Esme Tours - One Day Cooking Workshop

Esme Tours - One Day Cooking Workshop, Pozos: Address, Phone Number, Esme Tours - One Day Cooking Workshop Reviews: 5/5

Esme Tours - One Day Cooking Workshop

Esme Tours - One Day Cooking Workshop
Join Chef Esmeraldo in the small picturesque village of Pozos for hands on cooking classes! Located in the province of Leon, we offer culinary and travel adventures. Learn classic Spanish favorites using fresh local ingredients, traditional cooking methods, wine tastings from boutique wineries and a village tour are all included in our one day package. Learn to create Spain's famous Paella Iberica and tapas! - Gambas PilPil, Tortilla Espanola, Pinchos Morunos and Croquetas de Serrano y Queso! Learn to carve Jamon Iberico! Other options are short stays or week long adventures. Custom and private tours are also available.
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16 reviews
Very good

Denver, CO26 contributions
Explore Spanish cuisine and village life with a World class chef
Oct 2019
Go now. Book as many days as you can. We've been four times. Each experience is unique. Chef and Laura have so much to share with their guests. It's a place to relax, cook, hike and learn about Spain. It's quiet in Pozos. The streets are narrow. Get a small car! The villages of La Cabrera are diverse and a delight to walk through. Chef Esmeraldo and Laura have created a fascinating experience. Be adventurous with the food. Cook with Chef. We learn more and more each time we go.
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Robert B
Saratoga Springs, NY984 contributions
Cinco días de gloria en Pozos!!!!!
Apr 2018 • Couples
Constant Companion and I had read about Esme Tours on the Spanish Sabores website last year. After reading the fabulous reviews we decided we had to book a stay. Well, everything that is written about Chef Esmeraldo, Laura L. and Laura F. is accurate. Each and every phase from booking, pickup in Astorga, cooking, eating, hiking, touring, and delivery to Leon was seemless!
The Spanish Lodge in Pozos is delightful. It is constructed around an enclosed courtyard complete with wine grotto and outdoor dining in good weather. Adjacent is a fabulous working kitchen complete with wood range, five burner Bosch cooktop, Bosch dishwashers etc. Above the kitchen is an outdoor covered patio with a fireplace and spectacular views of the mountains which still had snow on them during our stay. Overlooking the courtyard are two bedrooms with a balcony. Our room was furnished with excellent amenities, a queen bed, library, and full bath. The second room has two twin beds. Below the bedrooms is another small kitchen, an indoor dining area, reading nook, wine cellar, and half bath.
Laura and Chef are two of the most delightful people we have ever met. Within hours you begin to feel like you have known them forever. They are the kind of folks you wish you could select to be your family members!! You can cook with Chef and Laura F. as little or much as you wish. I chose the later, CC the former! A wonderful, patient, world class instructor Chef created five star meals. These included superb soups-french onion, carrot,Fabada Asturiana, and mushroom;Dover Sole, Black Rice Paella, Spring Lamb, Sea and Land Croquettes, Rabo de Toro, Chestnut Pork, Stuffed Quail, Fideua, Langostinos, Pork Secreto etc. and a variety of desserts to numerous to list. Outdoor activities include hiking, four wheeling with Pepe, visits to the pottery museum and native potters, tours of Roman sites and local churches which are rarely open to the public! As CC wrote in her journal, "What an incredible stay and adventure the Lodge had turned out to be!" We cannot wait to return again!!!
Written August 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Baden, Switzerland2 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
What a pleasant surprise this was. Laura and Chef are the most gracious hosts. Chef prepares feasts that could put many five star restaurants to shame. Laura somehow senses what you need to do next. Be it cooking lessons with Chef, going for a hike, visiting some interesting local landmarks or just to be left to relax with a glass of wine on the terrace overlooking the spectacular view. The village and surroundings are picturesque, rustic. We visited with another couple; there are two comfortable double rooms with bath. The intimate atmosphere might not be ideal if you happened to be on your own and sharing with strangers. For a group of four looking for something a bit off the beaten path, but with a craving for superb cuisine this is the place for you.
Written November 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thenon, France1 contribution
5 nights in wonderful company with fabulous food
Sep 2017 • Couples
We spent 5 nights with Laura, Laura and Chef Esmeraldo and our only regret is that it couldn't have been longer. These kind thoughtful people gave us an experience far beyond what we could have expected. Chef is a patient teacher, ensuring you have a thorough understanding of his amazing dishes, with Laura on hand to guide you through and make sure you've written it down properly! Laura (yes there are two Laura's) is the perfect hostess and mine of local information. We felt instantly at home, as though we had known them forever, and were truly sad to leave. I can't praise this experience enough but at the same time would love to keep it secret, just for us. We are definitely going back.
Written September 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mililani, HI42 contributions
Fabulous Beyond Words
Jul 2017 • Couples
Our time in this beautiful lodge in this lovely small village with our wonderful hosts Laura and Chef Esmeraldo was truly the highlight of our Spain vacation. The care they took to ensure that we enjoyed our visit while learning to make Spanish cuisine was remarkable. Chef Esmeraldo is a learned and patient instructor with a great sense of humor. Laura welcomed us warmly and took good care of us throughout our visit. We left feeling we were part of the family. Laura is a terrific historian and together with Chef’s first-hand knowledge of life in the area, we gained an understanding as well as a better appreciation of what life was like in this area through the years.

Their attention to detail is impressive – in the décor, the lodging and the excursions, as well as in the multi-course meals. We loved all the little touches, especially the elements with family history. Our days were filled with cooking classes, exploring, hiking, experiencing village life, excursions to nearby villages and relaxing after a great meal at the end of the day in front of a roaring fire with a glass of wine. Life doesn’t get much better than that. We knew from the reviews that this would be just our kind of place and that it would be fantastic, but the experience far exceeded expectations. We wish we had stayed longer, and are trying to figure out when we can come back. Soon after our return we put our newly found culinary knowledge to the test during a Tapas night where we prepared many of the recipes together with our friends. It made for a delicious and fun evening. We are grateful for this unique experience.
Written August 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tampa, FL34 contributions
More than a foodie's paradise, a soul-cleansing adventure
May 2017 • Couples
We spent 5 unforgettable nights at the Esme Lodge as part of our honeymoon. I'm still not sure how my husband found this remote destination, but as soon as he showed me their website I knew it was exactly what we were looking for: great food and wine, gorgeous scenery, and a chance to slow down. We actually planned our entire honeymoon itinerary around coming here!

Our time at Esme ended up being so much more than we expected. The food was outstanding and the views were breathtaking, of course. But what made our experience so special were the elements we had not expected. For one, the level of service we received from Laura and Chef Esmeraldo was exceptional. Both having worked in the hospitality industry for their entire lives, they are true pros with very high standards. Every possible need we had was anticipated; we never had to ask for anything because it was already done for us. Furthermore, they were a pleasure to spend time with. Two gentle souls who have traveled the world, we had great conversations and learned so much about Pozos and the surrounding area. We were honestly sad to say goodbye, it felt like leaving relatives.

Another unanticipated part of the trip was how authentic an experience it was. It felt like we were looking into an undiscovered world unspoiled by tourism. Even on our trips to the larger neighboring towns, we were often the only, or one of few, tourists. Nothing ever felt like a fabricated version of the real deal, as one comes to expect when traveling, we really were seeing a slice of life in rural Spain. All of the locals we met during our stay were so genuine and welcoming. It was my birthday while we were there, and a few of the local women came over to join us for cake and merienda (afternoon tea).

Another great surprise of our stay was the rich history. There are Roman ruins right in Pozos and the area has been inhabited for thousands of years. A big trip highlight was our hike in Llamas, where we walked in the footsteps of Romans through an intricate network of canals they built to facilitate the nearby gold mining. Amazingly, we never saw another person during the 8 km walk, Laura said only the Spaniards know about this trail and even so, the area is so remote few make it there. After our hike, we had a wonderful picnic lunch in the most beautiful scenery. It was the perfect day trip.

Of course, the review wouldn't be complete without discussing the food! After booking, Laura asked about food preferences and I said we were interested in trying seafood dishes. She took this request to heart -- we were served an unbelievable amount and variety of seafood prepared in all manners over 5 days. From mussels to shrimp to clams to bachlau to crab to squid to Japanese eels -- it was a true seafood feast!

As far as the cooking, you can be as hands on or hands off as you want in the kitchen. We took advantage of the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with Chef and his niece who acts as souls chef (also named Laura!) often for several hours each day, which was a dream for us passionate home cooks. But we'd often take breaks from the kitchen and go sit at the dining room table to savor our creations, going back and forth from helping prep the dishes to being served. We loved seeing how Chef would reuse ingredients and leftovers from the previous day in such inventive ways, sometimes turning a leftover sauce or filling into 3-4 additional dishes. The standout dishes for us were the simple but addictive tortilla espanola (which we even got to take turns flipping in the pan!) and two seafood masterpieces: fideua which is like a paella with fried pasta (!!!) and black rice, also similar to a seafood paella but with rice cooked in squid ink. We learned so much from Chef and feel confident we'll be able to recreate many of the dishes on our own at home.

As an added bonus, Laura cooks excellent desserts from scratch. One of the best was a bread pudding topped with creme anglaise -- so decadent! She even sent us off with some homemade banana muffins on our last morning there.

You will eat more food than you've ever eaten in your life, but don't be shy about saying you've had enough. We ended up uncomfortably full the first few nights but that was our own fault!

If you're looking for a truly unique Spanish culinary experience, you will not be disappointed with Esme. We'll be talking about our time here for the rest of our lives and hope to return soon!
Written May 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nosey n
28 contributions
A week of cooking, hiking and culture
Feb 2017 • Family
This is far more than a cooking retreat. This place is a gem of a find and chef Esmeraldo (from Pozos originally but now world renowned chef) and his wife Laura (Canadian) made our experience something to remember for a lifetime.

There are loads of places to tour around northern Spain and many of the areas around Pozos including the region of Leon are in the book "1000 places to visit before I die".

A great experience for our whole family.
Written February 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nadia o
11 contributions
Family of 4 - 2 boys aged 12 and 14 - cooking and hiking tour
Feb 2017 • Family
I found this holiday browsing Trip Advisor. I was looking for something different where we could create some special family memories. I also secretly had an inner desire to connect our boys with rural Spain, the wonderful warmth of the Spanish people ... and to learn a bit of Spanish - that was it! We live in Hertfordshire and are close to London. Husband works long hours and while we do enjoy wonderful holidays, I realised our boys have been raised in an urban world - where WIFI and "laid on" fun comes as expected. They are joining the "cloned" teenagers of modern times. I had an inner worry that family bonding on a different level and connecting with nature and getting back to basics are experiences are increasing difficult to create in this modern world.

I found Esme Tours and was initially attracted as we all love our food and like to dabble in the kitchen and Pozos is in the hills. Boys are both learning Spanish at school and I have many wonderful memories of camping in Spain as a child.

World renowned Chef Esmereldo and Laura at the Lodge in Pozos delivered way beyond our expectations. The lodge accommodation was simply glorious with outside spaces and a courtyard and indoor cosy areas to chill by the fire. The food created by Chef "Es" was delicious and on day 2 we had to politely ask if we could eat slightly less! Our 3 day and 4 night visit (we spent 2 nights in Madrid and flew into Madrid and out of Asturias) was filled with amazing hiking, cooking courses, wonderful food, tours of local villages and restaurants, pottery making and mingling with locals and learning of a bygone era in Pozos. We hiked 10-15k a day and DIDNT SEE A SOUL. We hiked and found real wolf tracks (wolves reintroduced in the area a few years back after being lost to over culling), drank from natural streams, visited disused slate mines and enjoyed delicious picnics prepared by Laura (with Rosé) on snow capped hills. Laura hiked with us on one day and we hiked alone the next. We visited the local Pozos museum where we learned about a bygone era of village life in the 1930's up to recent times. Es is from Pozos and the elders who still live here are all related to him. So Chef Es shares his stories and memories of life in Pozos ... the church, the houses, grave yard, his role as night shepherd aged 12 ... all the stories he tells are directly linked to his family. We were all fascinated and transfixed - even my 14 year old teenager son who - before - Pozos lived mostly for his xbox games.

On the last night we cooked paella with Chef and we served it to local villagers to came to our lodge for the evening. We chatted with our very limited Spanish and their more impressive English and these wonderful house guests even stayed up till 1am to help our 12 year old complete a puzzle kindly left out for us when we arrived by Laura.

A truly impeccable holiday offered by a wonderful couple who are naturally warm and who love to entertain with a deep understanding of the catering and service industry.

I cannot celebrate the wonderful experience we had enough! We have booked to return next May. There is a plaque above the fire that their guests "arrive as strangers and leave as friends". We felt moved to tears saying good bye - this is truly true of this place.
Written February 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

London, UK56 contributions
One of the most touching and fascinating travel/culinary experiences of my life!
Aug 2016 • Couples
We happened to stumble across Esme Tours on tripadvisor when planning a stop off on our drive across Northern Spain and we couldn't have imagined how fortunate it was that we opted for a day's course with Chef Esme and Laura. What an experience! Not only of cooking, but also of Chef Esme's journey from Pozos (an absolutely tiny little village with fewer than 25 inhabitants) out into the wild world of international cuisine and then back again to Pozos where he and Laura now host a lucky few cooking/food enthusiasts. We arrived for lunch and stayed the whole day, only to be sad that we weren't staying the night in one of the two beautiful guestrooms available there too. This is a bucket list experience - truly memorable - and we will be back for more.
Written September 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Heidi B
Carnation75 contributions
Loved, loved, loved this... more than a cooking school, a rare opportunity...
May 2016 • Friends
I spent five nights in Pozos with Esme Tours in late May. It was my first time to Spain and I could only spend one week, starting out my daughters 5 week Spain tour.
Everything was excellent and beyond, from the accommodations- beautiful rooms, comfy beds, great bathroom, balcony and deck overlooking the village with incredible views, our own kitchen, reading nook, all beautifully designed. We even had wifi, spotty but enough. When we weren’t cooking and eating with Esmeraldo, Laura and friends, we were exploring, the village itself, every turn a photograph, the traces of a time when oxen pulled carts through tiny streets, and the goat came home each night to share the stone cottages, the terraces still dotted with gardens and fruit trees. The woodlands and meadows were abundant with wildflowers and birds, and we traveled and visited other neighboring villages with Esmeraldo and Laura as our guides, the local bakery with the wood-fired oven large enough to cook 90 loaves, the pottery museum, a nearby village filled with tiny museums, Pozos itself with it’s beautiful church, old mill and private museum. Perhaps our favorite day was traveling throughout the Cabriere region collecting herbs and flowers along the way which we used in our cooking and herbal liqueurs.
The food was unbelievable, from morning to night- authentic, deeply local- the dishes and their ingredients speak of Spain, so many flavors and textures and colors. I just can’t get over how many things we cooked and ate in those five days- as I’ve learned we had all of the classics, I am still remembering and marveling at what we made and ate, each recipe essential to the region.
And every chance we were cooking with Esmeraldo, a talented chef and gentle teacher. The kitchen is at the center, facing onto the courtyard, the teaching never formal, just stop in, or pull on an apron and pitch in; and I wish I’d spent more time, learned even more!
Friends and family from the village dropped in to join us, by the fourth night we didn’t even want to leave the kitchen, we set the table on the counter and ate as it was ready! Our last day was a feast I’ll never forget, roast baby lamb from a woodfired oven at Celiano and Duli’s house served in a clay roasting pan. And all of this freely paired with amazing regional wines, sangria and cocktails. Unforgettable.
This is a rare opportunity that should not be missed. I cannot wait to return.
Written July 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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