One of the latest initiatives of fishing company Balfegó has been to launch Índigo, a virtual club where tuna fishermen provide advice to members about new ways of preparing tuna and new cuts, also putting cooking professionals in contact with each other to encourage an exchange of ideas that boosts creativity.
Índigo, named after the intense blue of the ocean, is a platform designed to fire chefs’ imaginations through training, and is an opportunity to exchange ideas with lots of communication. Being an Índigo member also lets chefs attend Balfegó events, visit the company’s facilities, take part in cooking challenges and organise a genuine Kaitai ceremony, an ancient Japanese tuna-cutting ceremony, at their business.
Return of Chef Balfegó, one of the most prestigious cooking competitions in the world
The inscription deadline for the fifth Chef Balfegó competition ended just a few days before this magazine was published; the competition is one of the most prestigious cooking contests in the world. So much so that the jury is headed by Martín Berasategui who, together with six other renowned chefs and two eminent food critics, will decide which of the contestants wins the sought-after trophy.
In addition to the prestige and exposure that winning the competition means, the winner will also get a trip to Japan and a cash prize so that they can discover the best restaurants in the land of the rising sun.
The competition will take place on 24 October 2022 at the Le Cordon Bleu facilities in Madrid; only sector professionals who are representing the restaurant where they work may attend. The contest generates higher and higher expectations among the cooking world each year. A quick glance back reveals that the last winner of Chef Balfegó (2020) was Alejandro Fernández from Bardal (Ronda, Malaga), a restaurant with two Michelin stars and Guía Repsol suns.
Balfegó: the best, and most sustainable tuna in the world
Everyone knows that we cannot keep on overfishing the world’s oceans for much longer. In fact, an increasing number of fishing restrictions have been introduced for various species in the hope that a hiatus might save them from extinction. There’s no doubt that the system has to change if we want to ensure that our children can eat fish and seafood in the future.
Fortunately, companies like Balfegó represent a milestone on the path to sustainability. It catches tuna with encircling nets, meaning it can select just one species and also choose the size of the fish that it will transport back to its facilities. Fish never weigh less than the regulatory 30 kg, but the animals it captures normally weigh closer to 100 kg and are around 10 years old, meaning they have had a period of sexual maturity in freedom of around six years, helping to conserve the species.
Balfegó has been awarded the AENOR seal for environmental sustainability thanks to strict quality control checks by independent bodies appointed by the ICCT (International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tuna) at every stage of the process, including catching, feeding, monitoring by vets, fishing and cutting up.