Igor Rodríguez – Spanish tapas cook Champion with his crayfish-ensaimada
Thursday 09 November 2017,15:56h

The president of the jury of TaPalma 2017 and chef of San Sebastian, Igor Rodriguez, has been proclaimed, this Wednesday night, champion of Spain in the XIII National Competition of Pinchos and Tapas City of Valladolid with his cover’ Ensaimada de cangrejo de río’.

Igor Rodríguez se corona como cocinero de tapas de España con su ensaimada de cangrejo de río

The lid of the chef of the Ham del Port de Sóller restaurant, consisting of a small ensaimada stuffed with a stew with crayfish in tomato sauce with a spicy touch, has conquered the palate of all the members of the jury of the thirteenth edition of the event, which was held on 6,7 and 8 November in the Dome of the Millennium of Valladolid and in which the following events took place on 6,7 and 8 November in the Dome of the Millennium of Valladolid.

The TaPalma organization celebrates the success of a chef who has always been linked to the tapas route that has been held in Palma for so many years. “Igor is a chef who has demonstrated, on many occasions, how good it is not only winning, more than once, TaPalma, but other national and international competitions,” said Beatriz Diez Mayans, director of AgenciaCom and organizer of the event. “We are proud to have him in the organization for the past two years.

An ensaimada stuffed with crayfish
The top champion is a tribute to one of the most traditional Mallorcan pastry products, the ensaimada, as well as to a very traditional stew in Castile and Leon cuisine made with crayfish.

With his proposal, Igor Rodríguez, has managed to bring together two culinary traditions deeply rooted in both regions: the land that hosted him, Mallorca, and the one that welcomes him so well year after year in his participation in this national competition, in which he has participated since 2009. The chef says that the ensaimada of crayfish was born “by chance”,”while I was thinking about what cover I would present this year with my wife in front of a bakery in Palma”.

The lid consists of a mini ensaimada, presented in the typical cardboard box that characterizes this Mallorcan product, for which Rodríguez has had the collaboration of renowned pastry chef Jaume Oliver, from Can Salerm, from Algaida (Mallorca), to achieve the perfect texture.

The stuffing is a version of a traditional Castile and Leon stew based on crayfish, tomato sauce and a spicy touch. Igor made a stew with poached vegetables and a bit of cayenne to which he added the crab with its shell for greater flavor.

To obtain the definitive skewer or cover has meant several months of tests and the elaboration of about thirty ensaimadas. To the degree of difficulty of obtaining the desired textures and flavor, it was added “the inconvenience of having to inject the filling sauce into the ensaimada in response to the safety regulations that prevent the transport of liquids in the airplanes”.

The chef also surprised all the members of the jury with the powder with which he sprinkled the ensaimadas, emulating the crystal sugar characteristic of this typical Mallorcan pastry, a trompe l’ oeuvre consisting of an oil made from crushed crab shells and candied textured with Maltosec, to which he added Fichi powder and some Isomalt sugar.

Unanimously elected the best in Spain
The jury, chaired by the media chef Alberto Chicote and made up of the permanent members Javier García Peña, chef of Sibaritas Klub and former contestant of Top Chef; Moha Fedal, from Masterchef Morocco and Ana Vega, journalist chef of’ El Comidista’; together with nine other alternate members, has unanimously chosen the cover’ Ensaimada de can crayfish de río’.

The prize consisted of the accreditation of Champion of Spain 2017, a representative sculpture and a cheque for 6,000 euros. Also, the winner will go directly to the II Tapas World Championship next year, as a representative of our country, a new international competition that in this first edition has won chef Oyvind Boe Dalelv, from the Statholdergaarden restaurant in Norway, for his tapa’ Norwegian codfish in Jerusalem artichoke crunchy Jerusalem seaweed’.