Updated Friday, March 1, 2024-02:07

In Gofio these days it smells like farewell and spring.

The Canarian cuisine restaurant led by Safe Cruz and Aída González closes a stage in its small establishment in the Las Letras neighborhood to embark on a more ambitious adventure in weeks.


It's been eight years in this place and it was time to move


Many emotions to say goodbye to.

Or see you soon.

Here came the Bib Gourmand (2017) and the Michelin star (2019), and there too, the red guide took away the precious crown in the last edition.

"We don't know the reason," says the Canarian chef sitting at one of the tables in the establishment.

"The star made us strong and helped us believe in ourselves

," adds Aída, manager of the room.

They have remained recommended in the French guide.

Not a bit of resentment in the conversation and more desire than ever to take on the world with the Canary Islands cookbook as our flag.

They found out live during the gala on November 28 in Barcelona that another stage was beginning.

They left the gastronomic Olympus from one day to the next.

"We already had the contract signed in the new space and we were not going to back down. We are going to continue

, the client supports us and no one stops us

," he says with his characteristic cap and without hesitating in what he says.

Harvest sandwich, one of the dishes on Lope de Vega's farewell menu.

With emotions running high, they wanted to say goodbye to what has been their home these years in style and doing what they know best: a menu (short version, 95 euros, and long version, 125) with their most iconic dishes. .

Nineteen bites that taste like little, because there were many more who deserved to be among the chosen ones.

"When we started to recover the letters from 2015, we realized that it was going to be complicated," says Safe.

In the beginning they didn't have a menu, only a la carte.


We selected more than 50 dishes and all from the beginning


It was unfeasible and the situation had to be reconsidered.

Find balance

"We had to balance and have dishes from every year."

They took bites in and out until they came up with the final list.

The rabbit trout with its injected salmorejo and herbs, a 2015 creation, starts the feast.

In the first part of this gastronomic journey, the highlights include a roast leg sandwich in an iron pot in its own juice and light almogrote, red tuna salpicón, cilantro mojo and causa with Palmera pepper;

a sardine harvest sandwich and a spectacular pickled heart with fried pumpkin seeds.

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This Canarian tandem

met at high school

, when they both lived in Tenerife.

"First we were friends and then the rest came up," they say, laughing.

At the age of 24, they left their beloved archipelago and at the age of 26 they began a project in Madrid that they did not know very well where it was going to take them.


There have been and are two of us here. We do not have investment funds behind us

," says Aída.

Gofio has been the center of her life these years.

"We have not brought in partners because we have always preferred to do what we wanted from start to finish," Safe points out.

In the new location, they increase the number of diners, from 20 to 28-30.

They also gain meters in the kitchen, something clearly necessary.

"It seems unbelievable that with the mini kitchen we have now we have achieved what we have achieved," Aída reflects out loud.

The team currently consists of 18 people.

"Many days we eat standing up because we don't go in."

In fact, they had to make space in the room for plating.

"The leap now will allow us to produce better and finer."

They will continue looking for recipes from their land.

"Each island has its culture. There are common things, but also many differences that enrich the setting."

With or without a Michelin star, the level of self-demand will be the same.

"In our case, it was the customers who began to tell us that we had the level of a gastronomic restaurant," recalls Aída.

A good part of this evolution has been "always wanting to improve, in the technique or the dishes we use", and the organization: "It is impossible for us to achieve everything and to delegate you have to form a team and take care of it. To offer a good service "You have to have a good head."

Dressed tomatoes, lupins, orange and pickled onion

In these eight years, the pandemic cannot be ignored - they had been given the Michelin star weeks before -, where once again they knew how to take the chestnuts out of the fire.

"At first we thought that the confinement was going to last a few days. We saw the time to stop for a bit and dedicate ourselves to painting the premises, tidying up the warehouse...".

When they deduced that this was likely to continue, they changed course.

"In 10 days we designed El Lagar, a delivery with five or six dishes," they say.

"Colleagues, like Umiko and Tripea, called us to tell them how we had done it."

They also sold

Canarian wines, another aspect that they want to promote in the new space

, and the reception was "a complete success from the beginning."

Aída González, Gofio room manager.

There has been activity in the room for a while.

Safe already works in the kitchen and goes out from time to time to plate.


This is the chicken croquette with everything

," she says in front of that essential part of the house.

We cannot fail to mention in this iconic menu the

cod kokotchas



red mojo pil pil and fried parsley, the suckling pig fiesta meat, the cow sweetbreads composed with dried tomato and black potato mojo and the cecina Lyo meat picaña.

Gofio is moving near Lope de Vega Street, 9. The management prefers not to reveal it yet.

"We love Madrid and we are very comfortable here."

The finishing touch to this story is the

fried Canarian banana sorbet with goat yogurt foam

that closes the menu.

The history of this dining room, they say, has only just begun.