This is the best tapas in the world and they make it in New Zealand


Yesterday the second edition of the Valladolid World Tapas Championship took place, which follows the National Tapas and Pinchos Contest, which held its XIV contest between November 5 and 7. Following the Jury's deliberations, Shuyun Chen won the First Prize, succeeding Norwegian Oyvind Boe Dalelv, last year's winner. This is the best tapas in the world, and they make it in New Zealand

Shuyun Chen, a woman who works in the kitchen of the Acorn By Peter Gordon restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, presented her tapa called Crispy rice with tuna rolls and pickled vegetables with whose photo we have started this article. Due to her way of understanding the concept of tapa, its excellent preparation and flavor and the elegance of its presentation, the jury chaired by Susi Díaz chose it as the winner.

The Tapas concept

Some of the tapas participating this year in the Valladolid National Pinchos Championship

The tapa, one of our traditional ways of eating, accompanying a drink, -beer, wine, vermouth- is a dish that is eaten in one or two bites and that is a gastronomic trend throughout the world and represents us as one of the features most characteristic of our way of understanding cuisine. Even the B.O.E. He explained long ago what tapas are and what requirements they must have.

Such is the importance of tapas, that even the FAO, which is preparing a book on Tapas, according to Luis Cepeda, National Gastronomy Prize winner and one of the promoters of the Valladolid National and World Championship of pinchos and tapas, told Directo al Paladar. . This way of eating so much ours can soon be recognized by UNESCO as a universal value or intangible heritage of humanity.

Susi Díaz, Pepa Muñoz, Amaia Ortúzar, along with Elena Lucas were the permanent Jury

Those little bites are miniature haute cuisine dishes, and throughout the fourteen editions of the Valladolid National Contest, we have seen how this traditional preparation in the north of Spain has spread throughout our geography, presenting dishes from all the provinces to the contest Spanish women who give this way of eating their personal touch using their products and ways of feeling the kitchen.

Tapas are not half portions or large plates that require cutlery to be tasted, but simple bites that can be eaten with your hands in one or two bites. The tradition in the competitions of the Valladolid National Tapas and Pinchos Contest has led the participants to work a lot with the flavor and also with striking, daring presentations, using trompe l'oeil, smoked items, dry ice and original supports and tableware.

Although these ways of presenting tapas are conceived by the participating chefs to attract the attention of the jury, Susi Diaz as president of the National and World jury in this 2018 edition, told us that those who judge the dishes, although they value the presentation and appearance, the originality and especially the flavor of the tapas score much more, as well as their viability or commercial application.

The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto from Valladolid, participated in the awards ceremony stating that 10% of tourists who come to our country are attracted by our gastronomy as a reason to visit us and that Taste Spain and the Ministry are involved in the dissemination of our gastronomy around the world, with tapas as one of our main gastronomic signs.

The winning cap

Winning tapa of the II World Tapas World Cup in Valladolid

The winning tapa, made by the Chinese Shunyun Chen representing New Zealand, is a crispy rice base with a tuna roll wrapping vegetables with touches of pickle and topped with a wasabi foam. The skewer was presented with toasted seaweed to give counterpoints and oriental notes, and it was served on a stone or sea rock.

The jury greatly appreciated that its author, Shuyun Chen, was concerned about looking for ingredients such as tuna and pickles, common products in our gastronomy, and he perfectly understood the concept of tapa that we talked about before.

In addition to declaring herself happy and grateful, she said that she had found herself very well among chefs and colleagues from all over the world, and that she had been delighted to see how in our country we are more creative and passionate about recipes than in New Zealand, where they follow the recipes to the letter without touching or changing anything and that the contest had allowed him to adapt his recipe for this skewer to our local tastes.

After winning the award, he participated in the MasterClass to teach how to make his tapa, together with Luis Antonio Carcas Armingol, from the Casa Pedro de Zaragoza restaurant, who won the XIV National Championship with "The Sea of ​​Pincho", which you have about this paragraph, and which also showed how his proposal is made, a dish inspired by the Costa Brava that seeks to leave diners with a mouthful of sea flavor, and that this flavor persists on their palate a good a while after trying this skewer.

Evaluation of the National Contest and World Tapas Championship

After three intense days in Valladolid, it is worth highlighting the high level of all the participating pinchos, -48 in the National Competition and another 16 in the World Championship- and the immense work of all in the organization of this competition that makes Valladolid the World Capital of Tapas and Pincho.

Throughout the week, as the participants from all over Spain and the rest of the world are twinned with local establishments, those who visit Valladolid can enjoy these pinchos and tapas "championship", which the Valladolid restaurants and bars will have for sale until Sunday.

  • To improve: the participants should put more emphasis on the kitchen, on the flavor, on the preparation and not put so much creativity in the presentations and utensils to serve the skewers, which must be viable and with real commercial application.
  • To take into account: The participants of the World Championship demonstrated that they had perfectly understood the concept of the Tapa and taught the jury that they know how to do it very well.
  • Some of the jury members commented to Directo al Paladar that even the average level of the foreign participants of the World Championship was higher in taste, complexity and quality than the average level of the tapas participating in the National Contest.

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