This week (on October 4) I was invited, along with other journalists, bloggers and regular commentators, to the presentation of this season’s tasting menu at Restaurante Ispal. Ispal has been the dream of Pedro Sánchez-Cuerda Rodríguez (director of Grupo La Raza) for the past 15 years, and together with Antonio Bort (his executive chef), and Ispal’s new head chef Rubén García Chacón, Pedro’s dream has now been realised.
The objective of Ispal, which opened a year ago, is to showcase the traditional cooking of Sevilla, using indigenous products and providing support for local family businesses, and then reinterpreting these popular dishes by elevating them to haute cuisine. This, by definition, involves the use of the highest quality ingredients, meticulously prepared and presented.
The local ingredients include salt from the salt flats of Utrera, cheeses from Castilblanco de los Arroyos, the famous tomatoes of Los Palacios, goat kid from Los Corrales, fish from La Puebla del Río, wines from Sierra Norte de Sevilla, Ronda, and sherry wines from Jerez.
The tasting menu, which you can see below, was spectacular. Many thanks to Fernando Huibrodo for the invitation, and to the entire Ispal team, including maître Alonso Reche and sommelier Cisco Nuñez.
Pedro Sanchez-Cuerda Rodriguez – director of Grupo La Raza
Antonio Bort – executive chef of Grupo La Raza
Rubén Chacón – head chef at Ispal
Fernando Huidobro – president of Andalucía Academy of Gastronomy & Tourism