Louisa, a Lex School of Talent Apprentice gives us the lowdown on the apprentice trip to Barcelona!
Last week the Lexy apprentices along with the Galvins apprentices were lucky enough to be taken on a two day trip to Barcelona visit some of our suppliers with Belazu and Great British Chefs – and I was one of them!
After stepping off the plane into the Spanish sunshine, the first port of call was to pay our hosts Monica and Edward Vargas a visit at ‘Clos Pons’, a family run olive grove in L’Albage’s outside Barcelona to learn more about olive oil.
The picking of the olives takes place from mid-October until Christmas and this is what we had come to see! The first stage of production involves extracting water from the olives in the fermentation process, the olives are then frozen for 24 hours and then kept fresh at -25c.
After walking through the ancient olive groves we were treated to a lovely al fresco tapas lunch of bread, lamb chops, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes and cheese – delicious!
After lunch we were given a tour of the factory and shown the process of manufacturing olives into olive oil. We then helped harvest the olives using a manual method using combs to ‘shackle’ the trees free of their olives.
We then did an olive oil tasting with flavoured oils, the list was endless! My favourites were the garlic, sweet paprika and of course the truffle one!
To round off the day we did a red and white wine tasting – the perfect end to our trip to the farm!
The next day started with a traditional Spanish brunch; tomato bread, aubergine, potato and artichoke tortilla, jamon Serrano and paprika octopus.
We then headed to a small family run vinegar factory company called Badia Vinagres. They have created a magic way of making new vinegars, infusing grape flavours of Merlot, Chardonnay, Muscatel or even fruit to create really punchy flavours. The company even uses grapes from Germany to produce a Riesling grape vinegar!
The family then treated us all to a super tasty final supper of Spanish tapas, with a glass or two of wine of course… Then before we knew it was time to jet off back home to London.
It was an incredible trip that really helped fire up our passion for great ingredients and it was a great way to get to know our fellow apprentices from Galvins that bit better.
Photo courtsey of Ella from Great British Chefs