The 44th edition of the prestigious National Gastronomy Awards were recently presented in Madrid by the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy. These accolades seek to “recognize efforts by the very best professionals in the gastronomy industry during the course of 2018.”
The winners were: Best Chef, Ricard Camarena, from his eponymous restaurant in Valencia; Best Maître 'd, José Félix Paniego, from El Portal de Echaurren; Best Sommelier, Valerio Carrera, from A’Barra; Best Journalist, Ana Vega Pérez de Arlucea; Best Book, Bullipedia: Enciclopedia de la Restauracion Gastronomica; Best Digital Publication, the Academia Madrileña de Gastronomia’s website; Best Periodical Literature (Paper), Condé Nast Traveler; and Best Representative (person and institution) of Healthy Gastronomy, Eneko Atxa and the Basque Culinary Center, respectively.
There were also several special awards presented. This included Best Beer Sommelier, Enrique Gallardo, from El Perro Salvaje; and Best Cocktail Professional, Diego Cabrera, from Salmón Gurú. Additionally, the team from Disfrutar in Barcelona—Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas—received an honorable mention, ¡Hola! was recognized for “excellence in gastronomic communication” for its lengthy track record in supporting and promoting Spanish gastronomy, and Juan Mari Arzak, who was awarded the first ever National Gastronomy Award for Best Chef, received a special tribute from the Royal Academy of Gastronomy and all sector professionals.