He is the winner of the International Academy of Gastronomy’s 2018 “Chef of the Future” award but that’s not all there is to the cuisine of chef Pablo González. One of his tasting menus was awarded 2 Michelin stars and 3 Repsol suns for its interpretation of local history and cuisine through assortments of flavors. These days, the chef heads La Finca, one of the best restaurants in Granada and in an exclusive interview, he talks to us about his work and what he wants guests to experience when they check in at La Bobadilla.
Meet Pablo González
GLH: Hello Pablo. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. For the people who may not be familiar with your story, could you quickly introduce yourself and tell us how you came to join La Bobadilla?
Pablo González: Hello. My name is Pablo González and my story is a very simple one. At the beginning of the 90s, nobody thought about being a chef. I graduated in Physical Education and on the weekends, I used to work in a pastry shop. That’s what got me hooked. It took me years of learning and evolution to get to where I am today.
I have known La Bobadilla for a long time, as a client, and as fate would have it, the most important person in my professional life also worked here. When they proposed this challenge to us, we loved it.
GLH: You won the “Chef of the Future” award at the International Academy of Gastronomy in 2018. Can you tell us what this particular award is all about and why you think it came to you?
Pablo González: “Chef of the Future” is an international recognition, and it was a surprise. I never thought it was going to happen to us. I suppose doing good work comes with its own rewards, and although we don’t think about it, we are seen by others, and it’s so nice.
GLH: Can you tell us a bit more about the concept and cuisine of La Finca?
Pablo González: The experience that we tried to have at La finca goes beyond the dish itself…it’s a more global concept. The aim is to bring the restaurant back to its local roots. It’s all about excellence, about pampering the client, and the attention to details. La Finca is meant to combine all the virtues of La Bobadilla and offer a unique experience to the customer.
GLH: The restaurant offers a decidedly local menu, putting a spotlight on local products like Caviar de Riofrío. Why did you choose to offer this particular type of cuisine?
Pablo González: Good cuisine comes from knowing where we are geographically, to know what we have around us and to give them their value. La Bobadilla is a hotel where local and international clients meet, and for this reason, putting value in local products like Caviar of Riofrio or even just decorating the table the way we do, which is a bonsai olive tree, is indeed important. Every client becomes aware of where they are and what happens around them.
GLH: Was sustainability a factor in this decision?
Pablo González: Sustainability is very important. Having the producer close by, making the local economy progress is everyone’s responsibility, and it is the right thing to do. The hotels are offices of the tourist industry that have the responsibility of employing staff from the area, of using the local products and, in a way, of representing the culture around them. When clients come to La Bobadilla, they experience the essence of Andalusia in all its glory.
GLH: The restaurant offers two tasting menus. What was the idea behind them?
Pablo González: The idea behind the menu is two-fold. The first one is all about offering excellence – from the moment you enter the restaurant, you feel the clean and elegant staging. And then secondly, the presentation and content of the dishes. Every dish carries with it a sort of history, and this is the idea of the menus that we have at La Finca, expressing that declaration of intent regarding the good product, the quality, the dishes, and the staff who tell the story of each dish.
GLH: Where do you get the inspiration for your dishes?
Pablo González: It’s not all about inspiration; it’s also work, experience, observing the little things from the environment, and then translating all of that into dishes. What climate we have, the local cuisine, the local products…you have to know how to look, and with more experience, it becomes easier to communicate those ideas through the dish.
GLH: According to you, why should travelers come to La Bobadilla?
Pablo González: It’s very simple, La Bobadilla is a unique place that you’ll always want to return to. The proof is that La Bobadilla will have been open for 35 years this year, and all guests continue to come back every year, with their family, friends, and so on. It’s a place you will always remember once you come here.
GLH: If you had to describe a perfect day at the hotel, what would it be?
Pablo González: I would get up early and walk around the area – there are 350 hectares of countryside nature and lovely paths, and touring it is spectacular at dawn. Back at the hotel, I would take a bath and go for breakfast, which I believe is one of the strong points of the hotel. And I would do it peacefully, taking my time and with the people I love. I would go down to the pool, bring a book with me and just sit down, read and relax… La Bobadilla is ideal to disconnect from everything. I would have a light lunch at El Mirador, take a nap and then go down to the spa for a massage. And finally get ready for dinner. At the bar, I would have an aperitif before heading to La Finca. As is the case for those who come to La Bobadilla, you don’t usually spend just one night, so I would also recommend dining at El Cortijo, on its terrace which overlooks our surroundings.
GLH: And finally, if you had to plan a perfect itinerary in Granada, where would you go and what would you do? Any secret address you’d like to share ?
Pablo González: Granada is an incredible city to get lost in. A visit to The Alhambra is a must but apart from that, I would also walk down the entire Albaicin and just get lost in that area. And there is a place that comes with my highest recommendation; It’s called La Trastienda and behind that bar there is a space that has all local and very authentic products; I love that place. Other than that, there is a place called Taberna del Jam and the ham tastings are otherworldly. It’s the perfect way to end a day in Granada.
For more exclusive interviews, stay tuned! To book La Bobadilla, head to this link.