Balearic gastronomy writers’ awards for 2017

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Chefs / Drink / Eat / Restaurants / Wine
Before the awards ceremony

L-R Bernabe Caravotta and Sebastian Perez from Vandal, Maria Salinas, Alvaro Salazar, and well-known chef/culinary consultant Koldo Royo

The Balearic Association of Gastronomy Journalists and Writers (Associació de Periodistes i Escriptors Gastronòmics) yesterday presented its annual awards for 2017. Here are the winners that may be of interest to readers of this blog.

Chef of the Year 2017 – Álvaro Salazar

Alvaro Salazar, chef at Argos

Award-winning chef Alvaro Salazar

Álvaro was born in Linares in 1985 and studied in Cordoba, before gaining experience working in starred restaurants in places including Paris, Kuwait, and Stockholm. He came to Mallorca in 2011 and worked for Andreu Genestra. In 2014 he moved to the new restaurant Argos within the newly opened La Goleta del Mar hotel in Port de Pollença; that same year, he was named by the San Pellegrino guide as one of the 10 best young chefs in Spain and Portugal. Michelin awarded one star to Argos for 2017 and 2018.

Argos re-opens for dinner after its winter break on Friday, March 2nd.

Revelation Restaurants – jointly awarded to Restaurant Maria Salinas and Vandal

Maria Salinas and Miquel Gelabert

Maria Salinas with her friend Miquel Gelabert from Can March, Manacor

Taking its name from the chef/patron Maria Salinas, this restaurant in Mancor del Vall is located in a typical Mallorcan townhouse and first opened in August 2016. We had a cosy lunch here with friends, enjoying the homely atmosphere and great-value cuisine.  Palma-born Maria is a warm-hearted woman whose lovingly made cuisine is based on produce she sources locally, thus supporting producers in the area. She has become known as la madame de la cuisine. 

Vandal opened in Palma’s Santa Catalina in the middle of last year and is the project of Bernabé Caravotta and Sebastián Pérez – who met whilst working for the Forn de Sant Joan restaurant group. It’s open for dinner only and offers cuisine from around the world. I haven’t yet eaten here, but it’s on the list…

Sommelier/Maître d’ of the Year 2017 – Sebastián Longo

Sommelier Sebastian Longo from Zaranda

Sebastian Longo

Sebastián Longo is from Argentina, where he studied at the country’s college of sommeliers. His skills were further honed in Bolivia, Brazil, the USA, and Italy, before he came to Mallorca and the hotel Castell Son Claret in Es Capdellà. There he works closely with chef Fernando Pérez Arellano of 2-Michelin-starred restaurant Zaranda and is in control of the cellar’s more than 600 wine references.

Bakery/Patisserie of the Year – Can Pomar

Can Pomar wins award

Francesc Pomar and his wife at the award ceremony

Can Pomar is run by the fifth generation of the business’s founding family. Francesc Pomar started his bakery in Campos in 1902 and today the Can Pomar sign hangs over two bakeries in Campos and two in Palma.  In recent years many Mallorcan bakeries have closed their doors, in the face of competition from supermarket bakeries. Authentic traditional bakeries – where the dough is made on site – deserve to be valued. And Can Pomar clearly is.

Best Bar/Gastrobar – Rambar

Best bar/gastrobar 2017

We won!

The most recent addition to Ramon Andreu’s Tast Group of culinary businesses, Rambar in Palma’s Ramblas opened in 2017 and has gained a reputation for its high-quality meat dishes, cooked on a Molteni grill that was tailor-made for this business. A place for tapas, other dishes, vermouths, and cocktails – and very popular with locals.

Best local cuisine restaurant – Can Amer

Tomeu Torrens and Lydia Corral

Ultima Hora’s Lydia Corral presented Tomeu Torrens with his certificate

Over the years since we’ve lived here, we’ve eaten many times at this atmospheric family-owned-and-run Inca cellar restaurant, where chef Tomeu Torrens has been at the stoves since 2004. Celler Can Amer should be on the must-visit list of anyone coming to Mallorca; find it opposite Inca’s indoor marketplace.

©Jan Edwards 2018

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