The 38th edition of the National Gastronomy Awards, presented by DIARIO DE AVISOS, will be held on September 11th at the Auditorium of El Sauzal in northern Tenerife. These awards, previously known as the DIARIO DE AVISOS Gastronomy Awards, have now been given a national scope to reflect the evolving nature of the culinary sector, both within the autonomous community and throughout the country. They recognize the talent, dedication, effort, imagination, and creativity of professionals in the catering industry.
The DIARIO DE AVISOS Foundation, responsible for presenting the awards, made this change to acknowledge the challenges brought by the globalization of the culinary sector, which has experienced rapid and irreversible changes in recent years. The new name also allows for recognition of outstanding restaurants beyond the borders of the autonomous community, as demonstrated in previous editions.
Over almost four decades, these awards have reflected this reality, having honored restaurants such as Atrio, run by José Polo and Toño Pérez, and La Tasquita de Enfrente, by Juan José López Bedmar. Esteemed chefs like the Roca brothers and their sustainable gastronomy project with BBVA, as well as communicators and disseminators such as Tapas magazine, José Ribagorda, and the San Sebastián Gastronomika congress, have also received recognition.
Gastronomy is an essential pillar of DIARIO DE AVISOS, and the newspaper will continue to report on the developments and achievements of this culinary and cultural heritage sector, which embodies our way of embracing coexistence.
The jury of the 38th National Gastronomy Awards of DIARIO DE AVISOS, led by José Luis Conde, has announced the following winners: The Manuel Iglesias Award presented to Mariano Ramos from Los Limoneros; The Best Foreign Cuisine awarded to Najat Kaanache for her culinary project in Morocco and Seville; The Best Performance in Bakery granted to Boutique Relieve; The #Consume Canario Award given to Omar Páez for Bestia Marina.
The Best Performance in Gastronomy Education was awarded to the Basque Culinary Center; The Best Restaurant title bestowed upon San Hô, by Adrián Bosch and Eduardo Domínguez; The Best Performance in Winemaking presented to Bodega Tamerán in Gran Canaria; The Best National Restaurant recognized as Les Cols (Gerona), by Fina Puigdevall and her family; and finally, The Best Performance in Promotion of Gastronomy awarded to Lourdes Plana, president of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy.
THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN THE PROMOTION OF GASTRONOMY
Lourdes Plana, renowned gastronomic disseminator and former director of the Madrid Fusión International Gastronomy Congress, has been serving as the president of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy since September 2020. Under her leadership, the Academy has entered a new stage that emphasizes participation and inclusivity, solidifying its role as a backbone of the gastronomic sector in Spain. Plana has been a staunch supporter of the restaurant industry, which has faced significant challenges in recent years due to the Covid pandemic and the resulting restrictions imposed on the sector.
Recognizing her remarkable contributions, the jury of the XXXVIII National Gastronomy Awards presented by DIARIO DE AVISOS has awarded Lourdes Plana with the distinction of Best Work in the Dissemination of Gastronomy. This recognition extends beyond her work at the Royal Academy of Gastronomy and Madrid Fusión.
Plana is also the founder of the Aragonese Academy of Gastronomy, the former director of the magazine Restauradores (1999-2003), and a co-author of books such as El buen gusto de España and El desafío de la cocina española. She has disseminated her knowledge through various media outlets. In 2004, she received the National Award from the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy for her outstanding work in gastronomic journalism.
Plana’s impressive career trajectory is even more remarkable considering her academic background in Optics, Optometry, and Contactology. From the outset, she has been closely involved with the culinary world, starting as a teacher and partner at the Juan Altamiras de Alambique School.
One of the key objectives that Plana has set for herself at the Royal Academy of Gastronomy is to incorporate food knowledge into the education system. By teaching children about healthy eating habits, she aims to prevent present and future health problems associated with obesity, which has become a pressing issue in the country. Plana also advocates for the importance of a nutritious, well-balanced, and flavorful diet, as she believes that a well-fed population leads to a happier society. In pursuit of this goal, she collaborates with the Spanish Nutrition Foundation and the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality.
Additionally, the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, under Plana’s guidance, is working on projects that aim to position gastronomy as a pillar of Spanish identity. They also focus on preserving the country’s rich culinary heritage.
THE #CONSUME CANARIO AWARD
Omar Páez, the chef behind Bestia Marina and El Sargo Carbón, has been honored with the #Consume Canario Award at the XXXVIII National Gastronomy Awards presented by DIARIO DE AVISOS. The sea of Garachico, visible from one of his restaurants, serves as the inspiration for this chef, who has cultivated his culinary expertise from a recipe book started by his great-grandmother Dolores in 1912. Continuing the family tradition, his grandmother and mother added their own dishes to the collection, and now Omar Páez has expanded the recipe book while delving into new techniques for fish aging and traditional cured meats.
This year, he opened Bestia Marina in his hometown of Garachico, where he has perfected the art of grilling, even extending it to desserts. For cooking, he uses eucalyptus, heather, and fruit tree woods that complement the specific fish being prepared. Certain dishes require extremely high temperatures, such as clams opened at 350 degrees.
In Garachico, Páez also launched El Sargo Carbón, a more casual establishment that showcases his marine charcuterie. This unique concept emerged from his desire to utilize ingredients that would otherwise go to waste. Páez began experimenting with fermentation and maturation, eventually encasing the creations. He started with a spreadable chorizo-like product, reminiscent of the octopus head preparations once made at El Guincho.
Drawing inspiration from his great-grandmother Dolores’ cookbook, which also featured meat-based sausages, Páez applied his knowledge to create his marine-inspired versions. Currently, seven varieties are available, with over 108 references nearly ready to be introduced to the market. These include options featuring blue fish, octopus, mussels, scallops, and even tuna ham coated in lard, following traditional preservation techniques.
In addition to his culinary endeavors, Omar Páez shares a deep passion for the sea and enjoys diving in the waters of Garachico whenever he finds a free moment. In this Villa, he faces a new challenge with a more gastronomic cuisine than El Sargo Carbón, while always paying tribute to his great-grandmother and grandmother through the presence of the family recipe book. His commitment lies in promoting local products and ingredients from the surrounding area (known as “kilometer 0”) in his creations.
THE BEST RESTAURANT
The San Hô restaurant, situated in the Royal Hideaway Corales Beach in Costa Adeje, has undergone a remarkable transformation in a short span of time. Led by chefs Adrián Bosch and Eduardo Domínguez, both native to Tenerife and aged 34 and 36 respectively, the restaurant has achieved a Michelin Star, thanks to its accelerated process of culinary improvement, expanded wine cellar, and cozy aesthetic that offers the option of dining at the bar.
Bosch and Domínguez’s approach in the kitchen goes beyond the boundaries of traditional Japanese cuisine. Drawing inspiration from their childhood memories, the flavors of Tenerife, and collaborations with local producers, they reinvent dishes using advanced fermentation techniques they have developed themselves. They also incorporate Tenerife’s reinterpretation of dashi broths, combining influences from Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. These exceptional achievements have earned San Hô the title of Best Restaurant at the 38th National Gastronomy Awards presented by DIARIO DE AVISOS.
Working as a harmonious duo, Bosch and Domínguez have been collaborating in and outside of the Canary Islands for years, establishing a profound understanding of each other’s culinary vision—an invaluable trait not often found in kitchens and other areas of the industry. The restaurant offers two tasting menus: Esencia and San Hô. Interestingly, the San Hô menu does not feature sushi, although it can still be ordered upon request from diners.
Both menus are worthy choices, with the longer option providing a wider variety of dishes. Although the restaurant only operates in the evenings, the dining experience remains highly enjoyable and digestible.
San Hô, along with El Rincón de Juan Carlos boasting two Michelin stars, benefits from sharing suppliers with the Royal Hideaway Corales Beach. They have access to the finest local produce, sourced from the organic farm La Calabacera and the excellent seafood available along the island’s coastline. These exclusive ingredients contribute to the exceptional quality of the dishes crafted by these talented Tenerife chefs.
While it’s challenging to select standout dishes from San Hô’s exquisite menu, a few noteworthy examples include squid with onion dashi, ginger, and 7-month-aged miso air; carabinero de La Santa; forgotten plants of the Canary Islands with smoked unagui and cured egg yolk; Nikkei ramen featuring smoked bacon, shitake, spring onion, aji panca, and coriander; and local fish served with a tricontinental stew broth and 24-month-aged pinto bean miso.
THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN GASTRONOMY EDUCATION
The judging panel of the 38th National Gastronomy Awards organized by DIARIO DE AVISOS has recognized the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) as the recipient of the Best Work in Gastronomy Training award. The BCC is a unique institution that encompasses a Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences in Donostia-San Sebastian, affiliated with the University of Mondragon, and a Center for Research and Innovation in Food and Gastronomy, an outstanding project at the European level. It serves as a dynamic environment where gastronomy enthusiasts and industry professionals coexist, hosting various events, conference series, seminars, and cultural activities.
The BCC boasts an exceptional building that has received multiple awards, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide students with the most effective and practical learning experiences. The architectural design is harmoniously integrated into its surroundings, projecting an innovative, bold, and inspiring image. Spanning 15,000 square meters in the midst of a campus surrounded by scenic landscapes, the Basque Culinary Center is located in the elevated area of Miramón, to the south of Donostia-San Sebastián, within the Technology Park bearing the same name.
The management body of the Basque Culinary Center is overseen by the Board of Trustees, led by Joxe Mari Aizega, which comprises renowned chefs, institutions, and companies. Additionally, the BCC’s International Council consists of influential international chefs.
Moreover, the BCC offers online courses covering a wide range of gastronomy topics, including avant-garde culinary techniques, rice and cereals, as well as innovative products such as gelling agents, thickeners, emulsifiers, and more. They also cover ice cream formulation, fish, seafood, and essential pastries.
Furthermore, the BCC Innovation serves as the Gastronomy Technology Center of the Basque Culinary Center, dedicated to transforming the gastronomy and food value chain both locally and globally. Their mission involves providing cutting-edge knowledge for designing businesses, products, services, and public policies with a focus on culinary innovation, sustainability, and health, thereby fostering economic and social development.
Their work encompasses areas such as culinary innovation to develop high-value products and concepts for the food industry and Horeca (hotel, restaurant, and catering); sustainability initiatives aimed at promoting gastronomy in line with circular economy principles and eco-design, with the goal of reducing waste and preserving biodiversity, all while considering socio-economic aspects.
THE BEST FOREIGN CUISINE
The judging panel of the 38th National Gastronomy Awards organized by DIARIO DE AVISOS has honored chef Najat Kaanache with the Best Foreign Cuisine award. Born in Orio (Guipúzcoa) in 1978, Najat has grown up immersed in two distinct cultures—the Basque culture and the rural ambiance of Northern Morocco and the Atlas Mountains, where her parents hail from. In her youth, Najat’s Moroccan family resided in a predominantly Basque neighborhood, but they would spend three months each summer in the Atlas Mountains.
During these trips, their car would be laden with supplies that were scarce to find there, such as coffee, powdered milk, medicines, and clothing. On their return journey, the car would be filled with flowers, spices, herbs, nuts, and almonds—enough to last them the entire year in San Sebastian.
Interestingly, Najat’s culinary journey commenced in The Hague, where she presented her first Basque-Moroccan appetizers. She then embarked on an extensive training process under the guidance of acclaimed chefs like Francois Geurds of The Fat Duck, the renowned Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz from Alinea (Chicago), Rene Redzepi at Noma (Copenhagen), and Ferran Adrià at elBulli. Ferran Adrià describes Najat as someone who “represents the spirit of Morocco through the language of cuisine. Her passion for creativity and innovation should serve as an example for the entire country.”
Martín Berasategui also regards her as “a brilliant creative talent, a unique chef, and an irreplaceable friend. She is among the greats.”
Najat established Nur, her own venture in the city of Fez, which has earned recognition as the best Moroccan restaurant in the world and the finest eatery in Africa. Additionally, she owns five more restaurants in Morocco.
This year, Najat opened Ziryab, her inaugural restaurant situated on the first floor of La Taberna del Alabardero, with support from the Lezama Group—a hospitality conglomerate with 10 establishments. The project was born from the vision of priest Luis Lezama, who aimed to provide employment opportunities for young people with limited resources.
Najat’s journey has not been without challenges, but it has always been defined by her unwavering dedication. “I possess Spanish nationality, so I can live anywhere I choose, but the universe guided me back to my ancestral homeland. No one forced me—I made this decision myself. As a strong woman, it is not easy for me within Moroccan culture, but I am not afraid. I fight for my rights. I am fierce. Even in a country where women have limited influence, I am free,” affirms Najat.
THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN WINEMAKING
The judging panel of the 38th DIARIO DE AVISOS National Gastronomy Awards has honored Bodega Tamerán, owned by footballer David Silva, with the Best Work in Wines prize. Born in Arguineguín, Gran Canaria, and known for his successful career at Manchester City and Real Sociedad, David Silva brought his dream of establishing a winery on his native island to fruition four years ago, giving rise to Bodegas Tamerán.
Situated in the heart of the island, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level, on a sprawling estate spanning almost one million square meters in a mountainous region, the winery boasts eight hectares of vineyards. Under the guidance of Jonatan García, owner of the renowned Suertes del Marqués winery in La Orotava, Tenerife, Silva cultivates six varieties of white wine, including Vijariego and Baboso. The exceptional technical evaluations of their wines can be attributed to the volcanic soil and the trade winds that favor the grape quality.
The harvest has yielded a collection of wines crafted from indigenous Canarian grape varieties such as verdello, baboso blanco, vijariego negro, vijariego blanco, marmajuelo, malvasía aromática, and malvasía volcánica. Thanks to winemaker Jonatan García’s expertise, six wines from David Silva’s bodega have made an appearance on Robert Parker’s prestigious list. The Wine Advocate list features wines from around the world and considers those that score over 90 points as excellent.
Notably, the Tamerán Baboso Blanco 2020 received 93+ points, the Tamerán Malvasía Volcánico Blanco 2020 scored 93 points, the Tamerán Vidueño Tinto 2020, the Tamerán Vijariego Blanco 2020, the Tamerán Marmajuelo Blanco 2020 all garnered 92 points, and the Tamerán Verdello Blanco 2020 received 92 points as well.
In June of last year, David Silva himself, accompanied by Jonatan García, unveiled the winery located in La Caldera de Tirajana, within the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. This area is known for cultivating various Canary Island grape varieties and is home to three other wineries boasting the Gran Canaria Designation of Origin. The establishment of this new winery marks a significant step towards highlighting its contribution to enhancing the tourist destination through the primary sector. Moreover, it creates employment opportunities and helps sustain agricultural activities in the region’s hinterlands.
THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN BAKERY
Relieve, a bakery and bread boutique, was established in 1988 by Irene Páez and José Manuel Marrero in the El Toscal neighborhood of Los Realejos, located in the northern region of Tenerife. This family-owned business, now led by the second generation since 2016, namely siblings Alicia, Carolina, and Alfredo, who serves as the creative director and head of production, has successfully combined tradition with innovation, expanding its presence with five shops across different areas of the Orotava Valley.
The judging panel of the XXXVIII National Gastronomy Awards of DIARIO DE AVISOS recognized the pastry shop and boutique Relieve for its ability to create a sweet gastronomy rooted in tradition while incorporating avant-garde elements and utilizing the finest raw materials, which has positioned it as a reference in the field.
Moreover, in its new location in Puerto de la Cruz, Relieve has introduced the Bean to Bar concept, the first of its kind in the Canary Islands, which represents the purest and most respectful approach to chocolate-making. This concept involves not only carefully handling and controlling the raw cocoa beans but also establishing direct relationships with the growers, fermenters, and dryers of the cocoa, thereby opening up endless possibilities in the production process.
Relieve specializes in artisan pastries, bakery items, ice cream, chocolate, and both modern and traditional confectionery. The brand has earned a reputation for its craftsmanship and commitment to using high-quality ingredients.
Alfredo Marrero, who has received training within the family business, further enhanced his skills at the Barcelona Confectioners’ Guild school and worked at bakeries led by renowned professionals such as Oriol Balaguer, El Dolc de Yann Duytchel, and Foix de Sarriá. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Chocolate, enabling him to establish the first Bean to Bar establishment in the Canary Islands, which has become the flagship location for this family business.
In addition, Relieve has implemented a modern and avant-garde ModBar coffee machine, reminiscent of beer taps, ensuring consistent proportions in every cup and eliminating the uncertainty of variations in strength or bitterness.
The establishment also includes a Relieve LAB space, which serves as both a training school and a platform for offering pastry-making courses to professionals and enthusiasts seeking to delve deeper into the world of sweets.
THE BEST NATIONAL RESTAURANT
The judging panel of the 38th DIARIO DE AVISOS National Gastronomy Awards has bestowed the prestigious Best National Restaurant prize upon Les Cols, located in Olot (Gerona) and helmed by chef Fina Puigdevall. Fina, alongside her partner and daughters Martina (head chef) and Clara (sommelier), as well as Carlota who is also involved in the family project, has successfully imbued the restaurant with a cuisine that reflects their very essence.
Nestled within a 15th-century farmhouse, the restaurant in Olot serves a cuisine that is both unpretentious and essential, refined yet abundant, exuding sincerity, balance, austerity, and naturalness in an authentic and emotive manner, infused with enthusiasm, intuition, and sensitivity.
The team that surrounds Fina has become an extension of the family, bonded by the camaraderie cultivated through their daily work. This united effort is dedicated to bringing joy to the diners, a mission that has garnered the restaurant two Michelin stars, the Green Michelin star, and the National Gastronomy Award.
The farmhouse, where Fina Puigdevall herself was born, has been renovated by the esteemed RCR Aranda, Pigem, and Vilalta architects, recipients of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2017. These architectural revisions have resulted in new spaces for celebrations, preserving the heritage of the 15th-century structure.
Les Cols’ cuisine revolves around the principles of seasonality and the rural landscape, utilizing the products of La Garrotxa that envelop the farmhouse. Fina takes pride in showcasing humble ingredients, drawing inspiration from nature and the surrounding landscape. Her approach involves reinterpreting and adapting local produce, playing with the empty spaces on the plate during presentations, striking a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation.
For over three decades, Fina Puigdevall has been at the helm of Les Cols, epitomizing a true family business where everyone has been committed to pursuing excellence. Ensuring the restaurant’s continuity, a new generation of women, namely Martina, Clara, and Carlota, are already leaving their mark and shaping the present of Les Cols.
Les Cols’ unwavering dedication to proximity, sustainability, and quality defines their commitment to the environment. From the outset, they have cultivated their own vegetable garden and henhouse, both of which can be observed from the restaurant itself. Over time, this project has evolved into an R+D space within the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, serving as a hub for work, innovation, research, and creativity.
THE MANUEL IGLESIAS AWARD
In September, Los Limoneros restaurant in Tacoronte will celebrate its 37th anniversary since its grand opening. Since day one, owner Mariano Ramos has been at the helm, crafting dishes that have left a lasting impression on national and international cuisine, using only the finest ingredients.
Transforming Los Limoneros into a culinary benchmark, known for its generational recipes, is undoubtedly a testament to Ramos’ dedication and the teams that have supported him throughout these nearly four decades. Recognizing his unwavering commitment and sacrifice to ensure that diners always savor the best food and create unforgettable moments, the jury of the XXXVIII National Gastronomy Awards has honored him with the prestigious Manuel Iglesias award. This accolade adds to the two previous awards already won by Los Limoneros, including Best Restaurant in the VII Gastronomy Awards of DIARIO DE AVISOS in 1992 and in the same category during the IX edition in 1994.
Ramos takes pride in offering the best products on the table. If the finest hake comes at a higher price, Los Limoneros charges accordingly. “We don’t give it away; we simply charge for it,” is the motto that has always defined this professional from Tenerife. Seafood, lobster, steak tartare, salt-baked sea bass, and oven-baked hake are preferred choices among customers, showcasing classic Spanish dishes that continue to captivate diners. Additionally, recommendations such as salt-crusted sirloin, suckling pig, and lamb shoulder remain ever-present on the menu.
Against all odds, Los Limoneros still upholds table-side service, provided by a team of skilled professionals who are adept at various culinary techniques.
Mariano Ramos’ remarkable career has led him to receive this esteemed award. At the age of 22, he arrived in Tenerife from his native island of La Gomera, with aspirations in the catering industry. Having already completed his military service, he was married and had grown weary of battling seasickness on fishing boats.
Since then, he has never ceased working in the restaurant industry, driven by his passion and fueled by great sacrifice. Few restaurants can claim to have served the public for nearly four decades, making Los Limoneros a true testament to Ramos’ enduring dedication.