Portugal has been invited, as guest country, to take part in the sixth Chef Balfegó, one of the most important food competitions in Europe, which awards prizes for the best work that uses one particular main ingredient: Balfegó Red Tuna, considered to be the finest Red Tuna in the world.
Next year’s event will feature five chefs representing Spain, and one each from Italy, Germany and Portugal, which will be the guest country in 2023. By issuing this invitation, the organisers are opening up the competition to a chef from Portugal, who will represent Portuguese food for the first time.
Registration is open until 26 February 2023, and chefs who would like to enter can apply via the website specifically created by the organisers (https://balfego.com/pt-pt/preinscripcion-concurso-chef-2023/). After this date, a shortlist will be made of the submitted dishes and the six contestants who would like to become the first person to represent Portugal in Chef Balfegó will be chosen. The six finalists will compete in a face-to-face semi-final in Portugal in front of a jury comprised of highly prestigious judges who will be announced closer to the date.
The winning contestant selected by the jury in the semi-final will win €1,000 and will represent Portugal at Chef Balfegó 2023. The final will be held in Madrid on 23 October 2023. Eight finalists will compete in front of a distinguished international jury, who hold over sixteen Michelin stars between them, headed by exceptional chef Martín Berasategui, who has the third most awards in the Michelin Red Guide. The prize will increase to €10,000, and also include sets of Japanese knives, audio-visual reports and the publication of the winners’ recipes on the Balfegó website and social networks.
Balfegó: the authentic Red Tuna certified by AENOR
The remarkable quality of tuna with the Balfegó seal is widely known by top chefs in Europe and beyond, who order Balfegó Red Tuna for its outstanding organoleptic properties. It’s with good reason that Martín Berasategui, one of the chefs with the most awards in the world, is a Balfegó ambassador.
The method Balfegó uses to catch the tuna and the use of Ikejime, a Japanese slaughter technique, guarantee that the animals do not suffer or experience stress, thereby achieving tuna with exceptional culinary value that is found in the kitchens of the most famous and discerning chefs worldwide.
Tuna begin to be caught in May during their annual migration to the Mediterranean to lay their eggs; Balfegó ships drive them to the company’s aquaculture facilities, seawater pools off the coast of Ametlla de Mar (Tarragona). Only the largest fish are caught in the pools while the younger ones remain free, ensuring the sustainability of the species. The animals that are caught continue to be fed their natural diet of blue fish (horse mackerel, sardines, greaves) for at least a year. Comprehensive traceability of the Red Tuna also begins at this point – this unique system is used nowhere else and guarantees total transparency, sustainability and food safety. Clients and the end consumer can use their mobile phones and a QR code provided with each dish to access full information about the Red Tuna they are buying or eating: where it was caught and the date, its weight, length and fat percentage, and its health and quality certificates.
Balfegó Red Tuna is certified by AENOR in the areas of environmental sustainability, authenticity, traceability and good practice with regard to the prevention of anisakis. Its commitment to sustainability is also applied to the ingredients used in all its products.