A score of Spain’s top chefs (from restaurants with a total of 30 Michelin stars between them) have been taking part in the Festival Gastronómico in Malaga this week.
Paco Pérez (Miramar, 5 stars), Mario Sandoval (Coque, 2 stars), Eneko Atxa (Azurmendi, 3 stars), Fina Puigdevall (Le Cols, 2 stars), Paco Morales (Noor, 1 star), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz, 2 stars) were among the chefs who strolled around the city and tasted the best of the local cuisine.
With them was the cream of Malaga’s culinary scene, represented by José Carlos García (JCG), Diego Gallegos (Sollo), Mauricio Giovanini (Messina), Juan José Carmona (El Lago) and Luis Olarra (Kabuki Raw). Marbella’s Dani García was unable to attend due to previous engagements, nor was Marcos Granda, of Skina (his head chef went in his place).
This, the 4th Gastronomy Festival of its kind, was organised by Apicius magazine which is celebrating fifteen years as the spearhead of Spanish gastronomy with an exhibition in Calle Larios.
On Monday the chefs visited the display of blown-up photographs on a stroll through the city. They then headed towards the port, to the restaurant of José Carlos García (JCG) on Muelle Uno, where he had prepared them the most Malaga-styled menu possible. Razor shell clams, dogfish stew, ‘ajoblanco’, pickled anchovies, ‘porra’ and fried anchovies, the latter prepared by his mother Encarna. “I asked her because she does it better than me,” admitted the chef with a laugh.
Later that evening there was a gala dinner at the Gran Hotel Miramar where the menu included dishes by eleven different chefs from across the province. The meal included Malaga mackerel ceviche from Sergio del Río of the Óleo restaurant, swordfish in brown butter from Willie Orellana of Uvedoble and prawn ravioli with razor shell clams from Juan José Carmona of El Lago. The evening was completed with tastings of products from the Sabor a Málaga brand.
Other activities included a film dedicated to Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann in the Albéniz cinema followed by a meal at JCG’s in Malaga with Argentinian chef Javier Rodríguez. There were also dining experiences ‘Cocinando entre amigos’ in which top Spanish chefs paired with their Argentinian counterparts to prepare special menus.
Malaga Street Food is the last activity in this week’s festival and is running until Sunday in the Plaza de la Marina.
The Gastronomy Festival continues in Malaga’s Plaza de la Marina until 7 May with stalls selling street food, local wines and beers, a cocktail zone etc. There will also be workshops for adults and children, cookery classes, show cooking and live music.