The Welcoming door at Finca BuenVino in Aracena, Spain.
Insider's RoadTrip: Andalucía May 2020
Insider’s RoadTrips were created to satisfy that culinary wanderlust that strike me like clockwork in the late Spring and Summer. For me, there is no better medicine than a journey south, always south, one that leads us through the South of Spain, into the coastal edges of Andalucía in late May. Join me for some sunshine, sherry and salty almonds on a jaunt across an unfamiliar landscape.
Come along to eat, cook, shoot, and play in some of Spain’s most delicious countryside and our favorite places- Seville, Aracena, Jabugo, Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria, and Cadiz.
I am always on the lookout for good small cafés and bars with regional food, exquisite flavors, and character. Step up to the counter and order a sherry or sit on a sidewalk café and taste the tapas of the area- ham, fish, olives, almonds.
A highlight of this exploration of Andalucía is our stay at Finca Buenvino in the Sierra de Aracena near Jabugo where Jamon is King. Jeannie and Sam Chesterton share some of their Andaluz specialities from the Finca Buenvino Cookbook.
From the oak covered dehesa where black pigs fatten for noted houses like Cinco Jotas (5 J’s) Bellota 100% acorn fed ham to the coastal fishing ports of Cadiz where Michelin star chefs celebrate the Mediterranean bounty- fresh prawns, prime tuna, sardines, and even microscopic plankton, I have fallen under the spell of the diverse dishes and tables of Andalucía. Moorish influences still resonate in the safron and spices, and the simplest produce is ennobled with golden green olive oil.
Whether you like to cook, eat, photograph or just experience a new place with like-minded folks, I have designed my Insider’s RoadTrips with you in mind. Stay in charming inns, eat great food, and explore the behind the scenes of a different culture with people who know and love it best. Here’s a little overview of where we go…
Day 1. We meet me for an evening promenade around Seville’s little neighborhood tapas bars from our charming and comfortable rooms, literally around the corner from the Cathedral at the Hotel Casa 1800. Dinner at our favorite local’s spot in Seville*.
Day 2. The following morning we leave the city center, hop across the river to the Triana Market and its bustling neighborhood where a tasting of tapas leads us to the charming market place cooking school for pre-lunch class of seasonal specialities. Afternoon we’ll head northwest to the Sierra hills and ham country around Jabugo. We stay three nights at the charming Finca Buenvino in Los Marines hosted by Sam and Jeannie Chesterton. Long time residents of this part of Spain, Jeannie is a wealth of culinary lore and offers us a chance to cook in a traditional Spanish kitchen- her style. Sam is a host par excellence and the evening Sherry Hour begins when he pours from his collection of fabled crystal decanters. Dinner on the shaded terrace as the weather encourages.
Day 3. Our personal guide Jago Chesterton in Jabugo at the Cinco Jotas Iberico Ham house has arranged a special day that begins on the dehesa with the black footed pigs and ends in the tasting rooms under a ceiling of swinging hams. Everything you wanted to know to understand the many levels of good to great hams produced in this region of Spain. Lunch in a farmhouse and a light supper around the pool at Finca Buenvino with music and stars.
Day 4. A day of cooking with Jeannie in her own kitchen as she teaches the basics and her fabulous tips of Andalusian cuisine. After an extravagant lunch, we’ll relax around the pool and look forward to an evening of tapas and conversation on the top of the world.
Day 5. We depart the hills and head south to Jerez where explore the caves of sherry casks and the many stories of this fabled drink. Extended tasting with the cellar master and sommelier who takes us on a Sherry journey from aperitif to after dinner digestif. El Puerto de Santa Maria is a great afternoon wander through the back streets bodegas and bars. Enjoy an afternoon break or shop before we slip across the water to a magical Three Star Michelin evening at Angel Leon’s Aponiente. I fell in love here when they served me a bowl of stars. I can’t wait to take you. We spend the next two nights at a charming boutique hotel just down from the market.
Day 6. Cadiz calls us. We start with a morning exploring the fish market and all the small cafes nearby. Shops, a walk along the sea, time swimming on a beach… the afternoon is up to our last minute whims. Tim’s award winning photograph of the fish market at Jerez is inspiration enough to spend an afternoon working with Tim on your trip’s photographs.
Day 7. Fond farewells over breakfast and a drive back to Seville or on to your further adventures. We’ll keep in touch and do it again. Soon. Adios!
*I suggest that if you want more time in Seville you book extra days at the beginning or ending of this week; We have a great local guide who will work with you.
Highlights of this Insider’s RoadTrip with Kate!
In and out of local’s bars and cafés for tapas and drinks
Cook in a hilltop hideaway tucked into the Sierras on the edge of the dense oak forests
A Private Tour of Cinco Jotas Jamon Cellars and the rolling pastures of the dense oak dehesa where the Iberico Bellota pigs graze.
Explore the golden hued streets of Jerez, El Puerto Santa Maria and its Sherry bodegas
Discover a secret three-star Michelin restaurant
The sunny sea coast port of Cadiz and it's amazing fish market
Includes two cooking classes plus several food and wine educational tastings
2020 Dates are May 2020- 7 days and 6 nights; Small group maximum 8
2020 rates: 4975€ per person double occupancy includes: all local transportation from the meeting point in Seville; all accommodations, all meals including 3-star Michelin restaurant; all cooking classes and tours, and private guides. 420€ additional fee for single occupancy.