Barcelona (EFE).- The Argentine chef Aníbal Bonino has been chosen to give new life to Pinotxo, the mythical bar in the La Boqueria market in Barcelona, where he assumes the “challenge” of continuing to serve his traditional Catalan dishes after go through the kitchens of various Latin American countries and Europe.
The bar, which closed after announcing the transfer of the premises a few weeks ago, thus raises the blind again under the same name as always but with renewed kitchen equipment.
Since the owner of the Pinotxo, Juanito Bayén, sold the premises, there have been many speculations about the future of the establishment. However, although the owners and cooks are different, the Pinotxo is the same as always and so is the food.
The new chef, Aníbal Bonino, has explained to EFE that for now the usual typical dishes such as “the capipota, the fricandó, the stew, the tripe, the chickpeas with blood sausage and the beans with baby squid” will continue to be on the menu. .
“All these dishes continue, we are going to try to keep them going and we are going to try to improve them,” says the Argentine chef.
Bonino had been a loyal client of the Pinotxo bar for 20 years until at the end of February he received a call from the new owners, the residents of Bar Central. “There was a friendship with the people of La Boqueria, and I was suggested as a cook,” explains Bonino.
In a matter of days, the Argentine chef was behind the stove in the small bar near Las Ramblas, of which he had been a customer for years.
From the province of Santa Fe to Europe
Born in Sastre y Ortiz, in the province of Santa Fe (Argentina), Bonino from a young age wanted to travel and live new experiences outside the country. So, after working in the kitchens of different Latin American countries, he decided to go to Europe.
His work as a chef has allowed him to visit places known for their characteristic gastronomy. “I have been living in Tuscany and in Liguria, in Italy. I went through France, I did something in Germany too”, explains the cook.
Finally, he settled in the city of Barcelona and was working in a variety of Argentine restaurants such as 9 Reinas or La Ternerita. In 2010 she gave cooking classes in the same La Boqueria Market, where there is a school, and now she has returned again to offer her culinary arts.
Faithful to what the Pinotxo is
For Bonino it is a great honor to be part of the Pinotxo, but also a challenge. “It’s a great challenge, really, and the whole team will try to do things as well as possible and that there is little notice that there is a change,” he explained.
In the market several stalls offer typical dishes of Argentine gastronomy, such as meat empanadas, now very fashionable.
However, Bonino does not have in mind cooking food from his home country. “If we incorporate some dishes, they will be Catalan because the spirit of Pinotxo is traditional Catalan food and we will try not to change it,” he pointed out.
The bar menu remains the same as always and for now there are no plans to change it. “We are going to remain faithful to what the Pinotxo is,” the chef assured.
To date, the reactions to the change of ownership have been very good, according to the cook. Both longtime customers, tourists, and food critics have stopped by the market to enjoy Bonino’s food.
It is inevitable that the regular customers of the historic bar will make comparisons and look for the usual flavor, but Bonino and his team intend to imitate it as well as possible and keep the essence of Pinotxo alive.
The cook receives with a smile anyone who wants to stop by the bar and give their opinion. “If something needs to be changed or improved” so that the food is as close to the original as possible, “we will do it”, he has assured.
It is clear that neither the particular character of Juanito nor his food can be replaced, but Aníbal Bonino and his brigade hope that the clients who pass through the Pinotxo will stay with the best they have: “good service, proximity and good cuisine ”.