Balfegó at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2021
San Sebastián Gastronomika 2021 once again brought together professionals from the sector in a year that more than ever was a series of REENCOUNTERS, so called because it was a fresh take on dialog between Spanish and French kitchens.
Balfegó received, as is customary at the world’s top gastronomic convention, chefs from our country and arrivals from all over the world, at its stand located in the exhibition area. Visitors to this area were able to try the different cuts of tuna and dishes prepared by Ekaitz Apraiz, chef at the Tunateca Balfegó restaurant, and his team. This year it was also possible to sample dishes from Chef Rafel Muria, from the Quatre Molins* restaurant.
The impressive and intimidating auditorium, a space dreamed of by chefs from all over the world, welcomed Chef Ekaitz Apraiz in a presentation entitled “Tunateca: research, innovation and gastronomic creation around bluefin tuna”, which showed the work that the chef and his team have developed over the years.
He gave a description of the different parts that Balfegó, with its R&D team, has put on the market to maximize the use of each tuna, thus representing sustainability throughout the process of fishing and marketing of the great bluefin tuna.
The chef presented a 35-day aged bluefin tuna loin that demonstrates the investigative, experimental and critical spirit of this gastronomic space located in the heart of Barcelona. A process that is carried out under the criteria, analysis and supervision of the Balfegó innovation and sustainability department. The chef wanted to show the chefs present the lesser-known parts of the bluefin tuna that can be enjoyed in Tunateca Balfegó, the harmonica, the ear, the octopus-tuna (tendon). He didn’t overlook the cheeks and the sangacho, the part of the loin attached to the central spine that used to be discarded due to its different flavor and which is now highly appreciated for the selenium it contains, which is very beneficial for our health.
A presentation that showed the spirit of Tunateca and Balfegó which unite dining and sustainable gastronomy, as demonstrated by their certificates from Biosphere and the Generalitat. The Balfegó bluefin tuna also has the Aenor certificate for environmental sustainability. But Tunateca has taken a step further, as all the products used in its kitchens have the environmental quality guarantee mark; an ecological labeling system that recognizes that its products and services exceed the environmental quality requirements established as mandatory by current regulations.
At the end of the Tunateca presentation, another area of the convention beckoned the attention of attendees, the Ni Neu room showed the work of three of those selected to compete in the final of Chef Balfegó 2021, the professional cooking contest that this year has reached its 4th edition, becoming one of the most important in Europe due to the high level of its participants and dishes presented. This year, chefs from restaurants with nine Michelin stars combined made it to the final, including the first international contestant from a guest country, Italy.
The first up was Ander Hurtado. Restaurante Zarate* (Bilbao), who made, live, the two dishes that earned him second place in the contest.
- Warm ramen of Balfegó Bluefin Tuna and begi handi with autumn notes. It was accompanied with BENUFET wine
- Ingot of Balfegó Bluefin Tuna parpatana and pig’s trotters, heart and ear. It paired perfectly with the LA XALAMERA wine.
Chef Lara Rodríguez. Restaurante Kraken (Gijón) gave two dishes an Asturian twist:
- Balfegó Red Tuna, saffron, Pitu Caleya chicken and crests. Accompanied by LA SERRA Blanc wine
- Balfegó Bluefin Tuna heart ravioli anticucho with bean curry. With LA PILOSA wine
Chef Juan Carlos Reyes. Restaurante ABaC*** (Barcelona) brought to the stage a gourmet cuisine experience with the following dishes:
- Skewer of Balfegó Bluefin Tuna, compote, sour and aged garlic. The selected wine this time round was LLUNARI (Verema Solidària)
- Andares and Nadares, the second course paired with the LA SERRA Negre wine
Sheila from Bodegas Heréncia Altés explained the suggested pairings between wines from this winery and the contestant dishes in Chef Balfegó 2021.
All attendees were able to sample the six dishes and the wines together in this tasting specially created for the event.
The eventwas the ideal platform to present Balfegó’s new project, created to support the brand’s chef clients, Indigo Balfegó, a space for chefs in which to discover, learn, connect, experiment, share and, above all, create. Indigo Balfegó is the first exclusive space for professional chefs, an initiative with which we offer our clients much more than an exceptional product, carefully leading them by the hand.
With this new project and the latest San Sebastián Gastronomika event created by Balfegó, we bid farewell to another edition of the veteran Basque congress.