Angela Abdulka moved from Ukraine to Malaga in 2001. After working as a carer for the elderly in Nerja, she worked in the hospitality and catering industry and for more than a decade she has been one of the cooks at the La Esperanza restaurant in Benajarafe, Vélez-Málaga.
The establishment, which also has a 42-room hostel, opened in 1965 and in recent years has become famous for its enormous Spanish omelettes which are made by the 51-year-old Ukrainian cook.
Last week they achieved a record; a 20-kilo plus omelette, which consisted of 80 eggs, almost 20 kilos of potatoes and five kilos of peppers and onions. "We started out making them smaller, three, four or five kilos, but now it's like a competition for us and they're getting heavier and heavier," Abdulka reveals in fluent Spanish, which she has picked up in her two decades of living in Malaga.
On average, together with fellow cook Evedina Rivera, Abdulka makes about five tortillas a week and often varies the traditional eggs and potatoes by adding other ingredients including avocado, ham, smoked salmon, mushrooms with truffles, chorizo, black pudding and bacon, to name but a few.
"The most successful is the one with peppers and onion and the avocado, which is very fresh and very popular in summer", says Efrén Martín, the manager of the restaurant.
The monster omelette provided around 55 tapas-size portions. "We served it at the bar and at the tables in the dining room", explained Martín.
Angela Abdulka says that she feels "wonderful, very comfortable and loved" in the Axarquía and for the last two months she has been accompanied by her mother, who fled the country due to the Russian invasion.
Although her hometown, Chernivtsi, which is close to the border with Romania and Moldova, is far from the areas of fighting, Abdulka lives "in a lot of fear" because her two sons, aged 33 and 29, are still living in Ukraine. "For now they haven't been called up to fight," says Ángela.
In her opinion, the war that the Russian president has started "is madness, because Russians and Ukrainians are brothers, and I was very happy to see that in Russia people are protesting in the streets because they don't want war, nobody does", she adds.
Abdulka hopes that "very soon" there will be some kind of peace agreement to stop the war. In the meantime, she will continue to make her huge Spanish omelettes in the Benajarafe restaurant. "Hopefully this madness will end soon," she repeats.