By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Spain-based chef and culinary instructor Anne Manson has a lot of knowledge to impart thanks to her time spent in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain.

She will share some of it during five days of events at classes at the Milwaukee Public Market, May 5-9.

"We'll be doing things like ajo blanco – white gazpacho of almonds and garlic from Andalucia; fish baked in salt, a typical dish from my area of Cadiz, with a salsa verde; gutting and pickling anchovies, gambas ajillo – prawns cooked in olive oil with a huge amount of garlic that becomes the very best part of the dish; roasted red pepper, tuna and onion salad; espinacas con garbanzos – spinach with chickpeas and garlic; pollo en romero – chicken cooked with rosemary; albondigas – meatballs of chorizo & pork; chocolate cake with raisins soaked in PX Sherry; as well as a divine orange and almond cake. To name but a few.

"Along the way I'd like to do a nod to Morocco class to explore simple ideas of the culinary legacy they left behind. My Moroccan day consists of mostly vegetables so I'd love to work with anyone who grows their own vegetables?"

Does that mean we'll get to learn the secrets from the kitchens of her Andalucian village of Vejer?

"The kitchens of Vejer – well – that's a pretty guarded secret as to what happens but I do promise to share all that I know."

The classes and demos run Saturday through Wednesday:

  • Shop the Market Hands-on Class; Saturday, May 5; 5 p.m.
  • Spanish Tapas Cooking Demo; Sunday, May 6; 1 p.m., $39
  • Spanish Tapas Hands-on Class; Sunday, May 6; 5 p.m., $89
  • Tempting Spanish Tapas Demo; Monday, May 7; 5:30 p.m., $39
  • Perfect Paella Hands-On Class; Tuesday, May 8; 5 p.m., $89
  • Annie B's Spanish Kitchen Hands-On Class; Wednesday, May 9; 5 p.m., $89

"I'm really looking forward to being there to chop, whisk, gut small fish, eat and drink lots of sherry with everyone who comes to class," says Manson. "For me, I just love to share and bring attention to the spectacular and yet undiscovered area of Spain I live in."

Manson says she split for Spain "on a whim" and accidentally ended up in a culinary mecca.

"I re-located to Spain on a whim several years ago, leaving behind Annie B's London, a catering company that catered for events up to 2,500 people. I had no idea Vejer was such an oasis of incredible raw ingredients and restaurants when I made my move. Recently, it's been dubbed 'Spain's Tastiest Town'' by The Sunday Times (UK)."

Vejer de la Frontera has a long history and, says Manson, Moors, Christians and Jews have all played an important part of life there and have contributed to its cuisine. Nearby is Jerez, the sherry capital of the world. Manson is a qualified sherry educator.

"I plan to introduce and tease the palates of those who may not appreciate it," she says.

To register for a class, please visit the market website or call (414) 336-1111.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.