We started from the hotel together with the Spanish teacher Beatriz Pavon at 8:00 in the morning. Shortly after, the Spanish students welcomed us to their school. The students formed transnational groups and got to know the program of the week.
Then the headmaster welcomed us and introduced us to the various training opportunities at his school „IES Gregorio Prieto“. Afterwards, two students presented Valdepeñas‚ typical regional dishes, such as the „Cordero Manchego“ ham, „Queso Manchego“, „Mancha“ saffron and the geographically protected Manchego lamb.
Later we had an interesting tour through the school building and visited the different kitchen areas. Here, the focus was not only on the equipment of the kitchens, but also on the group division in the kitchens for the next few days.
After a coffee break with delicious tomato spread on “Tostadas”, which were refined with some virgin olive oil, the students went to work in mixed language groups.
The aim of this morning was to prepare the Slow Food menu:
- Creamy Manchego cheese with coulis from Asadillo
- „Almagro“ eggplant in tempura
- „Duelos y Quebrantos“ of the 21st century
- „Atascamburas“ foam on bread bed
- „Manchego“ lamb with porcini mushrooms and saffron sauce
- „La vina“ cheesecake
Each group had to work on one or two dishes. The students determined the costs, informed themselves about allergens and discussed the presentation of the individual dishes on the plate. One group took care of the decoration of the tables, the menus and the organization of the service. After having lunch together at the school, the students explored the surrounding area in small groups.
From 19:00 on, we had the opportunity to taste local cheese, ham and wine at „IES Gregorio Prieto”. A teacher of the school informed us about the evaluation criteria of cheese. Everyone was able to fill in their own questionnaire. Two young winemakers from Valdepeñas gave us a brief overview of white and red grape varieties grown around Valdepeñas. We tasted a light white wine, which the Spanish like to enjoy on warm summer evenings, and two aromatic reds. We could taste the aroma of pineapple, mango and clove. Finally, we tasted „Cordero Manchego“ presented by a butcher. He showed us the art of Spanish ham slicing.
During the tasting, the project group discussed the importance of traditional regional food as part of the cultural heritage. At the same time, creative approaches became clear: For example, one of the tasted wines serves to draw attention to the situation of endangered local animal species such as the Iberian lynx.