Understandably, with an economy predominantly reliant of tourism, Andalucía has quite a few hospitality schools.
Today we enjoyed a sensational tasting menu at the Benahavis Hospitality School – Escuela Hosteria Benahavis. For just 25 euro a head we indulged in a seven course meal, including a welcome Gin Tonic (sponsored by Rivas, which was surprisingly good, garnished with thin slices of apple and juniper berries!)
The meal started with a pairing of cold soups (top left in the photo below), which were the classic Malaga recipe of almond and garlic soup (Ajo blanco malagueño) with an apricot compote to stir in; and the rich and thick tomato soup from Cordoba (Salmorejo cordobés) garnished with a wonderfully tasty piece of cured ham, and tiny cubes of pan fried potato.
Then came two hot soups (top right); a Gazpachuelo which is a fish soup from Malaga, together with a Cachorreña, (which was all the more unusual for being made with sweet oranges – it was superb).
Two cold starters followed; one of dressed potatoes and salad leaves, and the other of classic roasted peppers (bottom left). The two hot starters were a pair of croquetas (one was seafood, black with squid ink and made with prawns and the other of chicken) and the tasty rustic dish of Habitas con jamón- baby broad beans with cured ham – really delicious.
The fish course was tempura langoustines and vegetables together with small blinis made with cod which were sensational.
The meat course was oxtail (rabo de toro) and caracoles (snails on an asparagus risotto).
As if that was enough, pudding was a chocolate tower, with a mouse of tocino de cielo, which normally is a popular egg and cream pudding that is intensely rich, but this version was made as a mouse, so it was light and very 'moreish'. We finished off with coffee and chocolate treats!
There was a good wine list, as well as and by the glass for each course as extra.
I really recommend this place – all of the team, (chefs, waiting staff etc) are students, but the experience is very sophisticated and exceptional value.