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The Chef

JONAY HERNANDEZ

Tollos, papas, gofios, mojos…
If these words bring the flavours and smells of Tenerife alive in your mind, you’ll understand the perfection and love that Jonay feels towards his island and its traditions. Jonay is in love with gastronomy in general and with Tenerife in particular. Above all though, he is crazy for the many different types of potato that can only be found in the Canary Islands, for the cheese that just wouldn’t taste the same without that wine to accompany it and for the many different types of Canarian stew, like ropa vieja, sopa verde, rancho canario, and potaje de berros. Equally, Jonay can wax lyrical about gofios (Canarian dishes that use a local type of flour made from roasted grains or roots), about mojo (a sauce made from garlic, cilantro and bell peppers) and the Canaries’ famous bananas.

Jonay is a chef split between two islands: whilst Mallorca welcomes him, looks after him and sees him grow, Tenerife indulges him upon every visit. He carries the spirit of both islands within him: in his stomach and his head, in his heart and his mind.

Having scoured the country and this part of the globe in search of gastronomic perfection, Jonay could still never choose between a Michelin-starred restaurant and a quachinche, a type of Canarian restaurant that operates out of the garage of a house, with just one or two dishes on the menu that are cooked by the hosts. Good food can be found in the most improbable locations; you just need to know where to look.

Jonay is an FC Barcelona fan and a perfectionist. He is impulsive and more demanding than most, a champion of healthy and ecological food, and is keen that his son leaves behind the baby’s bottle and starts to develop his impressionable and unprejudiced palate. Jonay might physically leave the kitchen and perhaps jump on a bicycle or strap a scuba tank to his back, losing himself in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea that embrace him. His mind, however, will always remain at the stove, searching for new culinary creations.

It is often said that islanders are defined by the fact that they live surrounded by water. For Jonay though, the sea is exactly what defines him, what identifies and distinguishes him.

The sea shapes his character, a character that is open to every point of the compass.

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