On Monday 31st March the Spanish Chamber organised the traditional Annual Patrons’ Dinner. On this occasion, H.E. the Ambassador of Spain Mr. Federico Trillo-Figueroa was unable to join us as he was in Spain to attend the state funeral of the late Adolfo Suárez.
This year the event was held at the restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, member of the Spanish Chamber. Ametsa, which means “dream” in Basque language, is a unique collaboration between Elena Arzak – voted Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in 2012 – along with her father Juan Mari Arzak, and Mikel Sorazu, Igor Zalakain and Xabier Gutiérrez. Ametsa’s approach is rooted in the traditions of “New Basque Cuisine”, pairing earthy flavours and Basque techniques with a modern twist. The savoir faire of Ametsa has made the restaurant win its first Michelin star in 2013, less than one year after its opening.
This annual event is meant to be a special dinner in which the Spanish Chamber acknowledges the support of its Patrons and with such impressive credentials, Ametsa with Arzak Instruction did not disappoint. This was also an occasion to welcome two new Patrons, Grupotec Renewables Ltd and London City Airport, both of which were in attendance at the dinner. To begin the evening, guests were welcomed with a selection of canapés that they could enjoy along with cava and wine during the pre-dinner reception. This was the perfect opportunity for guests to catch up and get to meet our new Patrons.
After the reception, Patrons moved to the restaurant area to take their seats. It was then when the President of the Spanish Chamber, Mr. Javier Fernández Hidalgo, opened the proceedings and welcomed everyone on behalf of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. During his speech he highlighted how valuable the support of Patrons is for the institution and that by joining the Chamber they became not only members, but close friends. The President also thanked Ametsa with Arzak Instruction for kindly hosting the event and inviting our Patrons to enjoy such a wonderful experience.
He then gave the floor to Mr. Felipe Gómez, who thanked attendees on behalf of Ametsa and Como Hotels and who introduced the Executive Head Chef, Mr. Sergi Sanz. The chef presented the menu and explained a little of what each dish consisted, but without revealing too much in order to leave a little bit for the imagination. He mentioned the dishes in the tasting menu he had created were linked by the desire to create unexpected combinations of flavours that, nonetheless, worked perfectly well together.
And without further ado the dinner kicked off with a selection of starters which included surprising combinations, such as parcels of mango filled with chorizo or crispy monkfish skin with mussels. Starters were followed by a king prawns and sweet corn soup with txangurro (a type of Basque crab), but the best was yet to come as the menu included a staple of Basque cuisine: merluza en salsa verde (hake in green sauce). This was without doubt one of showstoppers of the evening and received many compliments from diners.
The tasting menu that the Executive Chef had created did not stop there and so after the hake guests could enjoy a delicious dish of ox cheek with vanilla, a quite unexpected combination that nonetheless won the hearts –and stomachs- of everyone. To round off a perfect meal, nothing better than a good dessert, and so a refreshing clove custard, toasted milk and pineapple ice cream was served to complete a wonderful dinner. Last but not least, some delicious ‘petit fours’ came along with coffees and teas to put the cherry on the cake to an amazing evening.
We would like to sincerely thank Ametsa with Arzak Instruction for their hospitality and for providing our Patrons with such a fantastic dining experience. We would also like to thank Patrons for their attendances and we look forward to seeing them at the next Patrons’ Event.
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