Ángel León rounds off his aperitif with marine olives


The chef from Aponiente presents two new products at Gastronomika in his pursuit to live off the sea: olives and marine Camembert. With these, and marine ham, he rounds off the “perfect aperitif”.

The chef from Aponiente*** is once again putting forward his latest innovations as far as his marine larder is concerned at San Sebastian Gastronomika. With his aim still intact of cooking the sea and living off marine proteins, the chef from El Puerto de Santa María has presented marine olives, from a plant –Sesuvium- that he found in the Atlantic but in America, to be precise, in Venezuela.

“It’s a dream for a chef from Andalusia: Being able to create olives and in my case, marine olives, as well”, he explained in the final presentation on the first day of Gastronomika. I found them in a halophytic plant that comes from the sea, and has the same colours as olives. “And the incredible thing is that they taste like olives”. The two people who came up on stage to taste them confirmed this. “The texture is different but the taste is exactly the same”, they said in amazement.

Having found the plant, León and his team are now going to bring it to Cadiz, where they are going to plant it in its estuaries. In this way, “next year we will round off the perfect aperitif: we already had marine ham. Now olives and cheese have been added to this. Because although Ii had already presented a marine cheese two years ago, precisely at Gastronomika, I did so again but with a specification: a camembert cheese”.

Marine Camembert 

“Another turn of the marine screw”, the presenter Alberto Granados began when he learnt what León’s latest proposition was going to be about. Because the Project involving what he wanted to be the first milk from the sea, (“Where would we get it from? Were we going to milk the dolphins?”, the chef joked), has ended up becoming a marine Camembert. “We started by looking for white things in the sea, and we quickly thought of the milk roe of blue fin tuna”. León was talking about the sperm of blue fin tuna. 

And they began to work with them. They caught them, bled them and worked on them with a coagulating alga, a process in which they injected the camembert fungus. “This is how we got the form and taste of a Camembert with the flavour of the sea and salting”. And he said again: “Yes, it’s a cheese from blue fin tuna sperm, but it’s a really good cheese”. He smiled. Ángel León. For the next season, the marine Camembert will be presented with a date that they extract from ruppia, the marine alga with which Aponiente prepares marine honey. 

The cheese, honey, and olives are a few more of the projects that Léon embarks on to live off the sea, like the project with marine eelgrass that he wants to plant with salt water. “All really nice projects but that unfortunately have to be profitable to move forward”, he admitted. The chef, who says that, “we have only investigated 1% of what the sea can produce”, ended his presentation by publicly introducing his chef, the Basque Alan Iglesias, “another one from the Basque Country”, he joked.






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