The Basque Culinary Center: home of the world’s top chefs
The Basque Culinary Center has earned its place as a leading entity in the world of culinary education. It includes the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences, affiliated with Mondragon University, and BCC Innovation, a Centre for Research and Innovation in Food and Gastronomy. Top chefs are trained here and they go on to delight guests with innovative and exquisite dishes and recipes that have been carefully and lovingly devised following the strictest of professional standards.
BCC is much more than just education. It is a comprehensive campus led by Mondragon University, seven of the world’s top chefs and a number of the industry’s leading companies. It promotes research and innovation and it performs ongoing work to devise ground-breaking techniques so that local produce can be used in new and innovative ways.
Courses at the Basque Culinary Center
The Basque Culinary Center was conceived for people who love the catering sector, and for professionals from the world of cuisine who are looking to set up their own business or who wish to take things to a different level. So what makes it so attractive? Its features include courses; conferences and seminars; cultural activities; lectures delivered by top chefs; and much, much more.
There are a number of different training courses to suit all needs.
Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts.
The degree is the centre’s most consolidated project. It aims, above all, to teach students how to handle the stresses and rewards of a life in the kitchen, as well as to prepare them to face and deal with situations of all kinds. Students learn to design, create and cook top quality dishes. Graduates are able to make new culinary proposals and they have the understanding of the industry that they need in order to set up their own business, if they wish. Students learn through workshops and practical sessions based on the strong foundations of a four-year academic course.
It is also possible to study a Master’s degree at BCC. These courses are designed for individuals who are looking to improve their knowledge of a particular skill so that they can grow their business. Most students are already part of the industry and are looking for an enriching experience that they can take away with them and apply to their work. There are a number of different Master’s degrees to choose from. For example, Food Tourism; Restaurant Pastry and Sweet Cuisine; Sommelier Studies and Enomarketing; and Food and Drink Management.
BCC: what you’ll find and where you’ll find it
The large campus is located in Miramón, a hillside on the south side of San Sebastián. It is surrounded by countryside which makes for an inspiring learning environment.
The building itself is austere but it has all kinds of facilities so that students have everything they need at the tips of their fingers. Some of the features of the Basque Culinary Center include:
- A library equipped with all the necessary technology so that students can boost their studies.
- Themed workshops that focus on a range of foods such as meat, vegetables, desserts and fish. Here, students put the different ways of cooking each ingredient into practice.
- Experimental workshops boasting avant-garde equipment – a firm favourite among students. Participants work in groups to develop their own haute cuisine project with the support of experts.
- A sensory analysis classroom in which students learn techniques for analysing products using their senses. They are joined by professional tasters.
- An auditorium where conferences, cooking demonstrations and special subject sessions are held.
- A research centre. This is a fully equipped laboratory designed to helps students understand the essence of different foods and perform analyses and tests.
- Creative innovation and creativity workshops in which participants let their imaginations run wild and experiment with different ingredients, products and cooking techniques.
- There is also a Gastronomy Technology Centre. Its purpose is to share knowledge and experience in the field of cuisine. Experts from the world of haute cuisine pass on their experience to colleagues and younger generations through entrepreneurship projects, events and symposiums.
Basque Culinary Center students
Amongst other things, Basque Culinary Center students seek to acquire the skills that they need in order to find employment in the industry. With this in mind, BCC has a job opportunity service for current students and ex alumni. The aim is to make it easier for people who love cooking and who have worked hard to improve their knowledge of the industry to find employment.
One year of studies at the Basque Culinary Center costs around 9,000 euros. There is also student accommodation on the campus. The halls of residence has over 70 rooms, all of which are modern and equipped with a range of devices, just like the training centre itself. BCC also has agreements with other local student accommodation facilities so that students can take advantage of special discounts should they prefer to live off campus in San Sebastián. Student accommodation prices range from approximately 400 to 800 euros a month. Updated prices can be obtained on the official webpage.
The Basque Culinary Center restaurant: affordable meals
The Basque Culinary Center 4th-floor cafeteria is open daily to guests. Meals are prepared by students. Students on the Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Degree course apply what they have learnt in the classroom both in the kitchen and in the restaurant.
You will need to book a table if you would like to eat there. Bookings can be made on the BCC webpage between 8.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. The menu changes daily and it always consists of a main course and dessert. Tempted?