Antonio González - Chef at the Restaurant Los Zagales, in Valladolid
"I have seen tapas on the island that have no reason to envy those of Valladolid"
The course animated in January by the chef of the Restaurant Los Zagales marked the beginning of the 2nd Edition of the Ruta de las Tapas de Fuerteventura. Known as Toño, he studied in Switzerland and has worked with the most prestigious chefs such as Tomás Herranz, Luis Irizar, Pedro Lurumbe or Ferrán Adriá. Nowadays, with his brother, they run a total of seven establishments with different types of cuisine.
What did the contests of tapas and pinchos change for Valladolid?For this town, committing to this style of event meant a total and absolute change in the gastronomy offer. Thanks to this, the establishments changed their way of thinking and clients are different also. Before, we only used to have local clients, whereas, nowadays, we have a lot of tourism related to gastronomy, which is getting stronger and stronger.
" I have seen photos of some tapas and I believe they have no reason to envy those of Valladolid, I think it is all a question of time."
What changed after winning the 2010 national Contest of Tapas and Pinchos?
The change was extreme. Before winning we had two people working at the bar kitchen and two waiters, three for the weekends. Nowadays, there are six people at the bar kitchen and on Saturdays, including waiters, there are 14 people. At the Restaurant Los Zagales, we sell about 35.000 tapas per year, of which the Tigretostón that won the National Contest.
What are the characteristics of a good tapa?
In my point of view, it should be elaborated with good raw materials and it must be eaten in one of two mouthfuls, so it should be small. It is very important that it brings on sensations and catches one's attention, either because of its name, flavour of presentation. Fuerteventura is starting its 2nd Edition of the Ruta de las Tapas. Do you think they are doing a good job? I have seen photos of some tapas and I believe they have no reason to envy those of Valladolid, I think it is all a question of time. How did you feel about the training course you animated on the island? Very positive, I felt that people were very receptive and understood perfectly what is being done in Valladolid, which is no better or worse than in other locations, we simply showed what we do.
Do you have an anecdote from the bar of Los Zagales?
We have many, but one time, the Ambassador of the United States was at the bar and was eating an Obama and he told his chief on WhatsApp that he was eating a very good tapa that had his name.