November, December, and January at the Artisan Culinary School were filled with exploration, skill-building, and new collaborations. From attending Spain’s largest food and beverage fair to awarding our first Artisan Meats Specialist diploma, these three months showcased our commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. Notably, these were our first three all-inclusive courses.
Gastrónoma Experience and Meat Courses Kick-Off
In November, the Artisan Culinary School embarked on a culinary adventure with students. Before starting three meat courses – French, Spanish, and Italian transformed meats – we decided to travel to Valencia and participate in Gastrónoma, Spain’s largest food and beverage fair. This experience allowed us to taste products from various regions of Spain, explore wines from prestigious wine-producing areas, witness demonstrations, and strengthen partnerships, including a meeting with our allies from Stagionello.
The meat courses that followed were successful, with students exploring the art of crafting French, Spanish, and Italian transformed meats. To close our second week of meats, we took the students to an artisanal microbrewery in Altea called Althaia. The brewery produces over 20 types of delicious beers. The students toured the facilities and then enjoyed a guided tasting of some of their beers along with perfect pairings.
A highlight of this period was awarding the first Artisan Meats Specialist diploma to Mr. Jules Carney from The Leaping Pig Charcuterie, marking a significant milestone in our school’s journey.
Noteworthy Guests: Dr. Gary Mihalik, Laurie Shepherd, and Chef Ricardo Guerrero
During the courses, Dr. Gary Mihalik, an accomplished gelato expert, author, and our teammate, joined us for the French Charcuterie course, adding a unique dimension to our culinary exploration. Former charcuterie student Laurie Shepherd spent delightful days with us in Altea, savoring Chef Ryan’s menus and enjoying the weather. Additionally, Chef Ricardo Guerrero, Chef Juan’s last restaurant’s executive chef, visited during our first week, sharing his vast knowledge with students by demonstrating his butchery skills.
Team Unity and Official Photos
The last week of courses brought an important occasion – the core team of the Artisan Culinary School gathered for the first time. Chef Liz, our pastry and bread chef, visited from Madrid for a few days. This was celebrated with our first official photos.
December: Northern Italy Culinary Training and Christmas Break
Following the courses, Chef Juan embarked on a culinary journey through Northern Italy, specifically Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige. This training involved immersing himself in the region’s Christmas markets and connecting with speck producers, laying the groundwork for future collaborations and food and wine tours.
The Artisan Culinary School team then embraced a well-deserved Christmas break, allowing the team to spend quality time with their families, recharge, and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year.
January: Meat Courses, Recipe Improvements, and Future Plans
January saw the continuation of our meat courses, with a focus on improving our blood sausage repertoire. The commitment to continuous improvement was evident as we updated our meat course manuals, incorporating new recipes, formulas, and techniques. Each student attending a course receives a printed booklet of the current version, and updates are sent through email, ensuring that our students stay abreast of the latest culinary advancements.
Looking Ahead: Big Plans for 2024
As we move into the remainder of 2024, the Artisan Culinary School has exciting plans on the horizon. The prospect of visiting the USA to offer courses and promote the school is a testament to our commitment to spreading culinary knowledge globally. Stay tuned for more details on this upcoming adventure!
Looking forward, the horizon for the Artisan Culinary School is brimming with excitement. 2024 promises the completion of our long-awaited headquarters, providing a dedicated space for culinary innovation and learning. We are thrilled to forge new partnerships that will enhance the breadth of our culinary expertise. As the word spreads, we anticipate a diverse influx of students from all corners of the globe, eager to partake in our enriching courses. The future is ripe with possibilities, and we are ready to embrace the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead. The Artisan Culinary School is not just a place to learn; it’s a destination for culinary enthusiasts seeking excellence, camaraderie, and a world-class education. Here’s to a year filled with growth, collaboration, and the joy of sharing our passion for food and hospitality with students from around the world.