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May 28 2019

Video: When International F&B Managers and Executive Chefs Fell in Love with Spain

Twenty-three international F&B Managers, Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs are heading home, having completed their Spanish food, wine and gastronomy training and immersion program. Objective: to learn firsthand why Spain is a gastronomic powerhouse. 

ICEX and Foods & Wines from Spain just concluded the second edition of the ICEX Spanish Training Program for F&B Managers, Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs from prestigious international hotel chains. This program has several objectives, among them to identify and evaluate the main characteristics of Spanish gastronomy; to create and design quality gastronomy based on the products presented during the course; to generate passion for Spain, its products, gastronomy and culture; to promote effective communication with other professionals about the value of Spanish products and gastronomy; and to design innovative processes for the hotel industry.

Participants are mainly professionals with lengthy track records and careers in the industry and senior positions in their departments. They are leaders and decision makers at their respective hotel chains.

In this edition (2019) of the course, 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 three-phase training program

The first phase was an online course lasting five weeks, which was completed by each participant in his or her country of origin. The objective was to lay the theoretical foundation necessary for students to learn about Spain's position as a strong producer and exporter of quality food and wine, the variety and rigorous food safety standards within Spain's agri-food industry, and the foundation on which the image of Spain as a global leader in wine and gastronomy is based.


In the second phase, students spent two weeks participating in hands-on workshops at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián, which included tastings of extra virgin olive oil, wine, cheese and charcuterie from Spain; workshops on using Spanish products in hotel chains' culinary offers; and visits to some of the most prestigious restaurants in that area.

For the final phase, students traveled throughout several regions of Spain and visited leading agri-food companies and wineries with noteworthy international track records. Below are videos of those visits, where participants in the ICEX Spanish Training Program for F&B Managers, Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs from prestigious international hotel chains learned firsthand about the day-to-day operations of those Spanish companies, where they indubitably obtained unique insight and ideas for incorporating Spanish food and wines in their respective hotel chains. 

Monte Nevado cured ham company

Tabladillo meat company

Lorusso jams and olive oil company

Castillo de Canena olive oil company

Plancton Marino company

González Byass company


Tello meat and charcuterie company

Gastronomic Innovation Centre in Madrid


Photos and videos: @ICEX


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