SEVEN CELTIC CHEFS ~ Beatriz Sotelo
One of Galicia’s 13 Michelin star restaurants is located in Cambre, in the province of A Coruña. Called A Estación, which means “the station,” the eatery sits inside a converted train station.
One of its chefs is Beatriz Sotelo. “After travelling on many trains and stopping by many stations, Beatriz Sotelo arrives in Cambre,” states the Grupo Nove website. “She decides to get off here and begin a new stage with Xoán M. Crujeiras to turn this place into a station to stay.”
Two chefs might sound like “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but Sotelo and Crujeiras complement one another to deliver a range of dishes, from empanadas filled with cockles to Galician veal. “Xoán and I make a good team because we are two very different people,” says Sotelo. “Two personalities, man and woman, serenity versus temperament, a perfect couple – although it is not always easy. It is like a marriage.”
Sotelo, who was born in a small village in Pontevedra, began her culinary journey at home. “I cooked with my family, and in my house there were many countryside products that I used with my grandmother.”
Local ingredients are still important to Sotelo. “We use products from smaller producers close by,” she notes. “For example, a sardine or a longueiron (razor clam) – they are essential ingredients in our cooking process.”
A Estación’s Tarta De Castañas
· 250 g short-crust pastry
· 150 g softened butter
· 150 g sugar
· ½ tsp cinnamon
· 1 shot hazelnut liqueur
· 2 eggs (separated into yolks and whites)
· 550 g cooked chestnuts in syrup (Castañas cocidas en almíbar)
Line a spring-form pan (24 cm/9 in diameter) with the pastry dough and bake it in the oven at 180ºC (350ºF) for 10 minutes. In a bowl, beat the butter with the sugar, cinnamon and liqueur. Add the egg yolks and mix gently. Crush half of the chestnuts and mix them with the butter cream. Put the rest of the chestnuts in a blender and grind them to a purée. Add the puréed chestnuts to the mix. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to the point where they form peaks, and mix them with the other ingredients. Fill the pan with the mix and bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 45 minutes. Let it cool and sprinkle with icing sugar. The dessert also goes nicely served with hot chocolate and chocolate, vanilla or nougat ice cream.