Con las manos en la masa

Con las manos en la masa is a Spanish cooking show by Televisión Española, directed and presented by Elena Santonja, aired between 1984 and 1991 on TVE-2. It is the first ever Spanish cooking show in the history of television.

Con las manos en la masa
GenreCooking show
Directed byElena Santonja
Presented byElena Santonja
Theme music composerVainica Doble [es]
Opening theme"Con las manos en la masa" by Gloria van Aerssen [es] and Joaquín Sabina
Country of originSpain
Original languageSpanish
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes355
Running time30 min.
Production companyTelevisión Española
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 10, 1984 (1984-01-10) –
May 1991 (1991-05)



Although Televisión Española had already produced some shows talking about gastronomy and home economics, such as A mesa y mantel in 1958, Vamos a la mesa [es] in 1967–68, Gastronomía in 1970 and the game show Ding-Dong [es] in 1980, Con las manos en la masa was the first show actually preparing one or more dishes over the course of an episode, taking the viewing audience through the food's inspiration, preparation, and stages of cooking on Spanish television.[1] The first episode aired on January 10, 1984 and the first dish cooked was a fried egg.[2]

In each episode, Santonja welcomes and interviews a celebrity while the two explain and prepare two recipes in the kitchen on the studio, almost always related to traditional Spanish cuisine.[3] Many celebrities from the entertainment industry, culture, sports, and even politics appear on the show.

In May 1991, the show was transformed into La cocina de Elena. In August, Televisión Española abruptly canceled the new show when Santonja refused to include product placement on it. Six episodes already recorded were not aired.[4]


  1. ^ Hualde, Marta (6 October 2013). "The most famous cooking shows in Spanish television". Actualidad gastronómica (in Spanish). Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ López Iturriaga, Mikel (5 April 2015). "Simmering television". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  3. ^ López Iturriaga, Mikel (17 October 2016). "'Con las manos en la masa', the show where everything began". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Nieto, Marta (15 September 1991). "Elena Santonja accuses TVE of cancelling her program for refusing to advertise products". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved February 21, 2021.