Last month three renowned chefs from three Michelin star restaurants cooked together to create a 12 course culinary extravaganza at the 5* Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona.
Jaume Puigdengolas from Skina, Diego Gallegos from Sollo and Mauricio Giovanini from Messina each cooked four amazing courses and Ana Núñez, Head Sommelier of Kempinski Hotel Bahia expertly paired them with wines. This was a showcase of the amazing culinary talent on the Costa del Sol and the region’s wonderful produce.
Brazilian chef Diego Gallegos, (pictured left with Mauricio Giovanini and Jaume Puigdengolas at the event) known as the Caviar Chef, is reinventing traditional Andalusian cooking, focusing on fresh water fish and caviar after his intensive work to help the recovery of the Andalusian sturgeon. He is an environmentalist, using filmmaking and food to spread the message of sustainable gastronomy. Awarded a Michelin star, the “Chef Revelación” prize at Madrid Fusión 2015, and a Sol in the Repsol food guide for his restaurant Sollo, he is considered one of the most promising chefs in Europe. Sollo is located at the Doubletree by Hilton, Reserva Del Higuerón, Fuengirola and he also has a stall at the Merced Market in Malaga with Asian-Fusion food combining styles and tastes from Japan, Spain, Brazil and Peru called Arequipa.
Following the event, we spoke to Diego to find out more about him, his career and his style of cuisine.
Why did you decide to be a chef?
It was an accident really, I starting because I needed a job and I fell in love with the profession.
When did you open your first restaurant?
We opened Sollo in Benalmadena Pueblo and in 2013 we gained our first Michelin star in November 2015.
What would you say is the style of your food?
Our cuisine focuses on products coming from freshwater fish. We work to save species in danger of extinction due to pollution in the rivers.
What is your signature dish and why does this represent you and your restaurant?
It has to be Morsollo – morcilla or black pudding made with sturgeon blood, it is the perfect representation of all the research we do and the pioneering approach that we take to using everything possible from freshwater fish.
What do you think about the culinary talent on the Costa del Sol?
It’s getting better all the time and that’s brilliant for the area as it attracts more tourism and will encourage the level to keep increasing.
What should gastro tourists do when they visit the Costa del Sol?
Discover the hidden gems that are all over the area and make sure you sample the regional food rather than just the international options.
How has it been to collaborate with two other Michelin starred chefs for Dine with the Stars?
It was an absolute pleasure to cook with these two fantastic chefs and good friends and I’d love to always have three Michelin starred restaurants cooking together for the public.
What is your favourite dish on the menu and why?
The Japanese style eel with Mexican molé potatoes and tamarind béchamel, as it’s both powerful yet elegant.
What do you think about the setting for this event?
An amazing venue like the Kempinski hotel made this an unforgettable night for all the diners.
Do you have anything exciting coming up this year at your restaurant?
We are working on an aquaponics system which will make us 100% self-sufficient – watch this space!
To find out more about Diego Gallegos and Sollo, visit the website www.sollo.es, see the documentary You Are What you Eat or read his book. The book and film explains how they have been making their restaurant more sustainable and their work to protect endangered species of freshwater fish.
The 5* Kempinski Hotel Bahia has four restaurants, a lounge and a pool bar, where you can enjoy anything from a snack or afternoon tea, to steaks, seafood and tapas. Highlights include their beachfront restaurant serving Spanish cuisine in a stunning setting and a wine & steak house showcasing the highest quality cuts of Spanish meats and over 450 wines. There are over 100 tapas dishes on offer at La Cocina de Mi Abuela, where each dish put forward by their talented chefs represents their favourite recipe from their Grandmother’s kitchen, which inspired them to become a Chef.