Innovation and progress in Spanish gastronomy: from the kitchens to the classrooms
The seeds to jump from the kitchens to the university lecture halls have been sown for a long time and are starting to reap their rewards. As a world leader, Spanish gastronomy, backed by the quality of its products and the professional and creative level of its chefs, has become an essential component of Marca España. So much so, that culinary training in Spain faces a new challenge: investing in research and development and improving the training of professionals of the sector. ()
“This culinary revolution in the classrooms has been consolidated under the impulse of the great Spanish chefs who have insisted on the need to improve the training of chefs”.
Therefore, gastronomy gains the necessary structure and form for the growth of the sector, in which tourism cannot be separated if it aims to offer an ambitious proposal capable of seducing the most discerning of travellers. Thanks to the enormous boost given to the training of culinary professionals, we are breaking records. Looking no further, Spain was the third most visited country in the planet in 2013.
In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of the most innovative culinary centres in the world, such as the Basque Culinary Center, with its headquarters in San Sebastian, pioneer in taking gastronomy to the university and giving it a scientific nature that was previously lacking. The Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts that was introduced in 2009 was the first of this nature in the whole of Europe. In addition to the Basque Culinary Center, there are also higher training centres, such as the Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, which has been home to the prestigious haute cuisine school, Le Cordon Bleu Madrid, which is the network’s third European centre and developed the first Degree in Gastronomy in Madrid.
There are also Erasmus programmes in the kitchens. The export of Spanish cuisine through the training of foreign students is an option that has caught on in Spain, as is the case of the exclusive Fernando Pérez International School in Valladolid, which works alongside ICEX to offer Spanish cuisine training to young international chefs who raise awareness of our culinary excellence on their return to their respective countries. In this respect, it is worth highlighting the work of the Girona School of Catering and Tourism, an institution that has trained leading professionals in world gastronomy, such as the Roca brothers.
In addition to these educational centres, it is worth pointing out the ambitious project by the chef, Ferrán Adría, elBullifoundation, which will become the leading culinary R&D centre in the world. On the other hand, over the years, many private culinary schools have emerged, such as Alambique or Telva, both of which are in the Regional Community of Madrid. They are small institutions whose teaching and communication efforts have done their bit to reach the excellent level and prestige that Spanish gastronomy currently enjoys at home and abroad.