Tenerife – July, 2018, Championing Tenerife’s evolving culinary scene, on a small island now boasting six Michelin stars, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, is home to three of these stars and an enviable stable of chefs, from Michelin masters Martin Berasategui and his Head Chef Erlantz Gorostiza, to established innovators to watch. This Summer, the glamorous five-star resort, divulges its chefs’ insider tips and island knowledge in the ultimate gastro-guide for epicurean travellers visiting the island of eternal sun.
From Past to Present
Many might not be aware that the island’s gastronomy sees influences of Venezuelan and Latin-American cooking, evolved from the emigration of Canarian communities to America returning with families and rich culinary cues spanning 400 years. Tenerife also see African influences balanced with simplicity and the demonstration of the island’s abundance of fresh produce. – David Rivero.
The Foodie Champion
We have Tenerife’s ancient “Guanches” people to thank for Canarian Black Pork, an endemic species of pig producing incredible flavours and succulent fatty meat. Canarian Bananas known as “platanos”, smaller and sweeter than the common banana. Papas con Mojo small boiled potatoes with coriander sauce and Sancocho Canario. – David Rivero.
The Canarian ‘wrinkled potatoes’ are a traditional delicacy, older potatoes originally cooked in sea water. Tenerife’s tropical fruit rivals the Caribbean with an abundance of mango, avocado and passion fruit.– Davide Bacchi.
Our fertile volcanicterrain nurtures endemic grapes producingwonderful wines. They truly hold their own and much under rated. – David Rivero.
Cheese makers, they are at the top of their game right now. Tenerife cheese is exceptionally good, not long ago voted the best in the world at the World Cheese Awards. The most renowned are from Arico and Benijos but there are many small local producers churning goats’ cheese with strong personalities. On Tenerife, La Quesería Montesdeoca is producing exquisite cheeses. Look out for Ahumado (smoked) and coated with paprika or Gofio or any Semi-Curado. Curado is probably best left for true cheese aficionados! – David Rivero.
We are also renowned for our exceptional fried goats cheese! One of my personal favourites is the award- winning Maxorata from Fuerteventura a goat’s cheese with red pepper. – Davide Bacchi.
In the south, a 20-minute walk from the town of La Caleta, there is a small beach hidden in the middle of nowhere, called “Diego Hernández´s Beach”. – David RiveroPuerto de la Cruz, La Laguna for its history and food, and Garachico. – Davide Bacchi.
Hush-Hush Lunch Spot
There is a small oasis in the middle of Las Américas, “El Bocadito”, where “Sama” its Moroccan chef prepares outstanding Tagines. Everything is homemade “a la minute”. Also, the “Guanchinche”, which originated as a small garage of little producers selling artisan wines and cheese. Track one down for truly traditional Canarian Food, “Ropa Vieja” or “Costillas Con Papas” – David Rivero.
“Casa Edu” for traditional Canarian food, especially meats, and “La posada de San Andrés” for fish. – Davide Bacchi.
On the Vine
Thanks to our volcanic land we are producing wines with high mineral and volcanic properties. We love “Benje”, meaning ‘old peak’. “Benje” is made close to the hotel and combines perfectly with our food at Kabuki, due to its freshness and high acidity. At Kabuki, we currently offer an incredible selection of 80 wines. – David Rivero.
Tenerife has a very interesting wine story as we were one of the only regions in Europe not hit by Phylloxera, which destroyed so many of Europe’s vines. Our vines really carry some age, with many over 100 years. Uniquely our vineyards are free standing and not planted on the American foot, the practice used in Europe at the end of the 19th century, which alleviated the plague of Phylloxera. Only Tenerife’s vines survived with this type of graft. We also use a method of planting with traditional braided cord – a rare process using a braid made with the branches of the vine. In the Canary Islands, bi-plantations (usually potato and vineyards) dominated for two reasons: little space to cultivate and family subsistence. This was enabled by the process of braided cord making it easier to mobilise vines and branches simply planting more volume with an abundance of grape!
One of our best wines is the Vidonia, Bodegas Suertes del Marques from La Orotava Valley. – Victor Riego, Kabuki.
The Hot Dish at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama
That would have to be the fried quail’s egg with white truffle puree niguiri. It’s the reason I’m here! The dish on my own menu most influenced by the island is “Uzusukuri Mojo Verde”, thin slices of white local fish served with black bonita potato and green mojo sauce. Stunning! – David Rivero.
The Paella at El Mirador and home-made pasta at Verona. I’m Italian and love my pasta, we make the best on Tenerife! – Davide Bacchi.
Right now we have so many restaurants at Michelin level, not yet in the guide and this will change – you watch! – David Rivero.
Davide Bacchi is The Ritz-Carlton, Abama’s Executive Sous Chef, with David Rivero, Executive Chef and Victor Riego, Manager and Sommelier at Kabuki restaurant, proudly hailing its Michelin accreditation. The Ritz-Carlton Abama is home to an outstanding choice of ten restaurants, from Michelin-starred mastery at Martin Berastegui’s M.B and the Japanese fusion outpost of Kabuki, elegant seafood at El Mirador, innovative tapas at Martin Berasategui’s second restaurant at the resort – Txoko, succulent steaks at 20/20 Steakhouse, and classic Italian flavours at the refined Verona restaurant.