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ICEX Spanish Gastronomy Training Program for F&B Managers, Executive and Sous Chefs

Executive profiles

The participants chosen for this program boast profiles that include long professional careers and senior positions in their respective departments. By focusing on this new participant profile, the Food, Gastronomy and Wines Division of ICEX seeks to introduce Spanish gastronomy to professionals that are both leaders and decision-makers at their respective hotels.

It thereby serves as the first step towards sparking interest in Spanish gastronomy, and its ultimate goal is the introduction of Spanish products into the culinary offering and use of the selected hotels. This long-term project aims to establish a solid and fruitful relationship with the companies or hotel groups that have been invited to participate – all of which are located in strategic markets for the Spansg food and gastronomy sector, including Asia and America.

This Program responds to the exceptional level of international projection of the Spanish restaurant industry, considered a global reference for its creativity, capacity for innovation in culinary techniques, and synthesis with its roots. It was created to provide specialized training in Spanish gastronomy – both theoretical and practical – to foreign professionals, while simultaneously offering an integral look at the culture, language, history and new reality of 21st-century Spain

2019 edition

In the latest edition (2019) of this Food & Beverage Managers, Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs from prestigious international hotel chains, there were 23 participants from the following chains and locations: Meliá in London (England), Playa del Carmen (Mexico), Dubai (UAE), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Jakarta (Indonesia); NH in Berlin (Germany) and Bogota (Colombia); Raffles in Warsaw (Poland); Emiliano and Hilton in São Paulo (Brazil); Casa Santo Domingo in La Antigua (Guatemala); Marriott in Miami (US) and Suzhou (China); Palladium Hotel Group in Jamaica; InterContinental in Wellington (New Zealand); The Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi and Coco Sambala Resorts in Goa (India); the Sheraton in Hong Kong; MGM in Hainan, Mandarin Oriental in Guangzhou, Shangri-La in Shanghai (China); Central Food Thailand in Bangkok (Thailand); and Anantara in Phuket (Thailand).

A program with 3 modules

The program is comprised of 3 modules that will serve to immerse students fully in Spanish gastronomy, the food and beverage industry, and innovation in terms of both business and service, within the framework of the hotel industry. 

The first module consists of the online course “Spain’s Pantry & Gastronomy” given through the CECO-ICEX platform. This five-week course will teach students the essentials about the key products in our gastronomy, thanks to a complete introduction to our pantry and wines. Professors Adrienne Smith, Teresa Barrenechea and Almudena Martín will be in direct contact with the students through various video conferences. 

Once the online module has been completed, the participants travel to Spain where the “On-site Spanish Gastronomy” begins. Participants undergo two weeks of intensive training in the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) in San Sebastián. During these weeks participants dive into the Spanish gastronomic culture, including product presentations, innovation workshops and visits to industries and companies in the field, studying practical success stories as they go. 

After finishing their training at the BCC, they embark on the “Discovery Tour of Spanish Gastronomy”, which take the participants to different regions of Spain. This intense, week-long journey will give them the opportunity to discover products in their natural surroundings, as well as get a first-hand look at the rich culinary culture of Spain.

 Along the way they experience tastings, lunches and dinners centered around local products, as well as examples of both classic and avant-garde Spanish cuisine. They visit producers and companies specializing in fine foods and wines, many of which export their products to the participants’ home countries.

The Program comes to an end with the celebration of the closing ceremony and presentation of diplomas at ICEX’s central offices in Madrid. ICEX’s firm commitment to the international promotion of Spanish gastronomy not only serves as a strategic axis for the promotion of foods and wines from Spain, but also a fundamental pillar for the transmission of an image/country whose products are characterized by their diversity and quality; an image of a modern Spain for which our hotel chains serve as exceptional ambassadors – of great international prestige – as well as our chefs.

Training objectives

•    To generate passion for culture, gastronomy and Spanish products.
•    To design and create quality gastronomy, based on the products presented during the course and the discovery trip.
•    To identify and evaluate the principal characteristics of Spanish gastronomy, from its different regions, as well as the Mediterranean zone.
•    To enable effective communication with both clients and other professionals about the value of the Spanish products and gastronomic culture in Spain.
•    To evaluate, identify and design innovative processes for both service and customer service in the hotel industry. 


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