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May 16, 2021

Savor is a gastronomic restaurant in San Pedro de Alcantara

1) Savor is a gastronomic restaurant in San Pedro de Alcantara where you deliver all sorts of tastes and aromas in an elegant fashion which you call “innovative tradition” Please explain more

“Innovative Tradition” is updated global cuisine, based on traditional recipes – Spanish, Asian, Cuban etc With our Goval menu, we offer traditional dishes with recognisable flavours, made with avant-garde techniques and therefore the “innovative tradition.”

2) You merge your Malaga roots with other parts of the world including Asia and Central America and your experience as an executive chef in one of the best and most exclusive hotels in Cuba.
What are your most popular Cuban style dishes?

Well, the “Cuban Old Clothes” that my mother-in-law prepares left me marked. We make the “Old Clothes Taco” with slowly stewed veal shank, crumbled and fried with onion, peppers, garlic and bay leaf, we add a little tomato and flavour it with cumin, coriander and lime.

We also use many vegetables, tubers and fruits that are used in Cuba. In our appetizers we use Cuban recipes including a well known one called “Arroz Congri.” We transform it into a one-bite snack from rice with black beans to crispy white rice with a hummus of a black bean stew, with a little coriander.

3) The Mediterranean/Malaga style will always be the base of your dishes. Which ones bring the strongest messages and smiles?

Our “Creamy Coquettes of Iberico Bellota Shoulder,” our “Patatas bravas” and our famous “Niguiri-kimchi croquettes with tuna tartar and wasabi guacamole” that was one of the best tapas in Malaga 2017 in a provincial contest with over 50 establishments.

“Savor” offer something for all tastes to bring excellence to the whole dining experience.

4) Some items from your menu have won prizes. Choose 3 you most enjoy preparing because of this

Clearly, the “Niguiri-kimchi croquettes,” the “Pan con tunaka” (a glass bread with tuna sashimi and tomato textures) and for a dessert, our “Torrija Thai” has many fans and the award of total acceptance. This is a brioche bread soaked in coconut milk and marinated with Thai aromas for 12 hours, fried and caramelized, accompanied by a lemongrass ice cream and homemade kafir lime leaf and, at the table, the waiters finish it with some kumquat and saffron bubbles.

5) Why do you have high tables for more informal dining?

Clents like to eat more informally sometimes and can enjoy our tapas or opt for our tasting menus.

6) Since opening in 2017, how have your tapas evolved?

At first we wanted to make tapas in a haute cuisine format but then we introduced our tasting menus, which is a more successful way to give our clients a global experience of the best dishes on our menu.

We start with the “Al son cubano” appetizers and end with the petit four “Sweet Locuritas with AOVE jam”.

Initially we had high gastronomic aspirations for “Savor” and its evolution has been remarkable both in cuisine and in sauce.

7) Your dishes are very important to you and so is feedback from clients. Describe why

I have many classic dishes that have been gaining more and more strength and have been improving over time, as wine does. Without forgetting the seasonal suggestions that we have always made, I am fascinated by cooking all of them. I have no favourites.

My dishes are like children: lovely when they are born and adoring them as they grow older.

Our clients generally give us very positive feedback and they express this on social networks and internet platforms. We are number 3, more or less, of 200 restaurants in San Pedro de Alcantara and that says a lot!

8) “Without your partners, your dream would not have come true.” What roles do they play?

My first cousin, Alvaro Hercas, is a great foodie. He works as a pilot and lives in Qatar but we meet and update him every month.

My others partners are Curro Rodriguez and Julia Giraudo (Gusto Catering Marbella). We meet regularly and they are always available to help me make decisions and coordinate any changes.

9) You have worked with 2* Michelin chefs at the 5* Kempinski and 5* Westin La Quinta hotels.
You also come from a family of cooks. Who influences you today?

I do an updated interpretation of my grandmother Teresa´s “Lomo en manteca colorá” in “Savor.”

Since my career began more then 20 years ago, I have learned from many of my colleagues as well as relying a lot on dishes from my grandmother and my uncle Carlos Castillol.

My executive chef in Cuba taught me a lot, not only about cooking but also about job management.

10) Where do you get local supplies? It must be important to get quality produce

I get cheese from cheese factories such as Hortelana de Coín and Sierra Crestellina de Casares, that bring it to me personally, and goats cheese from Casares.

Our organic vegetables from Dehigosaperas are from an orchard in Estepona,

Every week I pick up local, quality organic produce like hermimac flowers, and fruit and vegetables in San Pedro.

11) Your menu is very seasonal. What typically might be top of the menu in summer when you serve dinner to the ten tables in your charming dining room or on the outside terrace?

In summer the protagonist of our restaurant is undoubtedly the terrace so I encourage you to visit us! Cold gazpacho soups, porras, and white garlic predominate, all creative and with a lot of “Savor”.

12) Tickle our tastebuds with more classic offerings!

“Artichokes with Andalusian bearnaise, smoked eel and foie gras”, “Tom Yum sea tripe with octopus”, “Smoked white garlic, tree figs and sardine in the spit”, “Gambita Massaman from Huelva with garlic” and a dessert that we have now started making ,”Bienmesabe Andalusí hot almond cake with cinnamon ice cream.”

13) You have a well-selected wine list. Who is your in-house expert?

Miguel Angel Perez Retamero manages our wine list due to his experience as a sommelier. Also, Didi Cardenas, second head of salsa.

On our part, there has always been a clear intention from the beginning to have a room service at the height of the kitchen and today we have achieved this.

14) Who is in charge at home?

My wife, Cindy, tends to the house and cooks for our children, Pablo and Leo, when I am not at home. We like to go to my mothers ´s house on Sundays or eat out at an attractive restaurant.

15) Once people are able to dine out again, are you confident you can provide the pampering they need after the tight restrictions of the Spanish lockdown?

As soon as we are clear how and when we can open with the new restrictions, we will communicate this via our social networks.

I keep motivated by cooking a lot, publishing my recipes on my professional Instagram profile La Cocina de Pablo Castillo and the profile of “Savor” Savor Restaurante y Tapas.

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