous pour of cognac!
The tapas are seasonally inspired so will vary depending on what month you take your cooking class.
Our tapas selection included pimientos de padrón (the irresistible charred Spanish peppers), manchego cheese, charcuterie and pa amb tomàquet (Catalan bruschetta).
Pros of the Gastronomic Arts Barcelona Studio
Cons of This Paella Cooking Lesson
This paella cooking class is for people who want to roll up their sleeves and actually make paella!
If you’re looking for a demonstration-only lesson, you might be disappointed.
It’s an interactive, hands-on experience where you get to learn by doing rather than just watching.
However if you want to take a break or step back and let someone else clean that slippery squid, there’s no problem. Someone else will step in to take your place.
Our Experience Booking with Cookly.me
This was our first time booking with Cookly.me, a leading provider of local culinary experiences around the world.
We were thrilled with the quality of this cooking class, market visit, tapas and sangria experience.
Not only was it fun and educational, the paella we made was stellar!
- Smooth booking process. The email confirmation was fast and accurate.
- The cancellation policy allows you to cancel up to 48 hours prior to the class.
- No last-minute changes to location or class time. Confirmation included a map.
- Experienced (and entertaining) Spanish chef.
- Clean, sanitized commercial-grade kitchen with spacious food prep counters.
- Professional kitchen had all the essentials such as chopping boards, safety equipment, paella pans of all sizes, sharp knives, aprons, hand washing station.
- Food safety standards were followed for handing, preparing and storing the food. This is especially important for reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses.
- The 3-hour class started and ended on time.
- The seafood paella we made was delicious and portions were generous.
- No hidden costs.
- The 11:00 am start time allowed us to avoid the afternoon crowds at La Boqueria.
- Vegetarian paella option.
Who is This Paella Cooking Class For?
This culinary experience is suitable for couples of all ages, groups (such as a girls getaway or corporate team-building) and solo travellers.
It’s for people who want to immerse themselves in Barcelona’s culture for a few hours.
With our shopping bags from La Boquería market and pitchers of sangria chilling on the bar within the historic building, we had the feeling we were living in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region rather than just visiting.
Pricing and Location
The price of this Barcelona Culinary Experience was $88 per person (effective May 2023 and subject to change).
The price includes the market visit, the 3-hour cooking class, a selection of Spanish tapas, free-flowing sangria, and copies of the paella and sangria recipes.
Gratuity is extra.
We loved the central location of the Gastronomic Arts Barcelona cooking studio. It’s located in the Gothic Quarter just off the popular Las Ramblas. It’s actually around the corner from the Palau Güell, the palace designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, so it’s very atmospheric.
We easily walked to the cooking studio from our room at the Majestic Hotel & Spa on Paseo de Gracia.
Or, a $15 taxi from the Melia Sarrià, another hotel we like that offers fantastic value and views.
After the cooking class, we returned to La Boqueria Market to pick up some food souvenirs (Spanish olive oil, saffron, tinned sardines and sea salt).
To wrap up our paella lunch, we headed to Carrer de Petritxol (the chocolate street of Barcelona) for some churros and hot chocolate.
This historic, narrow pedestrian street (Google Map) is famous for its chocolate shops and is well worth including as a dessert stop.
Some alternatives to booking this Barcelona Paella Class with Cookly.me are:
Paella Cooking Class with Market Visit, Sangria and Tapas with Viator.com (more expensive)
Private Paella Cooking Class: Flexible times and private class in a chef’s home. No-one else will be joining you.
Private Cava Sabrage and Paella Class: In this fun class, you not only learn how to make paella but you’ll master the art of opening a bottle of cava ( the Spanish bubbly similar to champagne and prosecco) with a saber.
However, this Cava and Paella Class takes place in a bar rather than a kitchen studio. Price varies depending on number of people who book.
Final Thoughts: Is this Paella Cooking Class Worth It?
We recommend this paella cooking class in Barcelona for anyone who is interested in learning how to make Spanish paella.
It’s fun, educational and good value. The generous portion of paella substitutes for lunch (seafood paella for two at a restaurant with sangria and tapas could easily amount to $150 on its own).
Taking a paella cooking lesson is definitely a top thing to do in Barcelona for food lovers and culinary travellers.
Official Barcelona Tourism: Turisme de Barcelona
The best way to avoid crowds when taking a cooking class in Barcelona is to book a morning lesson. If you begin at 11:00 am you’ll visit La Boqueria market before the major crush of tourists and cruise ship crowds.
The most popular dish in Spain is paella. You can find it served in most regions but especially in Valencia, Barcelona, Seville and Madrid.
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.