FOOD FESTIVAL & A TASTE OF THE FUTURE

The Annual Festival Enogastronomy Saborea Lanzarote: 2019

A gastronomical event was always included as part of the annual Rochdale Feel Good arts and cultural Festival in the years I spent covering it for all across the arts in The Rochdale Observer. Robin Parker and myself were jointly running the pages in those days, and I was always secretly pleased when Robin offered to cover the foody delights, leaving me to cover the vibrant arts on offer.

Truth is, though, that Robin could turn his reports into arts reviews par excellence. He could describe the shades of food frying in a pan as if talking about some Jackson Pollock throws of colour, and he could make the bubble and squeak and sizzle of a sausage sound like a symphony orchestra. He would awaken all our other senses by describing the texture of a fruit so vividly that it was as if you were holding it in your hand and wrote so aromatically that you could smell the food cooking as you read his review and all this, of course somehow made you salivate and almost taste the food on the tip of your tongue.

Robin Parker, a former Mayor of Rochdale would have been the first to congratulate the Mayor of Teguise on hosting such a wonderful annual food festival. Robin would have loved to tell you properly about the festival I am about to try to describe.

The Annual Festival Enogastronomy Saborea Lanzarote (Gastronomical Flavours of Lanzarote) closed its ninth edition recently in La Villa de Teguise having enjoyed a resounding success. Thousands of people visited the event throughout the course of the festival, tasting the different tapas prepared by the more than 100 exhibitors.

The President of the Island Cabildo, María Dolores Corujo, wanted to ´thank all the attendees for their participation in this annual staging of this festival, which has again been a success and consolidated its position as the largest wine-making event in the Canary Islands´.

She also thanked ´all exhibitors, sponsors and collaborators for their involvement and participation, since without them none of this would be possible´.

For his part, the Director of Tourism, Economic Promotion, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Angel Vázquez, was very pleased with ´the massive attendance at the festival, as this has shown that it is the best showcase for the magnificent food products that we have in Lanzarote. Thousands of Lanzarotens and visitors have not only tasted the delicious culinary creations, but have been able to know, first hand, the enormous effort that all producers in the primary sector make every day.

We also heard, as we wandered the Sidetracks And Detours between cake sculptures that truly were works of art, that there will soon be announced ´a press conference, where the data of the economics out will be released to assess the impact and return of this very important event´.

The Mayor of Teguise, Oswaldo Betancort, offered assurances that “Teguise will continue to bet firmly on this unique initiative in our Archipelago”, and highlighted ´the suitability of the historic setting of Teguise, the island´s former capital, to hold an event that boosts the consumption of island products, which moves and promotes local trade and employment, the gastronomy industry of Lanzarote and the Canary Islands, and which also elevates us internationally as a tourist-gastronomic destination´.

There were show-cookings, tastings and master classes held throughout the Festival

FOODIES FLOCK TO THE FESTIVAL

The Aula Saborea Lanzarote was the epi-centre of the best show-cookings, in the hands of great restaurants and chefs of the island, who put the focus on the magnificent local product.

For their part, the Espacio Saborea España and the Canary Islands hosted, in the same tent, the tastings of different restaurants of Galicia and Denia, as well as all the islands of the Archipelago.

The Gusto Classroom hosted master-classes from some of the most renowned chefs in Spain and Portugal. Attendees came out with a great taste in the mouth after listening to the Torres Brothers, Andoni Luis Adúriz, Oriol Castro, Henrique Sá Pessoa, Juanlu Fernández, Begoña Rodríguez, Lucía Freitas, Gonzalo Calzadilla, Jonay Hernández and Iván Domínguez.

The Middle Atlantic Cuisine, apart from by these speakers, was represented in a space of its own, where you could taste the delicious creations of chefs both from the invited city, Lisbon, and Lanzarote itself.

In the Casa del Producto Canaria the attendees were able to learn a little more about the origin and the delicious nuances of two iconic products of the Archipelago: cheese and wine. To do this, they had enjoyed the presence of master queseros and representatives of the wineries of the D.O. Vinos de Lanzarote. The latter were also present in the Wine Classroom, where the participants of the workshops enjoyed exquisite pairings with various references of the island.

For its part, the Sea Classroom hosted another year of a delicious selection of seafood from the Island by Pescatrón, sponsor of this space. The most curious of the crowds also came on the Saturday to see the spectacle that the Torres Brothers performed with the ´snoring´ of the tuna. On Sunday, this fish was auctioned, by The Rotary Club Of Costa Teguise, which dedicated the benefits to the construction of a playground in the Hospital de Lanzarote.

THERE WERE EVENTS FOR CHILDREN TOO

Talking of a playground reminds me that young people took an important part of the Enogastronomy Saborea Lanzarote Festival. In the Aula Chinijo Chef they had great fun discovering the flavours, colours and textures of different local products, when tasting delicious recipes by Víctor Gonzalo and Sofía Jiménez, contestants of MasterChef.

Youngsters were also delighted with the Gastroludoteca, where they cooked and played while their parents attended the different workshops of the festival.

The Gastronomic Reef Area, making its debut at the Festival, was also a success. Attendees were able to enjoy the best gastronomic proposals of restaurants in the capital, to the rhythm of Parranda El Golpito and DJ Maxi Ferrer.

Finally, the Gastromarket enjoyed an extremely high footfall. Thousands of people tasted each and every one of the dishes of the more than 100 exhibitors, who created from local product for locals and visitors alike. The event concluded in the Plaza de los Leones de La Villa de Teguise with a concert on the Sunday evening.

In fact, data drawn from the Saborea Lanzarote Festival will be the starting point of an important initiative, with Lanzarote  that will generate positive impact on both environmental and social issues. Lanzarote is to lead a European project for the development and positioning of Macaronesia as a gastronomic destination in those territories that participated in the Festival.

Indeed, since the conclusion of the Festival, representatives of Senegal, Mauritania, Azores, Madeira and La Palma, who all attended the weekend at the Enogastronomy Saborea Lanzarote Festival, have held a meeting with the President of the Cabildo, M. Dolores Corujo and the Director of Tourism and Economic Promotion, Angel Vázquez.

The director has emphasized that ´the enriching experience of the Enogastronomy Saborea Lanzarote Festival, celebrated for the ninth consecutive year last weekend, will be the starting point of this ambitious project, which will not only generate positive impacts on the participating territories, both economically, environmentally and socially, but will also recover and promote the cultural and gastronomic ties of the Atlantic MAC space.´

DELEGATES CREATE A MENU FOR THE FUTURE

The project is part of a European co-operation programme and will have generous budget, 85% of which is funded by a European Development Fund and the island of Lanzarote will be the biggest beneficiary. Thanks to the programme the outmost reaches of Spain and Portugal will be able to provide an effective response to the common challenges they face in terms of innovation, competitiveness, internationalism and sustainable development.

Among the fundamental objectives of the project, there is ´an aim to promote gastronomic tourism as a tool for the sustainable development of the co-operation space of Macaronesia,´ which is the name given to the combined hinterland of these countries.

´The exchange of knowledge and experiences,´ added Angel Vazques, ´will allow us to generate our own Atlantic cuisine, generating many synergies and fostering relationships between entities, producers and professionals in the sector.´

Recently The President Of The Cabildo Of Lanzarote, Dolores Corujo, and Angel Vazques, held a first meeting with the representatives of Senegal, Mauritania, Azores, Madeira and the island of La Palma to address and analyse the different starting points of each of the territories as well as expectations to promote a planning model for sustainable gastronomic tourist destinations.

Over the weekend of the Festival, whilst representatives were at the Saborea Lanzarote Enogastronomy Festival, even destinations such as Senegal or Mauritania came to propose that Lanzarote could act as an advisory territory for the development and implementation of its own models of gastronomic tourism.

What culinary delights lie ahead for all across the arts, I wonder, as my wife, Dee, pours the milk on my muesli.

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