Exclusive Interview with Skina Chef Jaume Puigdengolas
On the 7th and 8th of September, three renowned Michelin starred chefs cooked together to create a 12 course culinary extravaganza at the 5* Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona. Jaume Puigdengolas from Skina, Diego Gallegos from Sollo and Mauricio Giovanini from Messina each cooked four amazing courses and Ana Núñez, Head Sommelier of Kempinski Hotel Bahia expertly paired them with wines.
Each dish was spectacular, and often surprising, such as the depth of flavour from the Sisho leaf and apple tartar from Skina, which managed to be both light, yet complex and was the first time most diners had sampled this Japanese leaf. Other highlights from Skina included Amberjack fish cooked in yogurt and served with textures of beetroot, a chestnut mushroom ravioli which was meaty and rich and full of umami, and their Yuzu snow which was both creamy and light and bursting with a citrus tang.
Spanish Chef Jaume Puigdengolas Rey has studied and worked in Michelin star kitchens for many years, including with three-star chef Santi Santamaria in Can Fabes and Dubai. In 2011 he became the Head Chef for the Marbella restaurant Skina, which received its first Michelin star in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Jaume has an individual style which is centred around the best quality products and traditional Andalusian flavours, with a playful avante-garde approach which brings out the maximum flavour from every ingredient and every dish. His main motivation is creating sensory perfection.
We spoke to him after the event to find out more.
1. Why did you decide to be a chef?
Eating well and cooking together at home has always been a very important part of my family life which I lived and breathed since I was young. My Dad was a huge influence on me, even though he wasn’t a professional chef he was a real inspiration.
2. What would you say is the style of your food?
My style is very personal, I concentrate on flavour and the best ingredients, always playing with seasonal products and trying to make them shine!
3. What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Maintaining the Michelin star at Skina year after year and constantly pushing it forward is very important to me.
4. What do you think about the culinary talent on the Costa del Sol?
You can see each year that there’s more talent and the bar is being pushed higher and this is really important and beneficial for all of us working in the industry. We have to keep on pushing to make it better still!
5. What should gastro tourists do when they visit the Costa del Sol?
Above all they should enjoy and take advantage of the amazing diversity of cuisine and produce that we have in this area.
6. How has it been to collaborate with two other Michelin starred chefs for Dine with the Stars?
It’s been a wonderful experience to be able to share with these friends and fellow chefs and the setting was incredible and full of magic. We all said we’d love to do it every year.
7. What is your favourite dish on the menu and why?
The Beets, amberjack fish and dairy dish is probably my favourite as it’s very fresh and delicious, perfect for summer in Marbella.
8. Do you have anything exciting coming up this year at your restaurant?
We’re always trying to improve and get better – that’s the trick to our success and this year we’re heading over to Hong Kong for a few weeks to create a pop-up Skina in Asia which will be a wonderful way for more people to come and try our food.
9. How can people find out more about your restaurant?
The best way is to come and try it – I can assure you it will be a wonderful experience.
To find out more about Skina visit www.restauranteskina.com
The 5* Kempinski Hotel Bahia has four restaurants, a lounge and a pool bar, where you can enjoy anything from a snack or afternoon tea, to steaks, seafood and tapas. Highlights include their beachfront restaurant serving Spanish cuisine in a stunning setting and a wine & steak house showcasing the highest quality cuts of Spanish meats and over 450 wines. There are over 100 tapas dishes on offer at La Cocina de Mi Abuela, where each dish put forward by their talented chefs represents their favourite recipe from their Grandmother’s kitchen, which inspired them to become a Chef. Find out more www.kempinski.com/estepona