Villa La Era has opened the doors to the English chef, restaurateur, and BBC star Rick Stein to shoot some episodes of his TV show on Spanish food. Together with the show’s production crew, Stein stayed at this country hotel for two weeks, filming twelve of the 140 recipes in his latest book, “Rick Stein’s Spain: 140 New Recipes Inspired by My Journey Off the Beaten Track”.
The recipes made at Villa La Era are part of the new DVD “Rick Stein’s Spain,” to be released on August 8. The four episodes on Spanish culinary and eating habits will also be broadcast by BBC2 as of July 14.
With a long career as a chef and writer in the UK and Australia, Rick Stein (64) chose to focus on Spanish food this time, approaching the making of everyday dishes to show the quality and refinement of what is genuine and traditional. La Era was chosen by Denhams Productions for its typical Andalusian setting, surrounded by nature, and for its wonderful views of Casarabonela and the region as a whole.
Most of the recipes in the series were made at Villa La Era, its setting being one of the big stars. The episodes, collecting Stein and his team’s experiences in various Spanish regions, show the chef’s relationship with his people and the fabulous landscapes behind the best of Spanish cuisine.
These include La Era and Casarabonela. Delighted with the town and the country hotel, Stein wanted them to be the cover of his DVD, where he is cooking on the terrace with the townscape in the background.
Also broadcast by BBC2, the show is a golden opportunity for tourism promotion as a recognition of Casarabonela’s beauty and its launch at the international level, for the TV show and the DVD will reach thousands of homes in the UK and the world.
Rick Stein has lots of followers who buy his books and watch his shows. His previous projects include “Mediterranean Escapes,” “French Odyssey,” “Taste of the Sea,” “Fruits of the Sea,” “Seafood Odyssey,” “Fresh Food,” “Seafood Lovers’ Guide,” and “Food Heroes”.
La Era is a country village with nine guestrooms overlooking the town of Casarabonela or the countryside. Its cosy rooms afford quiet stays in contact with nature, and its gardens and swimming pools are good for enjoyable strolls or splashes. La Era was converted to a hotel by Francisco Díaz-Cabrera and Isabel Manrara in 1999. It is a charming country hotel wrapped in an Andalusian atmosphere, where every single detail is taken care of –design, quality, guests’ stays, everything. It appears in many of the best known travel and hotel guides, including Condé Nast Johansens, and the Michelin Red Guide.
The hotel’s restaurant, run by Isabel Manrara, serves international and fusion cuisine. Manrara is a self-taught woman of Cuban-American descent, who settled in Spain in 1974. She has a great passion for food and likes experimenting with new recipes from around the world. Isabel was behind the camera, watching how the famous chef made his dishes.
As a result of Rick Stein’s show’s success and the subsequent demand for cooking lessons, La Era is now planning to launch a training programme to be conducted by Manrara herself in the autumn. In the lessons, she will teach how to make the dishes in “Rick Stein’s Spain”.
The cooking-cum-accommodation programme will comprise various activities: lessons on Mediterranean cuisine, trips to the market, tasting of locally produced wines, and so on. Additional activities include hiking, horse riding, or paragliding in the area.
Strategically located, Villa La Era also offers guests the chance to engage in multiple cultural activities. Staying here, tourists can visit Málaga City, Ronda, Granada, or Seville. Moreover, they organise tours to the Picasso Museum and the Thyssen Museum in Málaga, the Alhambra in Granada, and other major cultural sights.