Spanish Culinary Arts
Spanish Culinary Arts—a program exclusively designed with José Andrés, the titan of Spanish cuisine—offers you an unparalleled education in one of the world's most dynamic cuisines. After two intense months in New York and one week in Spain, you'll have the hands-on experience, insight, and connections you need to transform your career.
A Unique Chance to Become a Truly Authentic Spanish Chef
The International Culinary Center has one core goal: to provide our students with 21st-century world-class training in authentic cuisine that will lead them to a successful career. This means taking our students beyond the four walls of a kitchen. It also means working with the very best chefs in the world in order for our students’ goals to be realized.
As proof of that never-ending commitment, Spanish Culinary Arts is a program for those who want to learn about authentic Spanish cuisine, a program exclusively designed with our newest dean, Chef José Andrés. In just 11 weeks, you will grasp the fundamentals of both traditional and avant-garde Spanish cuisine, with an intensity that will prepare you for a truly successful career in a cuisine that is recognized as one of the world’s most dynamic.
Learn Authentic Spanish Culinary Arts the José Andrés Way
In the last few years, Spanish cuisine has become perhaps the most talked about and the most exciting in world cuisine, offering even more opportunities for rising star chefs. And no one has been at the forefront of that movement more than José. Rarely has a chef carried a nation’s cuisine with such skill, gusto, and pride across the world. In 2011, this resulted in him being named the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef, and in 2012, José was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people.
We are therefore extremely excited to offer our students the chance to learn from a Spanish Culinary Arts curriculum designed exclusively by José, in collaboration with Colman Andrews, author of Catalan Cuisine, regarded by José and many others as a bible of culinary knowledge.
No other school can offer this unique opportunity to learn how one of the world’s greatest chefs thinks about Spanish food. No other school can prepare you in just 11 weeks to be ready for a world-class Spanish kitchen.
You'll Learn in New York. You'll Be Inspired in Spain.
At the International Culinary Center, we pride ourselves on making sure that our graduates are the most desired in the profession. This course will give our students an enormous competitive edge. It will allow you not only to be fully immersed in Spanish cuisine, but also to travel to Spain and experience first-hand the ingredients and passion that go into authentic Spanish cooking.
No modern world-class culinary training can possibly confine you to the four walls of a kitchen. To truly master your art, you have to see, touch, smell, and understand every ingredient. You have to travel and immerse yourself in the surroundings of local products, local chefs, and the local sense of life.
After two intensive months in New York—during which you’ll cover everything from knife skills, to learning the art of the asador, the subtleties of paella, the authentic ways to prepare meat and fish, the Spanish way to bake bread, and the cultural and regional influences that go into every dish—our students will spend a week in Spain. Because of José’s unparalleled, lifelong connections, you will visit the very best cheese and seafood producers, vineyards, food markets, tapas bars, and restaurants in order to soak in the soul of Spanish cuisine.
Our goal is not merely to have you ready for a world-class Spanish kitchen. It’s to have you ready to add your own imagination, your own nuances, and your own sense of contemporary taste to a cuisine that is as historic and robust as the land from which it comes.
Authentic. Intense. Unique. First.
José’s principles are clear and strong. They stem from an appreciation of the history of Spanish cuisine, the cultural influences, and the regional heritages that lead to such a rich variety of tastes. This program will ensure that you will have the fullest grasp of everything that can lead you to becoming the next great pioneer of Spanish culinary arts.
Immerse Yourself in Authenticity, Originality, and an Understanding of the Spanish Culture. Graduate ready to make Spanish culinary arts your career.
After two months of intensive work, in New York and a week in Spain, you will be ready to take on the challenge of a world-class Spanish kitchen. You will be well-versed in the skills, but also in the necessary cultural and artistic nuances that have brought Spanish cooking contemporary admiration.
No other program can offer you this kind of training in perhaps the most talked-about cuisine today. The International Culinary Center’s commitment to its students and to their futures is such that we are able to offer a program—the likes of which has never been seen—in partnership with our new dean, Chef José Andrés.
Our enthusiasm and never-ending quest for perfection will serve to propel you in whichever direction you want your career to take.
Introduction to Spain for Cooks
The Fundamentals of Spanish Cooking
Rice and Pasta
Eggs and Vegetables
Contemporary and Avant-Garde Cuisine
Breads, Cheese, and Desserts
Wine and Other Beverages
A Week in José Andrés' Spain
You can’t understand modern Spanish cuisine without grasping its history. The ingredients in Spanish cuisine have been defined over the course of 2,000 years. Roman, Greek, Italian, African, South American, and North European influences have all impacted the way Spanish food is created.
An authentic 21st-century Spanish chef has to be immersed in how and why all those influences came together. Without this knowledge, you cannot understand the ingredients and how to apply them. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to create better, more imaginative flavors. You’ll be introduced to three sociocultural memes that illuminate fundamental aspects of Spanish culinary culture.
You’ll understand the role of La Cuaresma (Lent) in the creation of egg and vegetable dishes and preserved fish such as bacalao. You’ll come to appreciate the role of the annual pig slaughter known as La Matanza, and see its cultural, social, and religious implications. Then there’s tapas. Your introduction to tapas will go far beyond recipes to reveal how these “little plates” both reflect and define the lives of Spaniards.
Here the standards will be set. You'll begin to learn the culinary techniques and the discipline the International Culinary Center is renowned for teaching that will serve as the foundation, not just for your time in class, but for your entire culinary career. You’ll start with the essential techniques that are truly fundamental to working in any professional kitchen.
You’ll quickly move on to methods that are uniquely Spanish: like the best way to use equipment such as cazuelas and paella pans; and the knowledge to cook over hot coals or open fires. Canning, salt curing, air drying, and sausage making will be reviewed and classic sauces like allioli, romesco, and salsa brava will be in your new skill set.
The Spanish approach to rice is unique among European cuisines. Many have believed they understood it, and many have tried to imitate it. But the authentic methods require true native techniques. These you will learn here.
You will explore the history and culture of paella in its home region of Valencia: Paella Valencia is a dish that is renowned worldwide. You’ll apply your newly acquired knowledge of regional cultures and pair this with the proper culinary techniques to create authentic pasta and rice dishes such as fideuà al estilo de Gandia (“paella" of short noodles), arroz caldoso de bogavante (soupy rice with lobster) and cazuela de fideos a la Malaguena con almejas (Andalusian short noodles with clams).
Everyone knows tortilla Española. Or at least they think they do. But nothing is ever quite so simple in Spain. Spanish omelettes might have zucchini, white beans, or chorizo. Each requires its own understanding. And eggs are prepared regionally in different and imaginative ways. You must grasp huevos fritos con migas a la Extremena (fried eggs with fried breadcrumbs), as well as piperrada with shrimp, salt cod, or mushrooms. Another must is huevos High Life “Angel Muro.”
Vegetable dishes are connected to Lent in Spanish tradition. You will explore artichokes with ham and mushrooms with garlic and parsley. You'll also learn traditional soups like gazpacho tradicional and sopa de ajo Manchega (garlic soup). But again, the Spanish imagination and history has taken vegetables into all sorts of imaginative detours.
Here, you’ll gain a knowledge of alubias negras de Tolosa, which are black Tolosa beans with cabbage. You’ll become familiar with “wrinkled” potatoes from the Canary Islands or, to give them their local name, “papas arrugadas with two Mojos.” Another vegetable fundamental is calcotada salvitxada. To become fluent in Spanish eggs and vegetables is to truly understand a vital element of regional cuisines.
When your country borders both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, seafood is inevitably at its culinary heart. For you, access to an enormous breadth of seafood will mean learning the simplest Spanish dishes and the most avant-garde, both of which are created with ingredients that have a sublime density of flavor.
Examples of dishes you are likely to prepare include gambas a la plancha, calamares a la Romana, Gallecian-style octopus, and cuttlefish in its own ink. You’ll learn how to make Catalan seafood medley and Tarragona fish stew. Finally, you’ll survey the commonly used fish, shellfish, and cephalopods from the Spanish waters, along with US substitutes for rarities such as gooseneck barnacles, cod "cheeks," and sea cucumber. Fish soups and stews—dishes that sound basic—come alive when you truly learn authentic Spanish cuisine. Bacalao, for example, is more than just an ingredient; it’s a building block that you’ll use to deepen your understanding of tradition.
There’s no better way to master the art of the asador than learning how to roast a suckling pig. After that, you’ll be ready to tackle chicken, rabbit, and game in the Spanish style. You’ll learn how a marinade from the Canary Islands takes the taste of rabbit to a new place. You’ll be inspired to use practically every part of the animal. This knowledge will help you appreciate what is truly possible and will help you to become an indispensable asset in any kitchen. You’ll need new skills to deal with wild game too. Your new knowledge of hare, quail, pigeon, wild boar, and venison will help you create flavors you had never thought possible.
It’s easy to imagine that much of the most celebrated Spanish cuisine today is avant-garde. But not one of the great Spanish avant-garde chefs would have made it without a complete grasp of fundamental techniques. If you want to be a great chef with a career that has the potential for breadth and growth, you need both. In this program, you will understand how the two are linked and how avant-garde emerged from an appreciation of the traditional.
You will gain a historical perspective of contemporary cuisine in Spain, with a special emphasis on the "new Basque" and "new Catalan" chefs.
You’ll be taken through spherification, making foams and airs, using liquid nitrogen, sous-vide cooking, dehydration, and freeze drying. A thorough familiarity with these is vital in order to allow you to differentiate yourself as you launch your own career.
You’ll see how deconstruction and other innovative techniques pioneered by Ferran Adrià, Martín Berasategui, Andoni Aduriz, and other great Spanish chefs push the limits of what food can be and how it can stir a diner’s imagination. You’ll learn how to make, for example, Chef Ferran’s famous liquefied olives and a tortilla of deconstructed potatoes.
Not every Spanish meal includes bread, cheese, and dessert. However, to be a successful Spanish chef you need a thorough grounding in these essentials. Again, each region looks at these foods in its own way, according to its own principles handed down through generations. You will gain a feel for the techniques, attitudes, and styles that go into the dishes served at very beginning of a meal and its end.
Spain is fortunate in that so many of its breads are well-known. What’s less well known are the deep-seated techniques that go into making these breads. You’ll learn how to bake everything from a typical loaf to a country-style bread to Catalan flatbread (perfect with botifarra sausage and vegetables). In addition, you’ll become familiar with a variety of empanadas.
Spanish cheese also has its own nuances too. You’ll be introduced to some familiar Spanish cheeses and to the most acclaimed with everything from Afuega’l pitu to Zamorano.
As for desserts, you’ll encounter crème caramel, Catalan burnt cream, and rice pudding and gain grounding in the most traditional and the most modern approaches.
Spanish wine has emerged from being a product for mostly local consumption to becoming one of the most exciting frontiers in the wine world today. You’ll participate in tastings that will help you become intimately familiar with each wine’s regional roots. This isn’t merely so that you can create successful pairings, but also so that you can develop your own wine palate that can serve as one of the building blocks for your own culinary creativity.
You’ll come to understand how and why so many of these varietals have now blossomed to become essentials on the world’s wine lists. You’ll also learn pairings that bring out the intricacies of various wine and food combinations. It’s not enough to know what a Rioja or a Godello taste like. It’s important to know how they will match the dishes you create.
You’ll also cover some of the non-wine essentials. Sangria, for example, must be understood, as must Horchata, Sidra Asturiana, cremate, and so many of the finest Spanish brandies and liqueurs.
No student of Spanish cuisine can truly progress without going to Spain to get a firsthand experience of ingredients, its environment, and its dining culture. Chef José has deep, lifelong relationships with the best and most celebrated farmers, growers, chefs, and winemakers in Spain. His connections mean that at the end of the program you will go to Spain to experience the finest local gastronomy for yourself.
No amount of words and pictures can substitute for seeing, touching, tasting, and experiencing the ingredients, the tapas bars, the farms, the markets, and the restaurants that together create the Spanish culinary experience. This is your unique opportunity to see and experience it for yourself.
The International Culinary Center would like to thank our very generous donors of the below scholarships. Five students received the opportunity of a lifetime to study Spanish Culinary Arts at The ICC and travel to Spain with our Dean of Spanish Studies, renowned Chef José Andrés.
Jaleo by Jose Andres Scholarship
Scholarship Amount: $26,500
Donated by Chef José Andrés, renowned Spanish culinary innovator and Dean of Spanish Studies at the International Culinary Center, and his ThinkFoodGroup, in the name of their Spanish tapas restaurants Jaleo
ICEX / Food and Wines from Spain
Scholarship Amount: $13,250 (two scholarships)
ICEX Spain, Export and Investment represented with Foods and Wines from Spain which supports exports from Spain.
Scholarship Amount: $26,500
Campofrio is one of the world’s leading cured meats company, based in Madrid
We will be posting new scholarships for our August 1 class when available.