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In total they add 13 Michelin stars to their credit. We have seated these greats of Spanish gastronomy at a round table to reveal the secret of their ideal cover. And this has been the result.
MARIO SANDOVAL, COQUE RESTAURANT (2 Michelin stars )
"Eating tapas or going for tapas is a culture, much more than gastronomy. It has changed the way we eat in Spain and in the world."
Little more can be said about the meteoric career of Mario Sandoval. This chef, lover of fermented and R&D cuisine, considers tapas as part of our DNA, a culture that implies gastronomy, friendship and cordiality.
For Sandoval, the good cover is made from the best raw material, which also affects the diversity and knowledge of the product. According to him, we like tapas because it is part of our culture, because that's how we eat and that's how we socialize.
"A talk and a good product made with the right technique and paired with a glass, everything in one hand, and a talk." That is the perfect cover for Mario.
The best tapas that you remember eating. "Well, I will tell you. It was a '' simple 'Iberian ham cover Arturo Sánchez in the Tavern of Jam in Granada. Spectacular. Taste, moment, smiles among friends."
His best creation … "I will answer that of abalone. I make it with abalone after two days in rice vinegar with ginger; txaca created from a beet and curry mayonnaise of orange, lemon pepper and Sichuan pepper with sriracha, Mexican spices, sesame oil, and I finish it with a pickled air. Abalone, ham, anchovy. All tapas. Pure culture. "
Mario Sandoval, in front of Coque, one of Madrid's pilgrimage sites for lovers of haute cuisine © Getty Images
FERNANDO CANALES, LA DESPENSA & EL ATELIER DE ETXANOBE (1 Michelin star )
"It must be a quick, surprising bite that you liked very much ."
The Basque Country is the territory of skewers, and Fernando Canales knows this a lot. Releasing new space in 2018, the chef from Bilbao defends this part of our cuisine that must remain in memory.
For him, we like tapas because it is a fast, informal and social way of eating rich things, the need that when you try one, you want another one.
The best tapas that you remember eating … "The best tapas I have had has been at Gure Toki in Bilbao. It was a scallop top with cheese cream and crispy seaweed. The sensation was spectacular, so much so that I ate seven more tapas in a row. "
His best creation … "It was just the last one I've done and it's also very healthy. It's a lid based on guacamole, sumac and chard sprouts."
"Tapear is a quick, informal and social way to eat delicious things", Fernando Canales © El Atelier de Etxanobe
ÁNGEL LEÓN, RESTAURANTE APONIENTE (3 Michelin stars )
"The cover is a concept that should concentrate on one or two bites a lot of flavor and product and without a doubt be accompanied by a good wine or a cold beer . "
Our chef of the sea, like a good Andalusian, does not miss a cover wherever he goes. At present, in addition to his Aponiente, he is in charge of several projects such as the Glass Mar of the Urban Hotel, where he opts for a concept of snacks to share that takes us to the typical pecking tavern where, in addition, Jerez wines have great prominence
For León, tapas are part of our culture, of sharing, of celebrating everything around a table eating; It is an icon of our gastronomy and the most exported concept.
The best tapa that recalls having eaten … "The hake pavia of Casa Paco Ceballos here, in El Puerto de Santa María. It is a type of frying typical of Andalusian tapas, where the quality of the hake has to be excellent for it to be juicy and it must be very well fried so that it does not have an excess of oil and fat. A perfect bite. "
His best creation … "I think one that sums up and brings together a lot of our cooking concept is: 'What does the ocean taste like?' It is a can in which the purest sea flavor is concentrated in different textures: gelée of mussels, cockles and plankton broth ".
Ángel León, 'the chef of the sea' © Glass Bar
ÁLVARO GARRIDO, MINE RESTAURANT (1 Michelin star )
"Tapear is a social act, we enjoy eating and drinking and if it is with better friends. We are outgoing, it is part of our culture."
In front of one of the five flagships of Basque haute cuisine, Álvaro Garrido is one of those who considers that each cover has its moment; emphasizing above all that the flavors are well marked and that the product is first class. For him, tapas are not the same before going to lunch on a Sunday than tapas dinner.
The best tapas that you remember eating. "I have eaten many and very good. As the anchovy and hedgehogs of the Txepetxa in Donosti, the stuffed pencas in the Santamaría de Bilbao, the gildas del Basaras, the ham or bonito sandwich of La Viña, the tripe of Rio- Oja, the cod cod in Rotterdam, the dry roe and the mullet in the flame of La Cosmopolita in Malaga. I could say many more. "
His best creation … "I remember one I was doing in season that my 'amama' taught me. When the boat Txitxarro comes , the one that is small, we pass it by flour and fry, we put it in a fountain, we add a good stream of vinegar of apple and fresh chives in julienne, " Garrido explains.
"On the other hand we make a refried with sliced garlic, virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and a slice of chilli pepper, we add it over it, stir a little and let it rest in the fridge. After a few hours we take it out, we toast bread, spread the slice in that oil, put a leaf of farmhouse lettuce, some chopped tomato, the scallion of the Txitxarro and the shredded Txitxarro without spine, a glass of Txakoli and wait quietly for the world to end ", judgment.
Álvaro Garrido, one of the most important faces of Basque haute cuisine © Mina Restaurant
TOÑO PÉREZ, ATRIAL RESTAURANT (2 Michelin stars )
"The essential thing is that it is made with a lot of love, affection and that it transmits sensations."
All eyes fell on Toño when Cáceres became the capital of Gastronomy. Since then, he has not stopped leaving us speechless with his savoir faire on the stove.
For Toño, the cover is one of those moments in a reduced format that can be a great thing, since you spend the whole day touring places to make exclusive trips just to try those small but big bites. And the good thing, according to him, is that you can enjoy it alone or in company.
The best cover that recalls eating … "Well, I remember eating a test of freshly made pork slaughter, with that Iberian greasy smearing of bread, paprika, spices, the smell of bonfire and the conversations of my grandparents ", account.
"They were unique moments where the pig was the protagonist, everything revolved around the animal and most importantly, those feelings that are marked by the passage of time and that you always want to do, make those moments, incredible moments", concludes
His best creation … "In our letter we have a finger food of two bites that I love, it is based on an Extremaduran tomato soup. In the summer we used to do it in a classic version, with its garnish of melon and must gelée. Crispy pie with taro, inside which is the tomato soup well reduced and tied with corn starch, cut in half and topped with a mayonnaise of madras curry.This soup itself, is spiced with roasted cumin, which together to the madras curry and the acidity of the tomato, they make a very tasty and appetizing set ".
"The cover is one of those moments in reduced format that can be something great", Toño Pérez © Atrio Restaurante
PACO RONCERO, RESTAURANT OF THE TERRACE OF THE CASINO DE MADRID (2 Michelin stars )
"Tapear is a social act that goes beyond what you are eating, it is sharing with the people you love . "
In front of the incredible restaurant of the Terrace of the Casino of Madrid, this giant of gastronomy is faithful to the traditions as far as tapas is concerned. "We like tapas because it is part of our lifestyle, " he says.
The media chef believes that what is essential for a perfect cover is a good product, an excellent raw material, which is the basis of success without a doubt. As a second requirement, to be enjoyed, "to stain your fingers with it, " he says bluntly.
The best cover that remembers having eaten … "I have no choice but to tell you that my grandmother's croquettes … I will never forget them … And surely they are not the best croquettes I have eaten, but the ones I like the most and which I have an indelible memory "
Your best creation … "I really love to make tapas, in fact we make them for our more traditional tapas bars, like in the La Terraza del Casino restaurant where the first part of the menu are snacks or tapas that are eaten with your hands. The best? It's coming, for sure! "
Paco Roncero, his name and surname precede it © Paco Roncero
MIGUEL COBO, COBO VINTAGE RESTAURANT (1 Michelin star )
"It has to have a crunchy and sweet texture to be able to define in the mouth the different types of textures, for me essential".
We all remember this finalist of the first edition of Top Chef that, despite not winning the contest, he can well boast of being the first Michelin star that Burgos takes. And well deserved, on the other hand.
For Cobo, the perfect cover has to carry a high quality product. In addition, it is important for him that there is a link between the main product and that small trim that accompanies it.
Miguel tells us that we consume so many tapas for this social culture that we have developed from taking those little bites accompanied by some beers or some wines, because tapas are part of the philosophy of the Spaniards.
The best tapas that you remember eating … "The best tapas I've ever had has been at Casa Marcial, in Arriondas (Asturias): a Torto with a scrambled seaweed and marinated sardine. It transported me directly to Asturias, to its mountains to finish at sea, on the beach. It was a feeling of traveling, from the plateau to the sea. "
His best creation … "Something very simple: a pil pil of hake-headed, a 30-gram taco of hake battered very finely with organic egg and in a very low temperature oil and some peppers of island grilled and peeled and with its reduced broth and put in oil. I also accompany it with a crusty bread made from seaweed. Texture, product and a perfect combination ".
Miguel Cobo, the first Michelin star of Burgos. And well deserved © Cobo Vintage
ÓSCAR VELASCO, SANTCELONI RESTAURANT (2 Michelin stars )
"I don't think there is only one formula for how the perfect cover should be."
Little can be said about Oscar Velasco, one of the most successful chefs in our country. And Santceloni, with Oscar Velasco, is already playing in another league. Velasco also tapas, and for him it depends on each person, because tapas are an informal way to try many different things.
In addition, it is conceivable to cover in general as a moment in a relaxed environment that helps foster and cultivate relationships between people themselves.
The best tapa that recalls eating… “It is very difficult to assess which has been the best tapa, some colleagues make very creative tapas that are very good, but in general I prefer more for the traditional cut tapas, a good Spanish tortilla with onion, some ham croquettes, a salad, they are wonderful tapas. ”
His best creation … "Well, choosing one that I have done is difficult for me, but I am going to say one that we are doing in Santceloni and it is very popular: fried rice, lemon caramel, caviar and cured Iberian pork jowls."
Óscar Velasco and Santceloni, another league © Santceloni
PEPE SOLLA, CASA SOLLA (1 Michelin star )
"Sometimes we see in the tapas authentic gastronomic dishes, but the lid has to be intense and maintain its essence of simplicity."
At the gates of the PortAmérica festival, the most rock chef always comes to the event summoning other great gastronomy. The genius Solla is one of those who think that any lid can work perfect, provided it has a series of characteristics: it must be a small dish that must be eaten in two or three bites. It should not have so much complexity and base its genius on size, intensity, clarity and the right ingredient.
The best tapas that you remember eating… "I remember one of Iván Domínguez in PortAmérica 2017, with cauliflower. It was brutal because of that intensity and clarity based on a humble ingredient. I had a mussel broth. I have eaten many things and it is very difficult to choose one This is one that I think can be a good example. Suddenly, something you didn't expect becomes a big bite. "
His best creation … "Well, like everyone else, you always think it's going to be the next one you do. Surely many of our dishes can be tapas, but I wouldn't highlight one in particular, " he says.
"This year in PortAmérica 2018 we are going to do two: La Flor, which is a pumpkin flower filled with a kind of ceviche from a tuna called Sardinian Sardinian, which we cool a lot so that when the tempura is done, the interior is cold The other is a poultry rooster's thigh, finished with many fresh leaves and a mole poblano. These are my two proposals for PortAmérica 2018, which I advance in first since we have not yet published them, "explains Solla.
Pepe Solla, the most rock chef on the national scene © Nove Cocineros