We are welcomed by Manolo Ramos, Executive Chef of B bou Hoteles since 2005, from the renowned Malaga Hospitality School La Cónsula; Dressed in his kitchen clothes, always absorbed in his particular mute of culinary creativity, within his tight time, we took a few minutes to chat in a relaxed way about this almost alchemy world so peculiar in itself and that offers so many satisfactions both to the cook and to diner.
1. At what age did you start in the kitchen?
With 17 years
2. What made you become a chef?
What started as a professional career ended up becoming my passion, evolution in the kitchen is fundamental for this position, it is a very beautiful profession in which you learn every day without losing sight of news, techniques, products, etc. Staying in a quality kitchen involves a constant process of recycling and training, but without a knowledge base through the different hospitality schools there is nothing possible at origin.
3. Your favorite dish?
like simple dishes that have flavor, that are not overcooked, as this makes them lose their essence, their natural origin, makes it confusing on the palate. If you look at our restaurant menu, our sea bass with green beans and mango is a wonderful product, I enjoy a good gazpachuelo from Malaga, a grilled fish from our coasts ... dishes that do not lose their original flavor.
4. What is the most important thing on a plate? With what product do you like to surprise the customer? What product should you never miss when cooking?
The idiosyncrasy of each item, for example, something very simple, a fried egg; we like the yolk to be unctuous and the clear curd; it is necessary to respect the nature of each food. At B bou Hotels, we like to surprise with local products, the diner comes looking for our identity through our dishes, sometimes in the simple and in the traditional, we find the aroma of our roots. Among these products, I consider that avocado and mango, subtropical with Axarquía designation of origin, garlic, our EVOO, vinegar, some good seasonal vegetables, fresh fish should never be missing.
5. What is the current gastronomic offer of B bou Hotels and how has its evolution been?
There has been an obvious evolution, at the moment we give more value than ever to the indigenous products so prominent and recognized in global gastronomy, our menus have a great reflection on the stage. We strive to give the importance it deserves to traditional recipes, adapting them to the current type of cuisine, respecting the common thread and maintaining their essence. Since I started working in 2005, a clear impression about the importance of the local product began to be transmitted, one of the outstanding dishes on the menu was the shoulder of lamb from Burgos, today it is unthinkable with the quality of our local raw material, they always had it, but they were not valued as now. Our cuisine is a kitchen without complexes, it is unthinkable, with the gastronomic wealth of the province, not to resort to our traditional recipes that have contributed so much over time.
6. What dish do you consider representative of B bou Hotels and why?
Respecting that simple cuisine that I spoke about previously, there are a series of dishes that follow this line, for example, the salad of avocados with roasted peppers, with anchovies and cilantro; goat pate with fig bread and cane honey or sea bass with green beans, mango and muscat raisins accompanied by a magnificent baticate dessert with medlar. Simple dishes that claim what is ours, that identity of B bou Hotels, recognized by our guests in every bite.
7. Where is the gastronomy of B bou Hotels heading?
Without losing sight of our traditional identity and our respect for the product, the cuisine of B bou Hotels is focused on a necessary evolution without losing that autochthonous essence with recognizable dishes.
8. Taking into account current food trends in which options such as veganism or vegetarian have appeared, or the increasingly common appearance of food intolerances, how have you adapted, from B bou Hotels to these new guidelines?
There are a series of needs that have been emerging and that will evolve in this matter, we have developed a series of alternatives to respond to these needs without the dishes losing an iota of their culinary value. Currently we have a variety of gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian or vegan options among other options. I am especially sensitive to this issue since at home I have some food intolerance that has made me aware of the importance of meeting current demands in this matter, we think of all our guests and try to meet all their needs.
I would like to emphasize the children's alternative, based on the fact that we have all possible and healthy alternatives, we can offer products such as grilled pink, vegetable creams, various soups ... not always a children's menu has to be linked to a Unstructured eating, eating well outside the home, is possible.
9. How is a restaurant kitchen different from an event kitchen and which do you prefer?
The base is the same, our restaurant menu, from there, maintaining those quality products and good cuisine, the range of possibilities in events opens more towards international cuisine, although our identity is a traditional cuisine, we are in the world and we all like variety in gastronomic terms.
10. How is the process of creating a plate?
Our menu adapts to the seasons and summer products, hence the freshness and quality of the raw material, therefore, it is essential to take into account the season, the dishes must have common sense. Without losing current cooking techniques, we maintain a very powerful traditional base.
11. What dessert would you end this interview with?
I'm more of seasonal fruit, but a mango sorbet from the Axarquia or the typical rice pudding also seduces me.
12. A wish.
Let no pessimism spread, if the human being stands out for something, it is because of the ability to overcome adversity.
Amid a sea of optimism and with best wishes, Manolo Ramos says goodbye; He returns to his trench, where he feels like a fish in water, among the stoves, creating and innovating on traditional recipes that will be carried in the next season in our B bou Hotels menus, without losing the origin of "everything", of the infinite and rich Mediterranean gastronomy ... so be it.