We had a wonderful time at Pencil & Fork at their Market Tour and Cooking Class. The class is hosted by owners David and Anna who started Pencil & Fork in London before relocating the business to Anna's home of A Crouna. Their mission is to teach and connect cultures through food and the class did just that. It was like we had stepped into their own home to cook a shared meal. We arrived at their establishment, only a short walk from our cruise ship peer, and were greeted with a smile and the offer of a welcome cup of coffee or tea. They operate a small café in the front with their demonstration kitchen in the back.
After we dropped our bags, David took us to the town market just a few minutes away walking where we were amazed at all of the fresh seafood, meat, and produce. David picked out fresh prawns, mussels, cockerels, scallops, and squid along with a local chees and produce needed for our dish. David could have easily accommodated dietary restrictions, and actually reached out in advance of the class to make any needed menu adjustments.
We returned to the café and Anna prepared us each out drink of choice, wine, beer (great local selections), or cocktail; the first was included and any additional drinks were a separate charge. The additional drinks were VERY reasonably priced, especially compared to American prices.
David put each of us to work helping to prepare our shared meal, though if you prefer to just relax you could do that too! We cooked up some shrimp, mussels, cockerels, and scallops as appetizers which all paired nicely with the local cheese. What was neat is that the stock for each of these dishes was then used in our main course, paella! We also prepared a delicious almond cake, Tarta de Santiago. Throughout the day David and Anna told us stories, showed us cooking tips, and created a very welcoming environment. Once our meal was prepared we all sat down family style to share the fruits of our labor.
This was a fantastic value for the price, and a great way to spend the day in the city when in port for a cruise. There was time before and after the class to wonder around the town.
David and Anna really fulfilled their mission to teach their culture through food!