October 3, 2018
Cañabota. The triumph of a fish stall
Cañabota was a project that began three years before it opened, in October 2016, and was the brainchild of Juanlu Fernández. It took on real shape after he discussed the project with Eduardo Guardiola and Perico Giménez, from the restaurant Tribeca; the two were immediately taken with the idea, setting to work to make it happen.
Cañabota (cow shark), like dogfish, is a fish belonging to the shark family. And dogfish was what Ricardo Gálvez, Juanlu’s maternal grandfather – known as the king of dogfish – sold at the old Encarnación market in Seville. It would be close to this market where Juanlu (the fifth generation of fishmongers) would pay tribute to his own family story, together with Perico Giménez and Eduardo Guardiola.
Cañabota firmly believes in sustainability, in using every single part of the fish, in the influence of age on the various cooking methods, in particular with regard to very large fish.
Eduardo makes the rounds of the ports and personally knows his suppliers at the fish markets, as well as the boats that bring in quality produce. He is truly well-versed in the different biological cycles of each species, knowing how to choose each one when it is at its seasonal best, not to mention from the best source.
For his part, Perico Giménez (1965) brings the knowledge he acquired from the more than twelve years he cooked at Tribeca, as well as his know-how in handling fish.
But that’s not the end of the team. To the above-mentioned we must add Marcos Damián Nieto, Cañabota’s head chef and master of the embers and Argentinian-style grills. Having worked with Paco Pérez at Miramar, and with the Roca brothers at the restaurant Roca Moo, in Barcelona, he has now been with Juanlu Fernández for over seven years, starting from when they began together at Binomio.
We must not forget Pepe, Juanlu’s father, who works in the kitchen making sure that the fish are perfectly cleaned and have been subjected to the appropriate cut.
And last but not least, Cañabota would not be what it is without the personality of its brainchild, Juanlu Fernández. He is the true soul of the restaurant. He has skilfully combined front of house and the kitchen, integrating both aspects. It is he who has turned Cañabota – both for the care with which the produce is chosen, as well as for the preparation of the dishes and the service – into a benchmark of today’s Andalusian cuisine. A special establishment that has placed produce from the Andalusian coast on the level it rightly deserves.
By Antonio Colsa