Last updated on May 8, 2019
Dine like a true Barcelona local with home-cooked paella and tapas treats at Chef Teresa’s home.
Many of the best meals I’ve had whilst living in Spain have been at the houses of friends and it’s always an experience I seek out when I’m travelling.
Not only does it offer an authentic incite into local cuisine and cooking techniques – I love watching people cooking in their own kitchen – but it also offers a chance to get acquainted with a culture’s social graces and traditions.
It’s uncommon for most people, including myself, to meet locals whilst travelling and be invited to their homes to eat, but Bonappetour connects travellers with local chefs in Barcelona and makes it possible.
Book Chef Teresa’s home-cooked paella lunch experience, which takes place in her beautiful apartment in a non-touristy area of Barcelona, and you can step out of your “tourist shoes” and into the shoes of a local.
You’ll learn the paella cooking secrets that Teresa learnt from her mother, eat authentic tapas dishes and sup on sangria and local wines whilst making new friends. I mean, honestly, what more could you want from life?
They say the best paella is homemade paella – this is your chance to find out why!
Book now or read on to hear more about my home dining experience in Barcelona. As one of my readers, you will receive a a 10% discount using the promo code “DRIFTWOOD10OFF”!
Teresa was busy in the kitchen when I arrived but she stopped to greet me and pour me a glass of refreshing sangria, which flow with a crimson glow. She had a warm familiarity about her and, somehow, she instantly felt like old friend.
I stood and sipped the sangria by the air conditioner, trying to cool down after my bike ride to Teresa’s home, which coincidentally turned out to be across the street from where I lived when I first moved to Barcelona. I could even see my old bedroom window from her balcony. Maybe that’s why she seemed so familiar!
I said hola! to my friends that had already arrived and introduced myself to the new faces. Teresa’s “home restaurant” is open, so you have the opportunity to meet other travellers – another experience you won’t have at even the best restaurants in Barcelona.
The Paella Cooking Class
We chatted jovially and sneaked pictures of Teresa and her friend Mirella cooking up a storm in the kitchen. She’d grab our attention from time to time to show us the ingredients of the paella and explain how she’d prepared them.
There were giant prawns and mussels and thick rings of fresh calamari that were so pure and white that I had to stop myself from reaching out and grabbing one to pop in my mouth.
Teresa chopped the red peppers and onions and started sizzling the sofrito (the base of the dish) in a huge paella pan, explaining all along that this was her family’s recipe and that “everyone makes it in their own way”.
I liked the look of her way.
The experience gave me the exact same feeling I used to get on Christmas morning as I watched my mother and grandmother prepping the turkey, each with a glass of “fizzy orange juice” in hand. The cheeky rascals!
Traditional Spanish Tapas
Our pre-paella feast started with Teresa’s homemade sangria and a selection of tapas.
There were zesty little boquerones (little fish white fish sprinkled with fresh parsley and drizzled in olive oil and vinegar), Catalan cured meats and local cheeses with membrillo, which is a sort of sweet jam that the Spanish always pair with cheese.
This in itself was enough to give me a foodgasm.
The main event of course was sitting down around the dining table with my new friends/family, where Teresa had laid out seating cards with our names on. Talk about feeling like a local in a new country!
The Perfect Paella Moment
We passed a bottle of white wine around – which my new friend Steve described as being fresh and not too oaky – and burst into a fit of joy as Teresa and Mirella brought out the giant paella pan from the kitchen, sizzling and beautifully presented. We all jumped out of our seats to take photos.
Teresa piled the paella onto our plates and sat down with us to eat, which again made it feel like a family celebration, and we simmered to a low rumble as we sat pulling the heads off the juicy fat prawns and scooping up the rice with chunks of pan con tomate (bread with tomato, garlic and olive oil).
It was a proper “Wow, I’m really in Spain” moment.
Bursting but still greedy for more, we accepted Teresa’s generous offer for a second helping. She filled up our plates once again, scraping at the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon to get to the soccarat, which is the part where the rice gets toasted and deliciously crispy. The woman’s an angel!
I’m not sure how any of us managed to fit in dessert, but it was hard to say no to Teresa’s home-cooked crema Catalana – “the” dessert of Barcelona.
She caramelised them with a blue flame gun, filling the room with the sweet scent of vanilla and lemon.
We gobbled it down and saw it away with strong coffee and thimbles of orujo, a type of herbaceous brandy liquor from the north of Spain, before finally declaring ourselves “done”.
Teresa is a warm and generous host and whether you’re travelling alone with a loved one or with friends and family, I can’t think of a more authentic way to dine in Barcelona. Almost every element of our authentic and delicious meal was homemade – even the little white chocolate spoons that came with our coffee – and she clearly has a real eye for detail. Oh, and she speaks excellent English too!
It’s one of those legendary four-hour Spanish lunches you read about in old Hemingway novels. A feast indeed.
Make it Happen
As one of my readers, you’ll receive a 10% discount using the promo code “DRIFTWOOD10OFF”!
Cost: The price is €40 per person, which is outstanding value for money when you consider the amount of quality food and drink you get. You’d easily spend that on microwaved paella at a tourist trap in the city centre!
Time: You can either get to Teresa’s at 12.30pm to see and learn about how she makes the paella or you can arrive at 2pm for the main dining event. You should be all finished up by about 4.30pm.
Metro: Sagrera (Red or Blue line) – just a few stops from Catalunya in the city centre.