It hardly seems possible that a year has gone by since I wrote about two of the winners of the 2014 awards made by the Balearic gastronomy journalists and writers or, to give it its local name, l’Associació de Periodistes i Escriptors Gastronòmics de Balears. The time has probably flown by because so many interesting and exciting things have been happening on the Mallorcan gastronomic scene.
The Association presented their awards for 2015 on February 8th to those they believe have raised the quality standards of Balearic gastronomy. This year the eight award categories included two new ones and prizes were awarded for best bar/gastrobar and best restaurant for local cuisine. Prizes were awarded in Mallorca and, at a separate ceremony (today), in Menorca. The following are the awards for Mallorca, the focus of this blog:
Chef of the year
This wasn’t too much of a surprise. The winner, 37-year-old Fernando P Arellano, is chef/patron of Zaranda – one of only two restaurants in Spain to be awarded a second Michelin star for 2016. Zaranda is within the 5-star Castell Son Claret hotel in southwest Mallorca.
Winner Adrían Quetglas opened his eponymous restaurant in Palma’s Passeig Mallorca last year, after a successful decade working in Russia. Quetglas once worked at Read’s Hotel with British chef Marc Fosh, but has also worked in Paris and in London, with the famous Marco Pierre White.
Patissier of the Year
Jaume Oliver from Forn Can Salem in the town of Algaida. This bakery/patisserie is not easy to find if driving; arrive too late and you’ll find almost everything already sold (speaking from experience here). Forn Can Salem – founded by Jaume’s father in 1967 – is worth seeking out. The artisan was attending Europain, the world bakery and patisserie exhibition, in Paris, but his daughter represented him at the award ceremony.
Roberto Duran is now working in London at 67 Pall Mall, the private members’ club for wine connoisseurs. He’s building on experience that has already seen him win the title of Spain’s Best Sommelier in 2015. Roberto returned to Mallorca to receive his award. British Airways is now doing cheap weekly flights between Palma and Stansted . . . just saying.
Professional career award
Josef Sauerschell has worked on Mallorca for more than 30 years and is the chef/patron of one-Michelin-starred Es Racó d’es Teix in Deià, which he opened in 2000 with his wife at front of house. The Michelin star was awarded in 2003.
Promotion of local products
Ecological farmer Biel Torrens, whose farm is in the hamlet of Ruberts in central Mallorca, was recognised for his role in the recuperation of the ancient local wheat variety known as xeixa and the native red pepper tap de cortí. Many top restaurants on Mallorca source produce from him.
Brassclub in Passeig Mallorca (try it for a cocktail before or after a visit to nearby Adrían Quetglas) is a must-visit in Palma. Master mixologist Rafa Martín – who won the bronze medal in the world cocktail championships in Peking in 2012 – has 3,000 bottles from which to choose, in a stylish ambience that’s reminiscent of great classic bars you’d find in cities like Manhattan, Madrid, or Barcelona.
The Caty Juan de Corral prize for best local cuisine restaurant
Can March Restaurant in Manacor won this prize. Opened as a cafeteria in 1925, this restaurant is now something of a gastronomic temple, located in a side street off the Felanitx road in the town. Brothers Toni, Tolo, and Miquel Gelabert (not the Miquel Gelabert who makes wine!) run their family’s restaurant, where Miquel is in charge of the kitchen.