The semi-final of the Tarragona and Lleida Lladonosa Gastronomic Awards will be held next Sunday 2nd of April at the Josep Carreras Auditorium in Vila-seca, with five students chosen from two culinary training centres.
The Vila-seca semi-final will be dressed up next Sunday with seven Michelin stars at the event that will bring together the largest number of chefs recognised by the Michelin Guide, even more than the final, in the third edition of the Josep Lladonosa Gastronomic Awards.
The chef Pep Moreno, from the restaurant ‘Deliranto’ (Michelin Star) and the Torres brothers, from Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona (three Michelin Stars) will coordinate the jury, which will also include Eduard Xatruch, from ‘Disfrutar’ in Barcelona (two Michelin Stars), Vicens Guimerà, from ‘Antic Molí’ in Ulldecona (Michelin Star) and Ferran Cerro (Sol Repsol) -, who will be looking for the finalists from Tarragona and Lleida for the second edition of the Josep Lladonosa Gastronomic Awards, the ‘masterchef’ of Catalan cookery students, next Sunday 2nd April in the Josep Carreras Auditorium in Vila-seca. Five students, one from Tarragona and four from Lleida, will showcase their skills in a live showcooking event to reach the grand final, which will take place on the 7th of May in Les Borges Blanques (Lleida). The event is open to the public free of charge.
The mayor of Vila-seca, Pere Segura, and the councillor for Innovation and Tourism, Cristina Cid, stressed the value of gastronomy as a strategic flag of the municipality. “We are in a place with agricultural roots, and although the generations have moved on and changed, the link with the product remains; it is the duty of public institutions to promote the value of the young talent that is being trained, with the challenge of being able to transform the Costa Daurada through a sector that enriches experience and knowledge”, said Segura today at a press conference.
Some twenty students from 10 different cookery schools – chosen from among fifty candidates from 20 training centres – have been selected to cook in the semi-finals of the awards, promoted by the Borges Blanques Town Council (Lleida) under its ‘Olive Oil Capital’ extra virgin olive oil promotion brand.
The jury evaluates the level of the future chefs in two semi-finals: the first on 16 March, in which students from Girona and Barcelona took part, and the second scheduled for Sunday in Vila-seca. The election of the best student chef in Catalonia is carried out through a gastronomic competition inspired by the ‘masterchef’ format, which is open to all public and private catering schools in Catalonia.
The first semi-final rounds were held on 16 March at the Escola Superior d’Hostaleria de Barcelona (ESHOB). Max Olivares and Ruben Wang, from the Escola Superior d’Hostaleria de Barcelona (ESHOB), and Seydou Drame from the Escola d’Hostaleria Vallès Oriental-Montornès del Vallès (EHVO), are the three qualified for the Barcelona region. Along with them, Maimouna Mballo, from the Escola d’Hostaleria de Girona, and David Trillo, from the same school, both from the province of Girona, also qualified in that order as the first finalists.
This year, in order to continue to promote gastronomic talent in the region, the work of the entire team working in the kitchen was highlighted, and a new category of room service was created, which will not have representation from Lleida and Tarragona in 2023 due to a lack of participation. Raquel Fernández and Óscar Navarro, from ESOHB, Ton Zambrano, from the CETT Barcelona School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy, and Alex Berrocal, from the Escuela Hoteleria y Turismo de Barcelona (EHTB) qualified for the final of Les Borges.
The third edition of the Lladonosa Awards 2023 once again features a specific award to promote the inclusion of the most disadvantaged people. Angie Puget, a student at the El Llindar Foundation (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat) won the final of the Social Award, which was held last week at the headquarters of the Formació i Treball Foundation. Nabil Boujarmounel, from the Formació i Treball Foundation and Mariam El Hamdouni, from the Centre de Noves Oportunitats del Camp de Tarragona shared the podium with her. Miriam Doya won in the dining room category, ahead of Jeremie Elie, Aaron Moisés and Noemi Scarlet Montalban, all of them from the El Llindar Foundation.
The Josep Lladonosa Gastronomic Awards were created last year as a tribute to the Catalan chef Josep Lladonosa i Giró (1938), a leading figure in Mediterranean gastronomic culture with numerous distinctions, including the Creu de Sant Jordi, for his enormous task of research and historical documentation on Catalan cuisine.