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Competition to find the Costa del Sol’s best cooked sardines names two winners

Competition to find the Costa del Sol’s best cooked sardines names two winners

Where can you expect to find the best sardines cooked on skewers on the Costa del Sol? The seventh Ruta del Espeto competition attempted to find out — and at a ceremony held at El Balneario de Los Baños del Carmen, two “espeteros” were declared the winners. 

The term “espetero” means a seller of espeto — a dish consisting of fish, traditionally sardines, impaled on long, thin rods and roasted over firewood. Espeto is strongly associated with the Andalucian city of Málaga. 

You might already know how beloved espeto is in Málaga and nearby if you have embarked on your own foodie adventure around the Costa del Sol, perhaps with the help of our own Puerto Banús, Fuengirola, or Marbella restaurant transfers here at Simply Shuttles. 

However, you now have two new places to add to your next Spanish itinerary…

Two talented cooks came out on top 

Attendees at the winner’s ceremony on Tuesday 18th June saw the jury’s prize handed to the Las Acacias beach bar’s Catalin Agape. Meanwhile, Rachid El Idrissi, of Caleta de Vélez’s Tropy beach bar, was found to have triumphed in the public’s vote. 

Over 40 professionals took part in the contest — a higher number than in any previous Ruta del Espeto. The competition’s latest outing was organised by Málaga en la Mesa and SUR, while the sponsors included Sabor a Málaga and the provincial authority, Diputación de Málaga. 

For the final, the number of competitors was narrowed down to just five, all of whom were asked to put together four espetos each made up of six sardines. The jury then judged the results, taking into account the fish’s treatment, flavour, flame, and presentation. 

How did proceedings unfold for the two winners? 

“The real secret is to have a lot of patience; be very careful with the fire and put your heart into it,” Catalin explained as quoted by SUR in English. He prepared his sardines over a slow fire while spreading out its embers, as “the important thing is to have a lot of patience”. 

Similarly, Rachid said that “the most important thing is the fire: calculating the distance, playing with the wind and making them with a lot of love and affection”. In front of the judges, both men chose to cook sardines from Málaga and Castellón. 

Why not sample the Costa del Sol’s culinary scene for yourself?

Sabor a Málaga director Leonor García-Agua thanked all the competing participants for putting “heart and soul” into the Ruta del Espeto. Jury member Adolfo Jaime expressed similar gratitude to the espeteros for making “the most universal dish that Málaga has”. 

Nonetheless, your own stay in the Costa del Sol can take you to many more parts of it besides Málaga, renowned though this province happens to be for its gastronomy and catering businesses.

You could, for example, also book Estepona, Puerto Banús, and/or Marbella restaurant transfers with Simply Shuttles. To find out more about our private hire transfers and to book, why not use our website today, or give us a call on +34 951 279 117?