Chef Connell spent several years in Spain opening the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. He said that he loved the lifestyle, the people, and of course, the food of Spain. So it was only natural that the menu for the class was Tapas – Garlic Shrimp, Tortilla de Patatas, Paella, and Crema Catalana.
Due to hotel liability issues I was told that the class would be a demo with a small amount of interaction. Little did I know that it was more than just a little interaction. Chef pulled people from the audience to help out, especially children when they were around – it was a true passion for him to instill the love of cooking in the youths.
He patiently showed each person how to hold a knife [he suggested holding a raw egg in the hand opposite of the knife hand to force your hand to curl] and the proper cutting techniques.
I know most chefs can flip things, but this tortilla de patatas was huge. Plus I’ve never got any other chef flipping stuff on camera. So here it is.
Seriously. I don’t know WHERE you get one of these AWESOME burnishers but i want me one. NOW. This thing was SIZZLING hot [he threw sugar on the surface and it FLAMED]. I can only imagine the things I could make with it. “Imagine” because I tend to set things on fire and it’d be really dangerous for me to own it.
I almost took that whole plate back to my room with me. The host of people standing around who would’ve stabbed me with their forks if I tried to run off with it pretty much prevented me from following through.
The best dish of the day was the garlic shrimp. My colleague and I repeatedly went back for some more of this shrimp. It was so simple to make [literally, toast garlic in olive oil, throw in the shrimp, top with chili flakes and parsley after shrimp has cooked, careful not to overcook the shrimp] and yet so flavorful! My colleague warned me that he WOULD stab me with his fork if I ran off with the bowl so I decided to stay put. He was my on staff EMT, so I quickly realized that he wouldn’t do anything to stop me from bleeding to death.