Alborada, New Galician Cooking in Coruña

If you are interested in culinary trends you probably have heard about New Scandinavian Cooking, a culinary movement spr eading all over Denmark, Sweden, Norway and farther territories as Finland, the Faeroe Islands or Iceland. Restaurants like NOMA, Geranium, Köks, Fäviken and many others has been researching local products, almost forgotten recipes and traditional techniques to develope a contemporary Nordic cuisine away from the omnipresent Mediterranean influence.

Galician cooking has always been classified, as a part of Spanish cooking, as esentially Mediterranean. But the influence of this Nordic cooking revolution has made a group of Galician cooks focus on Atlantic and Northern influences. Galicia is a part of the Iberian Paeninsula and it shares a lot of products (from olive oil to almonds, pimentón, garlic, etc.) with the rest of Spain. But at the same time, we are geographically closer to London than to the Mediterranean coast and that position defines a normally forgotten but fundamental part of our food.

Alborada - the kilomeaters
Queen scallop in a sweet and sour sauce

Basing themselves on that mix of culinary cultures which place us somewhere between the influence of the Mediterranean and the Northern Atlantic this group of young cooks defends a 100% Galician and Atlantic approach to food and wine. And Iván Domínguez, chef at Alborada (A Coruña) is probably one of the main defenders of this culinary trend.

Alborada - the kilomeaters
Cod in green sauce

Iván worked for years in Santiago as Head Chef with Marcelo Tejedor, probably the most important cook who set the bases for contemporary Galician cuisine back in the first years of the century. After that he moved to Alborada, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Coruña.

Alborada - the kilomeaters
Marinated sea scallop, beach herbs, seaweed and horseradish

What Alborada offers nowadays is an amazing tasting menu (50€) focused on Galician products and techniques and specially on local fish hard to find anywhere else in Spain such as pinto (ballan wrasse), peixe porco (grey triggerfish), raia (skate fish), muxo (grey mullet) but also on local seafood such as cockles, periwinkles, sea urchins or scallops.

Alborada - the kilomeaters
Iván Domínguez, finishing a dish at the table

His menus also include other products such as locally raised hen, Landrán pork meat, fermented collard greens, seaweed and foraged beach plants such as samphire or sea purslane, ingredients of intriguing yet appealing dishes like cockcombs and sea urchin with a Galician mole sauce of dried Padrón peppers; grey mullet with periwinkles, fermented collard greens and a potato starch cracker or marinated sea scallop, beach herbs, seaweed and raifort definitely away from the cliché of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine.

Alborada - the kilomeaters
Cockcombs and sea urchin with a Galician mole sauce of dried Padrón peppers

The menus at Alborada are probably the best example of this Atlantic-focused New Galician Cooking, but many other restaurants like the Michelin-starred Culler de Pau (O Grove), O Camiño do Inglés (Ferrol), Pulpeira de Melide (A Coruña), Abastos 2.0 (Santiago de Compostela) or Loxe Mareiro (Carril) share its culinary approach and are setting the bases of a Galician culinary revolution which is probably just starting to grow and really worth exploring.

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