Rafael Ansón, Nacho Manzano, Marta Campillo, Andrés Conde Laya and the team from Disfrutar were among the winners
The 46th edition of Spain’s National Gastronomy Awards were recently hosted in Madrid, drawing an impressive crowd that included a wide range of local government officials.The event began with the induction of six industry leaders—chefs, maître d's and sommeliers, into the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, an honor that recognizes their unwavering commitment to the industry within their respective areas of expertise. Josep Monje, Carmelo Pérez, Custodio Zamarra, and Carme Ruscalleda all received a special diploma at the event and a pin to commemorate their induction. Two other leaders in Spanish gastronomy, Pedro Subijana and Juan Mari Arzak, were also inducted although they could not attend the ceremony in person. The Academy’s chairwoman, Lourdes Plana Bellido, described this year’s event as “extremely special… due to the fact that we can all celebrate together this year that Spanish gastronomy is very much alive… after months of the pandemic and uncertainty. These ‘renewed’ awards will align more effectively with the current gastronomic scenario and the new phase the Royal Academy is going through."
This year, new, independent panels of judges were created for each category comprising academics, chefs, and other experts, including Rosa Rivas, Ferrán Adrià and Andoni Luis Aduriz. In the end, the 2021 winners were as follows: Nacho Manzano, Best Chef; Marta Campillo, Best Maitre’d; Andrés Conde Laya, Best Sommelier; Juan Martín, Award for Gastronomic R&D; the team from Disfrutar, Award for Communication; and Ymelda Moreno and Rafael Ansón both received the Lifetime Achievement Award.