Aitor Parte exultantly took the stage at the Kursaal to receive from Benjamin Lana, president of Vocento’s Gastronomy division, the trophy that accredits him as the best griller of the 10th San Sebastian Gastronomika grill competition. “We are very excited, surprised because all the participants had a high level and the quality of the meats was spectacular,” said Aitor Parte after receiving the award. We asked him about the secret of a good chop. “A piece of meat from a rustic cow, that has size, that is well fed and, above all, that it is a well-ripened chop”, he assures us. The trophy will occupy a prominent place in the Amaren steakhouse in Bilbao and its griller leaves Donostia with “the personal satisfaction that the time, texture and cooking of the meat has been perfect”.
The terrace of the Kursaal hosted the contest on Wednesday, one of the most popular and mediatic events of the congress. The chef David de Jorge has been the master of ceremonies offering to the assistants didactic explanations and hilarious anecdotes. A total of nine grillers participated in the contest, each accompanied by his or her usual meat company. There were four from Gipuzkoa: Oianume (Urnieta), Hika (Amasa-Billabona), Saizar (Usurbil) and Sutan (Hondarribia), who grilled meats from Dastatzen, Cárnicas Goya, Discarlux and Makro, respectively. From Bizkaia, two grillers were present: Amaren (Bilbao) and Txakoli Simón (Bilbao), with Fisterra Bovine World and Cárnicas Valdi, respectively. Pura Brasa, from Barcelona, with Beef on Food’s, Casa Lola, from Tudela, with Cooperativa Hostelería Navarra, and Carbón Negro, from Madrid, with Grupo Embajadores, completed the list of participants, all of them of high level. The contest took place as usual in a great tasting with a professional jury and a popular jury, the latter made up of all those attending the session, who judged the quality of the meat, its cooking, texture and flavor. The thirteen members of the professional jury were Stjn Oyen, David Ramos, Xabi Gorrotxategi, Nando Jubany, Juanjo Arratibel, Benjamín Lana, Amaia Ortuzar, Francisco Carrasco, Maca de Castro, Xabi Ruiz, Clara Pérez, Najat Kaanache and Mikel Ubarrechena.
The steak party was accompanied by Viña Pomal, a wine that pairs perfectly with the flavor of the meat.