By 12 April, 2021 - 11:05am 4 views
The chefs Jordi Vilà, Aitor Arregi and Paco Pérez, awarded three Repsol suns, on La Concha beach, in San Sebastián.Repsol
Roots and Territory Guide. ElKano, Miramar and Alkimia are united by a vision that bets on tradition, the environment and the product, and from today, they also share a place in culinary olympus. The three establishments have been distinguished this Monday with three Repsol soles, the highest category awarded by the Spanish tourist guide, at a gala held at the Victoria Eugenia Theater, in San Sebastián, with a capacity of 25% –180 people–, and under the motto "Our kitchens do not go out". A message of optimism, in a year marked by the pandemic and the closure of the hospitality sector.
“At a time when we cannot touch each other, this recognition is a big hug to Elkano”, confesses by phone Aitor Arregi, chef of the restaurant Elkano , in Getaria, whose doors have been closed for eight months in the last year. Running since 1964, Arregi defines his grill-based cuisine as "naked," and nudity, he adds, "is a brave act." A proposal marked by the environment in which it is developed, a fishing village, and a technique, the grill, inheritance of that seafaring tradition. "It is the result of the know-how of the residents," he says. A look always on the sea that he shares with Paco Pérez, in charge of Miramar (Llançà, Girona), who claims classic seafood cuisine and dedicates one of his three tasting menus to seafood and fish. Philosophy based on the product that is also the bet of Jordi Vilà in Alkimia (Barcelona), from where he pays tribute to the Catalan pantry with a constant renovation of dishes that show respect for temporality.
Plato de cocochas by ElKano.
In total, the Spanish publication has awarded another 93 restaurants, 11 with two soles and 82 with one in the rankings. In the intermediate category, Saddle, in Madrid, and two proposals focused on the Japanese tradition stand out: Kappo (Madrid) and Kiro Sushi (Logroño). In a very short time - it opened in 2019 - and with a pandemic in between, the Madrid venue commanded by Adolfo Santos has seduced critics and the public with its classic French-inspired cuisine. For their part, Kappo, by Mario Payán , and Kiro Sushi, by Félix Jiménez, have long been essential for lovers of niguiris. Both chefs prepare live an open menu called omakase , a Japanese term that means “putting oneself in the hands of the chef.”
Among the newcomers, projects led by young chefs such as Vicky Sevilla, led by Arrels (Sagunto) and Sobretablas (Seville) by Camila Ferraro and Rober Tetas, both former from El Celler Can Roca. And again, product. Loxe Mareiro (Carril) breaks into the rankings, a bet by Iago Pazos and Marcos Cerqueiro, creators of the successful Abastos 2.0 in Santiago de Compostela, where Galician seafood is honored on the banks of the Ría de Arousa. Bo.TiC de Corçà is also premiered, located in a farmhouse and where Empordà and Catalan cuisine is honored; Mu · na, in León, which offers a market menu that changes daily; and Ovillo, Javier Muñoz-Calero's first solo project - formerly a partner of the Azotea group (Nubel, Picalagartos) -, located in an old leather goods factory in Madrid.
As a novelty, the Guide has released in this edition the Sustainable Sun, an award that rewards restaurants for their respectful coexistence with nature, working with artisan producers and taking advantage of the resources that surround them. This year the distinction went to Azurmendi, a regular in this type of category who already has three conventional Repsol suns. Eneko Atxa's proposal, located among vineyards in Larrabetzu (Vizcaya), was designed around three principles , pillars of sustainable development for the chef: the environment, cultural heritage and society. Specifically, the bioclimatic building that houses the establishment incorporates local recycled materials and the use of renewable energy for its operation, in addition to having a system for composting organic waste that is later used by farmers in the area.
The awards ceremony, which generally takes place in February, had to be postponed this time until April due to the impossibility of all inspections being carried out on time due to the pandemic. Furthermore, this has been the first year in which the Repsol Guide has launched a new rating system, developed in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center , with the aim of evaluating the before, during and after a gastronomic experience , based on basic aspects such as the cellar, the living room and the kitchen, but also on others such as light for taking photographs or music
A work carried out by 53 local inspectors and inspectors, of very diverse profiles and ages ranging from their twenties to their 70s. “We want to be a local guide,” affirms the director of the publication, María Ritter, who believes that the coronavirus crisis will act as a catalyst for trends and an accelerator for change. "There is an empowerment of the local diner, we have begun to know more about the product and the producers and, of course, the offer has been developed at home," he says. “In a tough year you had to get muscle. The sector has it and has shown it even during confinement with delivery , for example. The gastronomic community is full of brave people ”, he concludes.