First Meeting 21/03/2014 at The Tannit Restaurant, Torre del Mar
Co.Chairs: Maggie Silwood & Norma K. Masip
First a big thank you to Maggie for taking notes and drafting most of these notes and to Janice for being our time keeper!!
33 members expressed an interest and registered; today,17 attended.
Norma welcomed everyone and outlined the groups aims and invited participants to contribute by organizing visits to restaurants, food and wine producers etc… The other agenda for this organizational meeting was to secure solid meeting ideas for the next 3 months.
Each person introduced themselves and explained what their interests were and what they’d be willing to do and a wide range of venues and ideas emerged… It was a lively discussion and interests ranged from a love of good food and wine to expanding knowledge of local produce to trying new recipes and going to cooking demonstrations.. Another person was interested in discovering new restaurants and learning more about the history of food and wine.
Two Fridays (when the group meets) fall on National holidays – April and August. WE decided to meet as normal in April and Steven and Lesley suggested attending La Noche del Vino in Competa on August 15th.
Norma raised some possible issues and asked for the group’s ideas.
a) Prices -See next item (basically each person pays for what they eat and drink!)
b) Vegetarians and members on special diets or with food allergies (Not a problem, but a challenge)
c) Car pooling – no problem for other groups. Members to organise amongst themselves. It’s sensible and environmentally friendly to car share and only courtesy to offer a contribution to the driver for fuel and other expenses
d) Not keen on a month’s choice: What if one month someone doesn’t like what’s on offer? If not to your liking, you don’t have to attend… The plan is to enjoy it!
5.Paying the Bill
We discussed this and decided if it was a Menu del Dia at the same price we should share the bill equally and pay separately for drinks. If it was a la carte then we should pay separately. Tipping is an individual’s choice
6.General Ideas for future get togethers
An open discussion followed and several good suggestions were put forward.
Cooking demonstrations could be a possibility for future meetings (obviously we would eat the results!. Maggie to enquire if Christopher and Arthur in Torrox Pueblo would be willing to do this some time.
Linda would ask some Spanish friends the same
Patricia was willing to give a paella cooking demo
Norma suggested her cortijo as a possible venue for these events and she would also be willing to interpret if necessary.
Ten minute (or longer) presentations on growing food etc. “gastronomic gems” by any members with experience.
Costs to be shared equally for food and time of the contributor.
Patsy suggested visiting a school in Malaga- La Consuella (?)- where they provide 6 to 8 courses prepared by culinary students, an excellent meal and venue. Although the cost was 50 euros she assured us it was great value.
Linda also knew of a cookery college in Motril; she will investigate.
There are many food related fiestas in the region and Norma read out a list of some of them. Many are in September. As few fall on our meeting date these would be extra to our normal meetings and anyone could go. If anyone knows about their local ones, please email Norma and she will notify the rest of the group.
We were not short of these and the following are some of those suggested:
Acabuchal – although a small venue the food is all local produce in a beautiful setting and very good
Alfarnate – Patricia to explore
Alhama de Granada, El Ventorro, a restaurant situated by a lake with traditional fare. There are the famous Arab baths at Alhama and the possibility of staying overnight at the hotel and having a dip.
Norma to explore the possibility of hiring a minibus and driver for some events/visits if needed.
10.Dates and venues for future meetings
After some great contributions we came up with the following list; as of now they are tentative. Norma will send the confirmation during the second week of the month:
March 21st Sayalonga Bodega Bentomez and restaurant – Norma
April 18th Los Mayorales, Periana – Jeff to arrange
May 16th Malaga market and El Pimpi- Maggie
June 20th La Herradura – Maggie
July 18th BereBere Chiringuito near Almayate
These are initial suggestions and can be adapted and amended according to the group’s wishes.
10. Membership Reminder: Janice mentioned that if anyone hadn’t paid their subs for this year, please could they do so, but that the first session of any U3A group was free.
11: New member: A new member was recruited. Janice attended to the administrative details.
In anticipation of our next meeting may I propose the following: Some of us find the name Gastronomy Group to be, not only a mouth full, but sounds academic and a touch clinical. May I suggest we all put our thinking caps on and come prepared to submit to me a little slip of paper with your new name proposal.
Entries will be read out loud anonymously and in addition to getting a few laughs, let’s hope we can vote for the new name on March 21. It’ a date and of course you’ll hear from me the week before with the confirmation!
On Friday, March 21, the Gastronomy gang is going to Bodaga Bentomiz in Sayalonga. I’ve asked them to let me know if they can accommodate fish eating vegetarians and gluten intolerant visitors. They will let me know and I’ll pass on the info as soon as I get it.
The experience of the tour, wine tasting and tapas will take about 2 hours. The cost is 9€ pp. Plenty of parking but we can meet across Lidl in Algarrobo to carpool up the mountain. (Big parking. But the last 300 metres are a dirt track. No problem for private cars or a minibus, but a big bus can’t take it.)
By next Sunday noon, I need to know how many of you plan to attend as I will need to deliver a deposit to them of 50% which is non-refundable. And they can only accept cancellations until 24 hours before the visit. So given this arrangements, we may need to rethink how to minimize the challenges of these types of reservations. For this first time, I am willing to take your e-mail reservations as a committment. Should you cancel after I give them the deposit, you would owe me 4.50€.
So, check your calendars (and your dance list, lol..) and let me know by next Sunday noon so I can go ahead and plan the deposit.
Bodegas Bentomiz Finca Almendro, Pago Cuesta Robano 29752 Sayalonga (Málaga)
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