Spain opens first gourmet university
Spain launched its first "gastronomic university" on Monday, the second institution in Europe to enshrine fine cooking as an academic discipline.
Several hundred guests including Spain's Crown Prince Felipe attended the inauguration of the Basque Culinary Center in the northern seaside town of San Sebastian, known for its fine restaurants.
The new institution is "a gastronomic science faculty and research centre," its spokesman Jose Luis Galiana told AFP.
"At last we have managed, for the first time in Spain and the second in Europe, to have cooking ranked as a university subject" like medicine, architecture or law, he said.
The only other cooking institute with such a status in Europe is the University of Gastronomic Sciences in northern Italy.
The Spanish university teaches four-year degree courses for up to 100 students a year. For the first year, 74 students were admitted out of 380 candidates.
Northern Spain is home to numerous Michelin-starred chefs and the university is endorsed by a council of world-renowned names, including several Basques, and headed by Ferran Adria, whose top Catalan restaurant elBulli closed in July.
Classes start on October 3.
© 2011 AFP