Top Chef:

Xanty Elias of Restaurante Acanthúm took first prize from a field of 59 competitors in the XII International Award for Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil sponsored by Diputación Provincial de Jaén.

The XII International Award for Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil (XII Premio Internacional de Cocina con Aceite de Oliva) was awarded today at Madrid Fusión 2015.

From an initial field of 59 competitors, Xanty Elías of Restaurante Acánthum in Huelva won first place for his Torrijas de aceituna y choco con cococha de corvina y su piel (olive oil toast with crispy croaker skin), featuring Oro Bailen and Cortijo La Torre olive oils. Second place honors went to Felix Guerrero of El 38 de Larumbe in Madrid for a Cocochas de merluza crujiente al pil pil (merluza a pil pil) and third place to Diana Díaz of Restaurante Rodero in Pamplona for her interpretation of una Oleomiel de alcachofas y ostras (artichokes and oysters with olive oil emulsion). Prize money of €12,000 was distributed among the winners.


Chef Elias’ winning entry, olive oil toast with crispy croaker skin

The contest’s sponsor, Diputación Provincial de Jaén, staged its first event of the year to celebrate eight extra virgin olive oils recently awarded their Jaén Selección 2015. Now in its twelfth year, the competition included contestants from Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal. Participants were required to use one of the Selección 2015 oils in their original creations.

“Xanty Elias is a genius in the kitchen and we are very proud that he chose to include Oro Bailen’s Picual extra virgin olive oil in his winning dish, said José Galvez González of Oro Bailen. “Xanty is one of the most creative chefs using extra virgin olive oil. We congratulate him on winning this prestigious competition that showcases the best olive oils from Jaén.”

The six finalists in the international cooking contest hailed from six different Spanish provinces, including Jaén, Navarra, Girona, Barcelona, Madrid and Huelva. Each contestant was required to prepare and present their original creations within a one-hour competition in front of an expert panel of judges, including panel president and famed chef Ángel León, and the audience.

Other chef finalists included Alejo Perez (Restaurante Antique, Ubeda), Victor Trochi (Les Magnolies, Arbucies -Girona), and Germán Espinosa (Vermell Restaurant de Badalona, Barcelona).

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