Jaén’s provincial council recently organized the 17th edition of the International Award for Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The winner was Ingrid Serra, from Tickets restaurant in Barcelona. This year’s competition set a precedent in several ways: it was the first time ever than a woman won, and this year saw the greatest participation ever, with almost 50 candidates. First prize is 8,000 euros.
Serra’s recipe, called Citrus Extra Virgin Olive Oil, used several oils including Oro de Cánava, Oleocampo Ecológico, Balcón del Guadalquivir and Olivo Real. Second place went to chef Alberto Gil, from Santerra restaurant in Madrid, who competed with the recipe Hake head gazpachuelo soup, smoked oil ice cream and cured hake; third place went to María Lorenzo, from Voro restaurant in Mallorca, with the recipe Remojón de Cónchar, which contained cod, orange and “olive pansida.”
All three chefs prepared their dishes before a panel of judges comprising eight renowned gastronomic experts, who were tasked with analyzing the participants’ use of extra virgin olive oils. The panel included heavyweights like Michelin-star chefs Paco Morales, María José San Román, Juan Aceituno and Pedro Sánchez Jaén.
This was the first edition that was executed entirely online, except for the final, which was a small, in-person event.
The goal of these awards is to promote extra virgin olive oil in Spain and abroad and to boost consumption while also positioning Jaén province as a leader around the world in superior quality extra virgin olive oil.