Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria

Recipes from an Islandmix. Chef Rafael Bueno. Gran Canaria.

‘Arinaga hake fillet on squid with onions and squid juice lactonese’, a recipe by Rafael Bueno

Ingredients for 4 servings

Hake Loin
800 gr cleaned hake. 4 x 200 gr loins per person
Braise los loin skins at medium to high heat in the oven.
Seal to preserve their juice.
Finally, turn the oven up sharply to 200 ºC for 2-3 minutes.

Recipe for Arinaga hake by chef Rafael Bueno

Squid with onions
1 kilo cleaned squid
½ kilo local onions or spring onions
200 ml (one glass) white wine
1 garlic bulb
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cut the squid into rings.
In a saucepan, sauté the spring onions over a medium heat for 2-3 hours together with the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper until they begin to caramelise slightly.
Then add the squid and white wine and cook for about half an hour over a medium heat until tender.

Squid juice lactonese
100 ml milk
50 ml olive oil, 0.4º acidity
1 garlic clover
2 soup spoons of squid juice
Place all the ingredients in a single recipient and mix in with a blender until a mayonnaise consistency is achieved.

Recipe presentation by chef Rafael Bueno
Chef Rafael Bueno at his Embarcadero restaurant

Rafael considers himself a man of the sea. Wherever he has been living or working, the sea has always been close to him, whether in Asturias, Barcelona or Gran Canaria. The sea is his perfect ally, where he seeks calm outside the kitchen and inspiration for his dishes. Indeed, his restaurant, Embarcadero, stands literally on the seashore. For this reason, he loves to work with fresh fish as his main product, making the most of the fact that the Gran Canaria coastline offers a rich and excellent variety.

In the recipe he presents, he insists on the high quality of the hake and deep-sea hake caught in the waters off the southern coast of Arinaga, where from October to February it is at its best due to the cooler winter waters. The squid come from the San Cristóbal area in Gran Canaria’s capital city.

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Who is Rafael Bueno?

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to an Asturian mother and a Catalan father, Rafael spent his summers in the kitchens of Casa Julián, his grandmother's restaurant in Asturias, now run by the third generation of the family. His grandmother taught him how to make rice pudding, a dessert that he offers at his restaurante Embarcadero, in the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Sports Marina. Rafael upholds the values of perseverance, dedication and love for a job well done, his grandmother’s greatest legacy.

In 1995 he moved to Barcelona where he studied cooking for three years at the Hofman School, doing an internship in their restaurant for six months, before embarking on an extensive training course with great master chefs. In the summer of 1998 he moved to Mallorca where he did an internship with Michelin-starred chef Koldo Royo. After six more months, he started at the restaurant of the sadly deceased Santi Santamaría, Racó de Can Fabes, in Saint Celoni, where he got his first work contract.

Between 2001 and 2002 Rafael was head of the fish department at the New Port Room restaurant of the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. In 2002 he worked as head of the meat department at the Relais & Châteaux restaurant La Torre de Remei in Puigcerdá, run by well-known chef Josep María Boix, where he produced seasonal Catalan cuisine. Between 2003 and 2004 he was head chef at "Carmelitas", in the district of Rabal, next to the famous Boquería market. In 2005 and 2006 he was Executive Sous-Chef at the World Trade Centre in Barcelona, where his time in Catalonia came to an end.

He then returned to his home island of Gran Canaria, taking over the kitchen at "Embarcadero" where he has been working for 15 years as chef and owner, offering a cuisine in which the high quality of fresh market products holds pride of place. The working philosophy of his restaurant is respect for tradition and love for the product as the core elements to any recipe.

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Fishing in Gran Canaria

32º 'Dish-enhancing' secret ingredient

Artisanal Fishing in Gran Canaria

The Canaries Islands are the only autonomous community in which fishing is done in an artisanal fashion, with all the added value this tradition brings to one of the leading ingredients in local gastronomy’ -explains journalist Yuri Millares in  PellaGofio magazine.-

And this is no secret, because the best restaurants on the island showcase the short time that elapses from the moment the product is caught until it is ready for the kitchen. There are many fishermen's guilds, supply centres and restaurants in Gran Canaria, in places such as Agaete, Arguineguín, San Cristóbal, Puerto de Mogán and Castillo del Romeral. They practically hug the island's coastline, and constitute the larders for the raw ingredients that provide a high quality culinary product, day after day.