Mallorca, April 2017

Mallorca April 2017

Palma in april
Just back from three weeks in Mallorca, I have been working with some food and beverage conferences down there. An Annual conference with chefs and food and beverage managers from around the Mediterranean and further afield.
We've been based at the tourist oriented Alcudia for most of the time, but with regular sightseeing excursions into Palma.   
Allergy theory, and practical cooking, Asian, Italian, Snacks, & a sushi master class have all been on the menu.  
The main pedestrian avenue up from the harbour to the city centre, Palma is a really stunning alive and vibrant little city. Many small cafe's and hide aways as well as the regular high street boutiques and high end fashion shops one would expect to find in a well to do recreational playground.   

Theres lots to see in the central part of the city, fantastic facades on some of the older buildings, Palma seems well aware of protecting it's tourist appeal, not only an enormous airport. 

Well manicured streets and pedestrian shopping areas are ready to milk your €€, everything attractively presented accessible

A typical little food shop spilling out onto the street, over full with local and Spanish delicacies.  

Almost side by side splashes of colours and appealing smells lure in those who pass by.

A wall of tomatoes garlic and chili beckon in the guests, these hang in a wine bar, Palma is full of little watering holes, wine bars, snack and tapas bars where the local produce is the centre of attention.  

Another curtain of chilli, a bit of a paradox that there's so much chilli on display, the Spanish chefs at the congress were those least inclined to eat and cook with chilli even when it was included in the recipes. they syed away big time.
A ceramic tile along the harbour walkway all the mollusks and shellfish from the Mediterranean are represented here, food is not far from ones thoughts wherever you go here.   

Local restaurants grill traditionally in the restaurants, some are better than others as is always the case, usually its the waiter or patron who stands at the grill and conducts the service, not a chef in sight.

The grill is a focus and showcase in many traditional Spanish restaurants often built directly in the restaurants and an interactive part of the service and guest entertainment. 

We tried a tomahawk steak, big as hell dinner for two, we had to fight to get through it all, it was Spanish beef, tasty and tender.

"Ensimada" the local cream pastry available everywhere and served in different forms and tastes, a must try. iconic hexagonal packaging, the locals buy them in multipack stacks. If you want to bring one home theres a specialty shop at the airport just on the other side of the tax free funnel.   

Ham, Ham, Ham, also available every where, in Palma theres some great speciality ham shops and tasting bars that are just so designed, that it makes you wonder, drop in watch how to carve the ham properly and taste the different varieties.

If you eat them buy many and taste your way around the country, they are a great ice breaker and talking points. 

The beach at out digs in Alcudia, on a nice day, the weather was very changeable during our weeks there, many hotels and resorts are very busy hustling with last minute details before the tourist season opens. some of the smarter hotels are already open at this time focusing on health escapes, spars and cycling, all around the island there are thousands of cyclists, pelotons and break out riders on the narrow roads all competing to survive the traffic. later during the summer season the same roads are choked with hire car herds and parking nightmares.      

The weather was a bit rougher in this picture, windy and cold, we had some rain as well, in northern Europe spring is just pushing winter out, in Mallorca during this period is warm and pleasant during the days a bit cooler during the nights, summer is really on the way.

During our cooking classes and conference it was all focus on everything but the Spanish kitchen, here we have a vegan dish, beetroot patties with soy yoghurt apple dip, not only are they vegan buy but also gluten free, the key ingredient is psyllium husks as a binding agent.   

Sushi is also a focus product, many hotels & resorts serve sushi, our goal was to inform and teach some golden rules to the head chefs, often the chef making the sushi isn't the head chef and he/she may not have the skills or knowledge to judge or make a constructive quality check, so hopefully we have given them the tools, knowledge and confidence to work with. 
We also made some short videos that are still under production, here is one of the finished dishes. an open chicken fajita tortilla, the finished videos will be exciting to see. great to do something new and different.

Its so long to Mallorca for now, one of Europe's most popular summer tourist destinations, an island with a huge capacity offering something for everyone.  


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