The 1st Gipuzkoa Pintxos, Banderillas and Miniature Cuisine Championship of Gipuzkoa has been presented at the headquarters of the Gipuzkoa Catering Association in Donostia. Participation is open to any establishment in Gipuzkoa that has a bar and offers a continuous range of pintxos throughout the year. The presentation of candidatures is open until 20 September.
Two categories have been established to take part in the competition: pintxo or banderilla (the maximum selling price will be €3) or miniature cuisine (the maximum selling price will be €5). Likewise, although participants may enter in any category, they will be eligible for the prize for the best treatment of Basque products, sponsored by the HAZI Foundation.
The application phase will be open until 20 September. This will be followed by the semi-finalist pre-selection phase, until 30 October, during which the jury will visit the participating establishments in mystery shopper format and select the 22 establishments that will go through to the semi-final in each category.
In the semi-final, in each category, there must be establishments from all the counties, with 7 establishments from Donosti and 3 from the rest of the counties. The semi-finals will be held on 16 and 17 November at the headquarters of Hostelería Gipuzkoa.
The final, in which 10 establishments in each category will compete, will be held on 15 December at the Hotel María Cristina. The winners will be awarded €1,200 worth of food and wine experiences.
At the press conference in which the championship was announced, Haika Aizpurua, a member of the board of directors of Hostelería Gipuzkoa, gave an overview of the current situation of the "Pintxo", recalling how the Lonely Planet editorial chose "going out for pintxos" in San Sebastian as the best tourist-gastronomic experience in the world in 2018. "This recognition has come at a time when the world of the pintxo is undergoing a major transformation process, derived from the compulsory covering of our pintxo bars".
It will be a model of consumption, with greater added value, which will require changes in the sector, and a commitment to creativity, product quality, staff training and communication of the differential elements implicit in "al momento" cuisine.
Likewise, with the aim of improving the offer and competitiveness of miniature cuisine in all the regions of the territory, the Championship seeks to promote a Pintxo culture, based on the following decalogue:
1. The pintxo is haute cuisine in miniature.
2. It must be handmade in the establishment's kitchen by qualified staff, following traditional know-how.
3. The pintxo must stand out for its creativity and avant-garde.
4. It must highlight the personality and identity of the establishment.
5. The pintxos, both hot and cold, must be freshly prepared.
6. Pintxos must be based on fresh, local, seasonal produce.
7. The service of the pintxo establishment must guarantee cleanliness, order, food safety, friendly and respectful attention and an agile and expert service.
8. The pintxo must offer an adequate and coherent quality-price ratio.
9. The establishment should promote the pintxo route and consumption at the bar. Charging is best done at the end of the service.
10. The pintxo forms part of our identity and is a small treasure that preserves a decades-old tradition.
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