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Spain to open world's first 'Gastro-Uni'

Mon 18th Jan 2010

Spain is set to have the world's first "gastronomic university", where students will have the opportunity to explore the science of taste in a state-of-the-art laboratory.

Spain's most famous restaurateur Ferran Adria, the owner of El Bulli, will help student chefs master the craft of "molecular gastronomy".

Pupils will also be encouraged to use scientific innovation to prepare the recipes of the future.

British chef and the owner of Fat Duck Heston Blumenthal is also expected to be invited to the university as a guest lecturer.

Construction work for the building, which will look like a pile of stacked plates, has started last month on the Basque Culinary Centre in San Sebastian and the first batch of students will be admitted in September 2011.

The university will offer a four-year undergrad degree course in culinary arts taught in both English and Spanish and one year masters degrees along with shorter courses for those wanting to improve their cooking skills.

According to project director Joxe Mari Aizega, the university will establish the region as the new "mecca of the world haute cuisine".

The private university is situated in the seaside resort of San Sebastian, which already boasts of some of the best gastronomical expertise in Spain. The town has nine restaurants, which together have a total of 16 Michelin stars.

"Not only is gastronomy an art, culture and an industry…. It is also a technology and a science," the Telegraph quoted Spain's minister of Science and Innovation Cristina Garmendia, as saying at the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the new university.

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