The Avila chef Roberto García managed last Saturday in Zarautz to shine with the 52 representatives of all the provinces of Spain in the contest of the "best barbecue" of chops. García, owner and 'chef' of the hotel and restaurant the Milano Real in Hoyos del Espino (Ávila) managed to overcome a very hard classification with another dozen restaurateurs from the central area of Spain to reach a final four with huge beef chops, very different from the veal meat of Ávila that is part of the menu of his local.


I managed to temper the meat, to show the three colors with its point of salt and, dominate the nerves before colleagues of an enormous level, "acknowledged García with the 'txapela' of winner and the trophy next to the waves of the Cantabrian.

A very different environment to the Sierra de Gredos where García has consolidated the varied leisure and gastronomic offer in a beautiful rural setting. The second edition of the national contest for the best "grill master" in Spain turned the Plaza Munoa into a huge grill in which fifty specialists showed in front of hundreds of spectators their personality in huge cow and ox chops provided by Okelan, the distributor of premium beef that is part of the Gesalaga family group. The Basque food company emerged at the end of the 70s in Zarautz with the butcher shop of Jose Cruz Gesalaga and Arantxa Aizpurua in Zarautz and in 2014 developed a line of precooked foods in which Croqueta and Presumida stand out.

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  • Editor: M. CANALES

Joseba Arguiñano: "My father is not a tough boss, he is rather an animator so that we do things right"


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  • Writing: ISABEL MUÑOZ

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The quality of the product, the presence of the public during the three days of a 'Txuleta Festa (Chop Festival in Basque) that was framed in a postcard scenario with the beach located next to the steaming grills with charcoal and steaks that ended up dazzling the chefs from all over Spain. "The atmosphere with all the chefs has been incredible and, for me, an opportunity to enjoy the grill," confessed Roberto García after beating Alejandro Farace (Asador Martín Fierro) from Almería, Diego Corrales (Belua Restaurant) from Valencia and Mitxel Suárez (Asador Borda Berri) from Álava.

A final that reflected the consolidation of quality beef as a gastronomic product valued throughout Spain. "In the past there was a lot of culture in the Basque Country but we are delighted with the exponential growth in recent years of quality in regions such as Mallorca or Murcia with great chefs who bring their own idiosyncrasies," explained Edur García, commercial director of Okelan while observing the continuous work on the grills where each participant cooked the chop that at that same moment had been cut from the same ribbon for each group of competitors.

García not only took from Zarautz the applause of his colleagues and the public that packed a huge tent located in the Plaza Munoa but also a new grill, wider than he had until now to increase the culinary proposal of his restaurant in the Sierra de Gredos. "We work not only the chop of Ávila but also the fish and our menu is not limited to the grill but we offer a creative cuisine in which we bet on the product of proximity", explained García after an intense gastronomic day in which he won a large jury in which veterans such as the chef and pastry chef Joseba Arguiñano -son of Karlos Arguiñano- and debutants such as the actor Gorka Otxoa were mixed. in the middle of filming the second season of 'Machos Alfa'. "I had never been a jury of anything and I love to eat which, together with traveling, are my hobbies but I am clear that I like the chop little done, with a good point of salt and that they do not bring it cold", he requested the Okelan team with José Luis Gesalaga, the general director of the group, going back and forth with the freshly made chops to the jury members.

"We are here learning; you learn many details because you see that different grills with the same ribbon and the same fire are able to offer you different flavors, "said Joseba Arguiñano in a continuous tasting of chops that incorporated those "details" that were authentic delicacies with which to enhance the flavor of the meat. Inti Ramses, chef of El Caserón del Cortijo de Telde (Gran Canaria), was one of the grillers who, together with the search for "the point" of meat, incorporated winks of a Canarian cuisine that is going further and competes without complexes with all Spanish cuisines.

"The Canary Islands are living a great moment, young chefs super motivated and concerned about doing well and the result in a short time will become a safe gastronomic capital," Ramses warned his colleagues after finishing a chop that accompanied with virgin salt from the salt flats of Bocanegra and completed with some wrinkled potatoes with mojo picón that united the Canary Islands to the coast of Gipuzkoa.

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