The two Michelin-starred chef Oriol Castro (Disfrutar Barcelona), presided over the Jury of the 32nd Edition of Catalonia’s Young Cooking Contes, one of the oldest culinary contests in Spain

This past Wednesday 25th April 2018 the University College of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts of Sant Pol de Mar has held the 32nd edition of Catalonia’s Young Cooking contest.

This event is part of the 39th Gastronomy University Meeting and is one of the oldest culinary contests in Spain, this has been taking place since 1987.

The contest had a total of 9 participants that came from both the academic and the professional areas. Each one of them presented a dish following this year’s theme: Innovation in the traditional cuisine.

The culinary proposals of the contestants were valued by a professional jury chaired by the two Micheling-starred chef, Oriol Castro (Disfrutar Barcelona). Also part of the jury were Mrs. Rosa Mayordomo, President of the Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia i Nutrició; Mr. Ramon Serra, President of the Executive Direction Board of Sant Pol de Mar’s Hotel-School; Dra. Diane Dodd, Director of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), Dr. José Antonio Donaire, vice chancellor of Communication and International Relations for the University of Girona and Mr. Fernando Toda, representing the magazine Saber y Sabor (Grupo Vilbo).

During the day, the contestants presented and explained the details of their creations, and also answered the questions asked by the members of the Jury. Once the 9 dishes of the participants were displayed, it was time for the evaluation behind closed doors and, finally, the prize-giving ceremony.

Oriol Castro wanted to begin the ceremony with a brief speech in which he wants to underline the importance of being “a good cook but, above all, a good person” since, he says, in his restaurant (Disfrutar Barcelona) “people come first, we make a great team.” Furthermore, he congratulated every contestant and flattered their proposals, encouraging them to keep learning.

The awards were distributed in 5 categories and a total of 4 prizes. The Absolut Prize, awarded by Sant Pol’s Hotel-School and  given by Oriol Castro, President of the Jury, has been for Eric Díaz, coming from Escuela Joviat. The winning proposal was titled “Pollo a la manresaneta”.

As the winner of the contest, Eric Díaz will represent Catalonia at the European Young Chef Award that will take place next November in Galway (Ireland).

The Award for the Skills and the Best Preparation Technique was for the dish “Mar y montaña a la llauna” cooked by José Cuesta of The One and given by Mrs. Rosa Mayordomo, President of the Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia i Nutrició.

Melvin Alvarado, pupil of Sant Pol’s Hotel-School, has been handed the Award for Imagination and Creativity with a culinary proposal named “Calçot a la brasa con romesco”. Mercè Escrics, responsible of the areas of Knowledge, quality and touristic competitiveness for the Generalitat de Catalunya, has given the trophy.

Lastly, the Award for the Best Presentation has been for Daniel Martínez, from EHTB Barcelona with the dish “Sepia a la bruta”.

The ceremony has also counted on the presence of Montserrat Garrido, Mayor of Sant Pol de Mar, who has closed down the prize-giving congratulating all the contestants and winners; she also highlighted the importance of working to innovate and keep alive the traditional Catalan cuisine.

Oriol Castro has put to close Catalonia’s Young Cooking Contest with a cooking demonstration that has captivated contestants, students and guests.


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