A prestigious catering college outside Malaga looks set to once again be an incubator for top Michelin-starred chefs. The Junta de Andalucía regional government and Malaga city council have promised to work together to restore the outstanding reputation that La Cónsula school had four or five years ago, prior to legal problems leading to the failure of public authorities to pay suppliers and staff.
Now fully integrated into the regional government's employment opportunity department, its future is guaranteed. The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, and representatives of the Junta's Employment ministry were both at La Cónsula in Churriana last week for the opening of the restaurant season.
From this week onwards, lunchtime reservations can be made for the on-site restaurant, used to train students in the art of cooking for and serving the public, although it is already fully booked into the second half of January. A similar restaurant in the La Fonda catering school, in Benalmádena, will open to the public once again from January.
"We've been preparing for a year, cooking for our fellow students and this summer we worked in high class restaurants," explained 30-year-old Elías Nieves, who already works in a kitchen but signed up to La Cónsula "to get a qualification". He is still working as well as studying, a real effort as he has to cram in 40 hours' work into the four days he is not in class.
The lunchtime service is three days a week from Tuesday to Thursday. It costs 20 euros for a set menu including hot and cold starters, a fish dish and a meat dish, as well as dessert and tea or coffee. Local wine is also served and there is a child menu for 14 euros. Fifty people study cookery and fifty study hospitality at La Cónsula over two academic years.