Interview with Manolo Ramos, Executive Chef at B bou
Manolo Ramos has been working for eleven years at B bou Hotel La Viñuela & Spa, but also stands as Executive Chef of B bou, so he’s responsible of giving a common identity to every menu. Here’s how he does it!
After eleven years at La Viñuela, Manolo, how do you manage to give a common sense to all different B bou’s gastronomic proposals?
“It’s a huge challenge, because here at La Viñuela we have our own way to handle work, a quality mark, and now we have to be prepared to export it to the rest of the hotels. Luckily, at Cortijo Bravo we have Manolo, who has been teen years by my side, and in Ronda we have Dani, another chef that worked three years with me. Also, even if the menus are set here, we love that every chef puts a bit of its own mark on them, that’s the way to give some personality on their own!”.
So, is there some common ground but also every menu has its own details, right?
“Exactly. In fact, here at La Viñuela we’ve been 14 years defending the gastronomies of la Axarquia, Malaga and Andalusia, and that’s the common ground to every of them. There’s some proposals that you’ll always find in a B bou Hotel, such as the pâté of young goat. Also, the quality will also be universal. Besides that, every place has its own details. For example, in Ronda the famous “rabo de toro” (bull’s tail). Plus, we focus on the “kilometer 0” product, so if we have a cheese sample, the cheese will be a product of a little company nearby every hotel, not the same kind of cheese. Or if we make a “porra” with a recipe made in Seville, it will be done with tomatoes from Los Palacios. It’s the best way to keep quality and freshness, with local and seasonal products”.
Always with la Axarquia as a great protagonist…
“Yes, sure. Our kitchen is Axarquia, Malaga and Andalusia, in that order. For example, the young goat pâté, or the young goat from Canillas made as natural as possible, trying not to ruin the product, because that’s the absolute protagonist. Our hands guide the product to their perfect cooking, without adding undesired tastes. That’s one of our priorities”.
Talking about the Axarquia, we must talk about mango and avocado.
“Always. We must know when it’s their season. Also, we must collaborate in the economic and social activities of the Axarquia, where there are some entreprises that generate tons of jobs, such as Trops, Reyes Gutiérrez, Montosa or Sigfrido. It’s not only about using local products or making ‘a favor’ to our farmers, it’s about using the finest products. Actually, Axarquia has left behind a status of only producer, now we are worldwide distributors, too”.
Lastly, Manolo, apart from the identity signs you already talked about, what’s the percentage of experimenting on your cuisine?
“Of course we love to experiment a little bit, adding a bit of fusion to some of our proposals. But always trying that this experimentation should be between a 5 and a 10% of the total, not experimenting because it’s mandatory, do you know what I’m saying? For example, there’s no point to experiment with a good gazpacho, because a good gazpacho is perfect for everybody. The cuisine has to be good, not modern or ancient. And above all, our cuisine is sincere, for everyone to understand it and, of course, enjoy it”.