The city of Almería has been awarded the title of Capital Española de la Gastronomia 2019. The award was given by a jury in Madrid organised by the Spanish Federation of Hospitality (FEHR) and the Spanish Federation of Journalists and Writers of Tourism (FEPET).
The jury panel called upon the expertise of many experts in tourism and gastronomy to assist in coming to their conclusion, which has thrilled the residents of the province – including Spain Buddy of course, because this is where we are based.
The announcement was made by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Oliver, who congratulated the city and encouraged other cities to participate in future awards. Also in attendance were the Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (Jaima Cabal) and the General Director of Food Industry (José Miguel Herrero). Fitur’s General Director (Ana Larrañaga), and the Eurotoques representative gave their apologies for being unable to attend.
Previously the award has been given to Logroño (2013), Burgos (2014), Vitoria (2015) ), Cáceres (2016), Toledo (2017) and León (2018).
Why did Almería win the Capital Española de la Gastronomia 2019?
Among the many reasons listed for the city winning were the announcement that more than 10,000 letters of support were sent as well as highlighting the area providing “excellent produce, the “commitment to sustainability and a creative cuisine that combines tradition and innovation.” The jury also pointed out that, despite Almería being the driest province in mainland Spain, it still led the way in terms of sustainability using that precious and limited resource – water. Scientists travel from all around the world to see firsthand the technologies in use in what must be described as “the garden of Spain.” The jury added that “one in three European families regularly consume products made in Almeria”.
Almeria, as a province, provides some truly special delicacies such as the red shrimp from Garrucha and such dishes as migas. This is the first time that the award has reached the waters of the Mediterranean. The province also has two Michelin starred restaurants currently – La Costa (El Ejido) ) and Restaurante Alejandro (Roquetas de Mar).
The heads of those two restaurants wish to pay homage to many other great places to eat that give you a taste of authentic Spain. Yolanda García, head chef of Restaurante Alejandro, said she adores eateries such as Terraza Carmona (Vera), Juan Moreno Restaurant (Vera), Las Eras by Antonio Gázquez (Tabernas), Casa Avelina (Turre) and El Jarrao (Cuevas de Almanzora ). But she pointed out that there are also youngsters making a real impression already, like the chefs of Real Agua Amarga (Agua Amarga), Corkscrew Bistro (Aguadulce) or Restaurante Travieso , in Almería’s capital. For his part, José Álvarez, the chef from La Costa, recommended Casa Joaquín, the oldest restaurant in Almería city. He described it as, “a peculiar and very authentic place” in which, he says, “you really eat Almería, and that’s important!”.
What will happen in 2019?
During the rapidly approaching year, Almería city will be involved in more than 300 organised events in its capital and around Spain. Such events will include “La Capitalidad,” now in its seventh edition. Historically the winners of these awards have seen increased visitor numbers thanks to the media coverage achieved.