The 'Who's Who' of gastronomy

Enrique Bellver addresses the audience.
Enrique Bellver addresses the audience. / Josele-Lanza
  • SUR has produced a guide in Spanish and English listing the top chefs and places to eat in Malaga appraised by food critic Enrique Bellver

Chefs, restauranteurs, wine makers, sommeliers and representatives of hospitality schools met on Monday in Marbella to see the presentation of the publication 'Who's Who in Gastronomy, Malaga 2017'. The book is edited by Prensa Malagueña and has nearly 200 entries rating the best cuisine in Malaga.

The guide, written by the SUR food critic Enrique Bellver, was created over two years as he visited various establishments in the province. It is the first of its kind to be printed in Spanish and English in Spain.

The aim of the guide is to help the many thousands of visitors to Malaga province each year take advantage of the different cuisines that the Costa del Sol and inland areas offer; gastronomy that "is a landmark in Andalucía and much of Spain", in direct competition with legendary Basque cuisine, according to Bellver himself.

Enrique Bellver has been a food critic for SUR since the 90s and was faced with the task of rating many, many establishments. He narrowed the task down to those businesses that he had visited at least once between the end of 2015 and 2016 and which, when they appeared in the 'Málaga en la Mesa' weekly supplement had achieved a rating of between 7 and 10.

"There has never been a ten but there will be one day," Bellver said in reference to the meteoric rise in the quality of Malaga cuisine.

The guide was launched at the Meliá Don Pepe Hotel in Marbella, at an event with almost 200 guests which included the 'leading lights' of gastronomy and catering, provincial authorities and mayors. The editor-in-chief of SUR, Manuel Castillo, who opened the event, said that the guide highlighted the value of Malaga gastronomy, as well as the importance of training in catering schools in the province from which "innovative young people willing to take risks" have emerged. "Malaga is in fashion, and its gastronomy, too," said Castillo.

Free with the Spanish SUR

The full colour guide, which is in Spanish and English, is included inside the Spanish SUR newspaper at newsagents tomorrow, Saturday 25 February.

It is more than just a directory of good restaurants, the guide reviews 193 businesses on the Costa del Sol and inland, listing their address, telephone number, opening hours, average prices and a brief description about the type of food you can expect to receive there. It includes interviews with some of the chefs and also wine and gourmet product recommendations.

The 148-page guide has sections for creative (restaurants whose menu continually evolves), classic, seafood and Asian cuisine, hotel restaurants, tapas bars and steakhouses.