Award winners Nieves Ortiz, Francisco Muñoz, Matteo Manzato, Lourdes Luque, Enrique Bellver and Óscar Amores. / Josele

Who’s Who, more gastronomy and more news

SUR consolidates its commitment to the sector in an expanded edition of its restaurant guide

MARINA MARTÍNEZ

Quien es Quien is a gastronomy guide to Malaga published by SUR in English’s sister paper Diario SUR, every year. This year was no exception, with a special reception held at the Gran Melia Hotel in Marbella last week to announce its release.

The bilingual guide consists of nearly 200 pages with about 500 references to what is ‘cooking’ in Malaga. It is published by SUR and the supplement Málaga en la Mesa, sponsored by the Sabor a Málaga brand of the Diputación de Málaga and with the collaboration of Cervezas Victoria.

The guide, now in its sixth edition, continues to grow and, according to the SUR gastronomy critic Enrique Bellver, who is in charge of collating and rating the establishments, “We had to give a presence to something that is here to stay”.

The general manager of Prensa Malagueña, Antonio González, highlighted the increase in the number of pages of the guide (28 more), which, he said, “demonstrates the involvement of the sector”. He also took the opportunity to announce a new project to “energise” local gastronomy with new features in SUR’s Gastroplan platform. “The great support we have received reflects the desire of a sector that is vital to the province,” concluded Gonzalez at the opening of the event which can be seen on www.sur.es

For the second year running, representatives of the sector held a roundtable to discuss the current situation and reflect on upcoming challenges. This time it was the integration of Malaga products into the gastronomic panorama that was the main topic.

The roundtable was attended by Leonor García-Agua, representing Sabor a Málaga; José Manuel Moreno, secretary of the Consejo Regulador D.O. Vino Málaga; Javier Frutos, president of the Asociación de Hosteleros de Málaga; and Enrique Bellver. The moderator was the journalist Esperanza Peláez, coordinator of Málaga en la Mesa.

“We must not be chauvinistic but receptive in order to sell our products abroad; we believe that Malaga has potential, that we have good products and that our hospitality is excellent,” encouraged Bellver.

José Manuel Moreno endorsed it by highlighting the upward evolution of Malaga wines: “Before, we had no chance to connect with the public, but today our wines have multiplied by hundreds and are sold worldwide” he said.

García-Agua reinforced the necessity to work with the agri/food industry and recover the original sense of the Sabor a Málaga brand created ten years ago, “By and for the producers.”

The awards ceremony rewards the promotion of Malaga’s gastronomy. This year, El Higuerón, Parador Playa, JCG Restaurante, Marisquería El Cateto and Venetiis were winners. There was left just one, surprise award, which was destined for SUR’s gastronomy critic Enrique Bellver himself, marking his three decades in the profession. “He has managed to make SUR one of the media that dedicates the most space to gastronomy”, said Antonio González, as he presented the award.

The event was attended by over a hundred people in the sector such as Diego Gallegos (Sollo, Michelin star), Paco García and Fernando Villasclaras (El Lago); Marcos Granda (Skina, two Michelin stars); chefs Willie Orellana and Diego René López among others; the businessman José Gómez and the president of the Academia Gastronómica de Málaga, Manuel Tornay. A small part of the many who write ‘Who’s Who’ year after year.