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"Green" chefs in Spain/Portugal


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The easy answer is that they are the rule rather than the exception. In many ways that may be true as most restaurants tend to highlight local agriculture and producers or at least regional and national. Where it gets tricky is when it comes to seafood. They still tend to focus on local ingredients as above, but the question of sustainability is a tough one as many of the more popular items are or have been overfished. Cod is a classic example, but really the problem runs right through the entire fishery as strains are being felt everywhere.

One thing that one doesn't see like one does in the US is highlighting of specific farms or producers with a few exceptions such as "Joselito" Iberian pork. For the most part product may be identified as regional or local, but rarely more specific than that.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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One specific example that I can give is Rafael Vidal of Restaurant Levante outside of Valencia. A restaurant specializing in paella, Chef Vidal uses primarily if not completely local products including many out of his own gardens.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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One specific example that I can give is Rafael Vidal of Restaurant Levante outside of Valencia. A restaurant specializing in paella, Chef Vidal uses primarily if not completely local products including many out of his own gardens.

Thanks!

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One specific example that I can give is Rafael Vidal of Restaurant Levante outside of Valencia. A restaurant specializing in paella, Chef Vidal uses primarily if not completely local products including many out of his own gardens.

Thanks!

I would also recommend Pedro Subijana of Akelarre. I visited his herb garden, and I saw some of the seasonal ingredients he was using were sourced from local farmers and friends, and he believes highly in seasonal food. Also Fernando del Cerro, at Casa Jose in Aranjuez is doing marvelous things, the Sandoval brothers at Qoque, in Humanes, Victor Arguinzoniz of Etxebarri (also has own vegetable garden), the latter one of the best restaurants in Spain in my opinion, or at least that focuses most on excellent produce and mastering simple techniques to bring out the best of food.

My own cooking is all organic, local and seasonal (Madrid area).

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