The tapas dish is part of Spain’s national heritage, but the Basques with their pintxos (a canapé or bar snack) hold the distinction. At Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión 2019 another Basque chef – more specifically a chef with an establishment in Bilbao – Borja Etxebarría (The Board), won the Mahou-San Miguel-sponsored National Tapas Competition, joining last year’s winner Manuel Eduardo (Haritza Gastro).
Etxebarría’s iodized steak tartare prevailed over the other finalists’ creations in the minds of the judges, made up of renowned professionals from the restaurant and catering world, for instance Sergi Arola, Peio García Amiano, Oraitz García, Jesús Trelis, Iván Muñoz, Juan Antonio Medina and Luis Veira. In their judging, all of the above were struck by the originality and creativity of the dish, and Etxebarría’s ability to hit the right note in his beer-matching.
Elsewhere, the 3rd Edition of the Mahou-San Miguel National Beer Tasting & Pouring Competition was won by Ileana Rodríguez Cruz (La Pintxoteca Mar, Vigo). In the final, presented by journalist Xavier Agulló and judged by the watchful eye of the same jury as the National Tapas Competition, Rodríguez came out on top against four other finalists – all from the Beer Pouring Competition at the Different local Tapas Shows sponsored by the beer company throughout the year – in the art of pouring a beer.