The biggest names in catering in Malaga were at the Puente Romano Hotel in Marbella on Monday for the presentation of the second edition of the bilingual 'Who's Who in Malaga Gastronomy' guide.
The guide, which is edited by SUR and its supplement Málaga en la Mesa, contains nearly two hundred pages with over 270 references to establishments uniting professionals, chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and the complete firmament of Michelin stars in Malaga province.
The guide reviews 272 restaurants selected by SUR's food critic Enrique Bellver as well as interviews with some of the leaders in the sector such as Lourdes Muñoz (Grupo Dani García), Lutz Bösing (El Jardín de Lutz) and Luis Olarra (Michelin-starred Kabuki Raw).
This year's edition includes a section dedicated to wine and gourmet products and a new section for international cuisine, tapas, markets and specific pages for two of the most popular dishes, Russian salad and 'espetos' (sardines on skewers).
Enrique Bellver's method of grading the individual establishments has changed this year and there is a new section about the catering colleges in the province without which, “catering in Malaga would not attain this standard,” he admits.
“Malaga has for many years been at the forefront of Andalusian gastronomy; this is evident from references to it in the other guides,” he stated during the presentation speeches which were opened by Manuel Castillo, SUR editor in chief. He emphasised the “gastronomic evolution of Malaga” and the “golden era” which it is experiencing at present, making reference to the supplement Málaga en la Mesa which has been running for seven years.
The food critic went on to explain how the guide aims to highlight the gastronomy on offer in the province and “help to recognise the work done over the years which is now paying off”.
The event attracted many professionals such as Dani García, Diego Gallegos (Sollo), José Carlos García, Juan José Carmona and Paco García from El Lago, Pía Ninci (head waiter at Messina) and Benito Gómez (Bardal). Joining them were veterans of Malaga gastronomy Adolfo Jaime, José Gómez (La Reserva) and Santiago Domínguez, and the new stars of the Repsol guide Dani Carnero (La Cosmopolita), Abraham Garrote (La Solana), Willie Orellana (Uvedoble), José Alberto Callejo (KGB), Carlos Navarro, José Andrés Jiménez (Almijara), José Sánchez (Los Marinos José), Javier Hernández (El Candado Golf), Ignacio Carmona (El Imperdible, Cayetana), Antonio Fernández (Eboka), Francisco and Antonio Ruiz (Casa Paco), Alejandro Escribano (Malallama) and José Simón (La Dehesa de los Monteros).
Historian Fernando Rueda and Álvaro Muñoz, member of the Academia Andaluza de Gastronomía y Turismo and Gastronómica Malagueña, were among many representatives from the world of wine and local gastronomy who attended.
Many were surprised to be called up onto the stage to be honoured for their contribution such as Sergio Garrido (Hotel Vincci Posada del Patio) for his charity work; Charo Carmona (Arte de Cozina) for her work on adapting traditional recipes; and Pepe Cobos (El Pimpi)for his involvement in promoting Malaga cuisine. After the presentation the guests enjoyed cocktails and tapas.
Copies of the 'Who's Who' guide will be available to purchase for three euros in newsagents, kiosks and other outlets from 11 December.