Saturday, 23 October 2021

Hola from Barcelona!

 Hello there! Gracia here from the beautiful city of Barcelona. Let me walk you through my overall experience here, with a special focus on my study life and college! 

Arriving to Barcelona felt like a dream. Throughout the whole summer I kept looking forward to the moment when I would fly to Spain. My expectations were significantly high and this city has surpassed each and every one of them. 

The hot weather was very much appreciated! I was very excited for this and to be able to soak up some well awaited sunshine. 

The life, the people, the shops, the streets, the overall environment is so enriching, both culturally and socially. Since the moment I landed, it was non stop. Tourist mode was officially activated. 

Visited markets, restaurants, pubs, beaches, museums, towns, shops, parks, zoos, food stands...the whole lot! 

I really wanted to take advantage of the few days I had before starting the reason why I came here in the first 

I am very passionate about my studies and when I found out that the University of Barcelona had the best Culinary Degree in all of Spain? Thats it. Decision = made. I needed a minimum of 20 credits so I ended up choosing fours modules: 

1. Creative Processes and Technological Appliances in Modern Cuisine 

2. Sweet Cuisine and Pastry

3. Local and Global Cuisine

4. Team Development and Managerial Practises

The reasons why I chose these specific modules are because; first of all, they are very varied and each touch on different aspects of what being a chef encircles. Also, each of the modules correspond to different year groups in the Culinary Arts course. Resulting in me being with a different class from each year with every module (1st to 4th years); which has allowed me have a bigger understanding of the educational level and have a wider friend group. All pros so far!

Shrimp Pannacotta

If I had to choose a favourite module so far it would be the Creative Processes and Technological Appliances in Modern Cuisine. The aim of this subject is to teach you how to be creative. They give you all the help and means in order to push and let out your inner creativity. In the practicals, they put you in a situation where they push you to your limits, and the only way out is to be creative. For instance, one day they told us we had to make a typical Spanish dish called "fideua" (essentially a seafood pasta with a tomato base cooked in a paella pan), without being able to use any of the ingredients that the original dish contains, AND it had to look and taste like so. The ingredients that we couldn't use included: pasta, seafood, tomato, salt, oil, water, flour, etc. My mind went :????. This is what I came up with: (see picture on the right). 

Or the time I was asked to make a dessert with the given ingredients and all they gave me was shrimp?! (see picture on the left)

Black Forest anyone?

In terms of the pastry module...I was shocked. I can hereby say that I have met the best pastry teacher EVER! The theory classes are prior to the practicals and there we are explained the science and chemical reactions behind all pastry elaborations. You know you are given a lot of information when your hand hurts from all the notes you take after each class :/. And the practicals live up to the standard, trust me. Who ever said pastry is calming and relaxing? Please come to the University of Barcelona and they might change your mind. 

The Local and Global Cuisine module is a very fun one! Essentially, the idea behind it is that you make a dish that has a local origin and transform it into a Global concept. I would dare to say that this is the busiest module that I have. The practical classes are hectic! And by hectic I mean that you are given 7 traditional dish recipes, and you have elaborate the 7, then make an author and a finger food version out of the 7; all of course respecting the aspects and originality of the traditional given dishes. Therefore, you have to present 21 dishes in a time period of 4 hours. "Don't forget to have fun" they say...
Bellow is an example of one of the many dishes we've done in this class: we had to make the three different dishes based off of a traditional almond biscuit.


AUTHOR "Biscotti"

FINGER FOOD "Biscotti"

The managerial class is the one full theoretical class that I take. Its great and gives an in depth insight of the principles of management, team forming and leading, and organising and overall development of a business. Might be handy for the future? Who knows!

All in all, the University of Barcelona indeed has an AMAZING culinary programme, it has won the award of one of the best of the best! I am absolutely delighted with what I am learning and how far I am progressing in my studies here. Hard work pays off, right? 


Talk soon! - Gracia

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