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Barcelona. Ahh, Barcelona was so good to us and I would have to place this trip in our top three of places we’ve visited as a couple. The city is beautiful, walkable, and there is plenty to do. The food is amazing! We did not have one bad meal while there. Since Spain – Valencia, Spain – is known for paella, I thought it would be fun to learn how to make authentic Paella. Guess what I did? I signed up my husband and me for a paella cooking class.

We Learned How to Make Authentic Paella in Barcelona, Spain {Recipe}

What Is Paella?

Paella is a rice dish with a combination of meats, beans, and seasonings. This well-known dish has an ancient history, originating in Valencia, Spain. Valencian paella AKA the O.G. paella consists of round grain white rice called Senia, green beans (bajoqueta and tavella), meat (chicken and rabbit, sometimes duck), garrofó (a variety of lima beans or butterbeans), sometimes snails or seasonal ingredients like artichokes. Saffron and rosemary are also used to season this tasty dish. Paella, however, can be made using various meats, seafood or vegetables.

Did You Know? Paella is a Valencian word for pan. The dish gets its name from the pan its made in.
Did You Know? Paella is a Valencian word for pan. The dish gets its name from the pan its made in.

The paella my husband and I made, roots originated in the mid-19th century on the east coast of Spain and uses a different rice: bomba. Bomba rice is less likely to overcook. After experiencing how tasty it was we stocked up to bring some home so that we could try out what we’ve learned.

Marta Amb Tu Cuinem Paella Cooking Class Marta Cooking

How Did I Find the Paella Cooking Class?

Finding a class to learn how to make authentic Paella was easy. I searched TripAdvisor and came across Marta Amb Tu Cuinem who had numerous rave reviews. After reviewing her Facebook page and connecting with her via email, I felt comfortable enough to book her paella cooking class.

Marta Amb Tu Cuinem Paella Cooking Class Marta Cooking Paella

What We Liked About Marta’s Paella Cooking Class

Marta was knowledgeable about paella and its history in Spain. We learned that in Valencia, they really did not put seafood in their paella, it was more meat and vegetables. Marta told us that although people come to Spain to try paella, many of the local restaurants in Barcelona do not make a good paella.

How to make authentic paella

I like that Marta keeps her classes small; 10 people or five couples are allowed per class. Each of us was assigned tasks such as cutting vegetables or seafood, cleaning dishes and cooking the actual seafood paella.

Another thing is Barcelona is filled with so many markets for fresh seafood, vegetables, and fruits. Prior to the class, Marta did all of her shopping at these local markets to ensure we had the freshest ingredients for our authentic paella. Nothing came from a can or was frozen. She even made the fish stock from scratch.

How to make authentic paella ingredients

Of course, after helping to make the paella, the best part was eating it. We were definitely able to taste the freshness of the gambas (shrimp) and other seafood and vegetables.

You are probably drooling over the photos of the paella, right? That is why I am to sharing Marta’s recipe with you so that you can try it for yourself. But, I must say, there is nothing like making it with a group of strangers while sipping wine and taking in rooftop views of Barcelona. It is an experience everyone must have! We would definitely take Marta’s Paella Cooking Class again.

Check out Marta on Facebook and TripAdvisor

Authentic Paella Recipe (Pin it)

Learn how to make authentic paella with this recipe


Do you take cooking classes while traveling?

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Kim S.
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Kim is the do-it-all mom (and wife) who not only works full-time and is a freelance makeup artist, but also blogs about her love of family, travel, beauty, and skincare. She's also the class parent for her daughter's 2nd-grade class. These are all tough jobs, but somehow, she gets it all done while making it look easy.