Hospitality Management Students at Les Roches Marbella Participate in Master Cooking Class

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As part of Les Roches Marbella’s BBA in International Hotel Management curriculum, year two students receive extensive Food & Beverage Management training. This semester students are expanding on their practical training skills in F&B operations through a series of Master Cooking classes provided by renowned local Andalusian chef, Antonio Urbaneja in coordination with LRM Chef Instructor, Silvio Patrucco.

From the very beginning, our students learn that the Food & Beverage department is a fundamental component of any successful hotel operation. F&B brings together several different areas from room service to bar and restaurant operations. To ensure quality service, efficiency, and maximum profits from an F&B operation, it is extremely important for managers to possess in-depth knowledge of every aspect involved. With this in mind, Hospitality Management students at Les Roches Marbella are not only given extensive management training in this area, but also vitally, practical training in all aspects of the operation.

Practical training provides multiple advantages to future hospitality managers. First, real-world experience in the entire F&B operation (from purchasing and stock control to preparation and service) provides a solid base for managers to be able to make competent decisions.  Secondly, an in-depth understanding of what is involved in F&B operations allows managers to innovate and provide original concepts to their guests. Nowhere is this practical knowledge more useful than in a hotel’s kitchen operation and this is where the significance of the Master Cooking class comes into play for our students.

The Master Cooking class is designed to give students a multifold experience in culinary arts. On a practical level the class provides a wide range of regional cooking techniques, innovative concepts for menu planning and cost control, and of course, a variety of original recipe ideas.

On a theoretical level the class offers students a hands-on cultural experience and deeper understanding of the history behind a particular region’s culinary traditions. This combined hands-on and theoretical knowledge equips our students with more resources in which to approach future challenges in the hospitality industry with innovative ideas.

Spanish cuisine is the focus of this semester’s Master Cooking class both for its local significance and rich history as well as for strategic reasons. In recent years, hotels and restaurants around the world have discovered the wonders of Spanish cuisine. As a result, there is a high demand for professionals across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East who are knowledgeable in Spanish culinary traditions. By instilling this knowledge in our students, they are provided with yet another competitive edge in the international hospitality industry.

To deliver the class we choose an expert on the history and elaboration of Andalusian culinary dishes, Antonio Urbaneja, renowned chef and entrepreneur from the restaurant La Taberna de Urbaneja in the Andalusian village of Monda. Chef Urbaneja collaborates each week with Les Roches Marbella’s Chef Instructor, Silvio Patrucco, to teach students the art of Andalusian cooking. The class is conducted in the a la carte kitchen operation of the campus’ El Olivo Restaurant, where second year students learn the intricacies of managing a formal dining operation.

During the class students learn to prepare a wide selection of local culinary delights; from homemade Salmorejo and ham Flamenquines to Pestiños and Catalonian Cream. All the while, Chef Urbaneja teaches them a detailed history and background of everything from a particular dish’s name to the context in which it evolved. Needless to say, the resulting experience is one they will carry with them throughout their careers in hospitality.

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