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Begoña Rodrigo has been in the kitchen for almost 20 years and during all this time she has not stopped researching and improving her culinary techniques to define a perfect gastronomic proposal, in which acidity acquires a great prominence. And she does it especially through vinegars and pickles. La Salita‘s chef has managed to develop her own vinegars and pickles to give a much more personal touch to all her dishes. In fact, now she does not use any commercial vinegar in her restaurant (only balsamic vinegars, with which she is still researching).
“I realized that in all the menus I present, for me it’s important to get to the end without dying. And I achieve that because all my dishes have a touch of acidity. This has become the common thread of my cuisine along with seasonality and the products of my area,” says the chef, who also considers herself to be very “acidic, many call me La Vinagres,” jokes Begoña.
And how did you achieve this balance?
Achieving the perfect point of acidity in her products has not been easy. Based on technique, many trials and errors and abundant patience, the chef has been taking advantage of the potential of each product to achieve a balanced combination. She makes these vinegars by fermenting alcohols, curing them, maturing them and flavoring them to create mother vinegars that she reuses later. In addition, he prepares versions of flavors as diverse as cardamom, cayenne and garlic, carob, raspberry, Valencia raisins, organic apple or chili pepper.
As a result of her research with vinegars, Begoña also began to make her own pickles to work with seasonality and take advantage of the roots and tubers. Her goal in macerating tubers, which are already acidic, is to give acidity to dishes without being too aggressive. And also “they are a way of working with products that nobody uses raw, such as parsley root, with which we make ice cream,” says the chef.
An acid menu
At La Salita, located in the heart of Valencia and with a Michelin star, Begoña Rodrigo bets on tasting menus with the right touch of acidity in each dish, to leave the palate “clean” and move on to the next one. Some of the creations where diners may notice this aspect are the Pickled carob broth with shrimp marinated in Kombu and cayenne and garlic vinegar, the Onion in textures and DO raisin vinegar, the Spider crab salad with apple vinegar meringue, the Asparagus yolks, the Asparagus yolks, the Crab salad with apple vinegar meringue, the Asparagus yolks, and the Crab salad with apple vinegar meringue, the Purple Asparagus Yolks with hake foam, pickled trout roe, and passion fruit and cardamom vinegar, or the Marine stew with halophytes, celery in pickled citrus butter and vodka, among other delicacies.