Tapas have been front and center in Valladolid for the last few days as the city recently hosted the 15th edition of the National Pinchos and Tapas Competition and the 3rd edition of the Tapas World Championship. Both events attracted a large crowd, and over 500 people—from Spain and beyond—attended the closing ceremony.
The winners of the national competition were Javier Ruiz Fonta, from La Jamada de Arrabal (Burgos) for his chicken based tapa called Pollo escalmendrado. Runners-up included Chema Soler and Oriol Carbonell Romero. The winners of the world championship were Pascal Etcheverria, from Restaurant Le Carré (Bayonne, France) for his tapa Mejilla de res, zanahorias, paté de pato y maracuyá (beef tips, carrots, duck paté and passion fruit). Runners-up included Jesseca Naldo and Luis Antonio Carcas Armingol.
These competitions play an important role in internationalizing tapas, and Carles Abellán, chef, owner of Restaurante La Barra in Barcelona, and head of the panel of judges for the Tapas World Championship, said that he was “surprised by the quality of the tapas and the participants, and especially surprised to see a competition of this nature in Valladolid with participants from 16 different countries,” adding that it was an “excellent way to internationalize the concept of the tapa,” the best representative of the Spain’s gastronomic identity, according to concursonacionaldepinchosytapas.com.