In Spain Food Sherpas they’ve teamed up with several artists of the Malaga Urban Sketchers team to draw some appetizers. The perfect time of the day to meet people, approach local cuisine and, just like that, illustrate what happens. We invite ourselves to join this initiative which found its first stop in La Cosmopolita , a unique place in the historic center of Malaga.
Daniel Carnero goes every Monday to the farm of the Hevilla family in Coín. There, he personally selects several products from the vegetable garden. It makes a lot of sense: just see and taste some of the “huevo de toro”, “Crimea”, “pink” or “black” tomato varieties to understand his preference for this garden and business.
He repeats this operation in the “Mercado del Carmen” market, when it’s the turn of the fish. And always with seasonal products he designs and shapes the dishes of La Cosmopolita, the restaurant he runs both from the kitchen and the office. And which becomes the perfect location to draw appetizers with the Malaga Urban Sketchers team, who wanted to join Spain Food Sherpas to approach the gastronomic culture from another point of view: the one of their pens, markers and brushes.
Esparto blinds and bunches of aromatic herbs are part of the decor of La Cosmopolita. As well a Jamie Oliver cookery book that is fighting on the shelf for its prominence with a book about mushrooms from Malaga and another one about the Spanish Fighting Bull, toro de lidia.
On the walls are lined up and framed some of the menus of the restaurants in which Daniel Carnero has eaten or worked: he shared the stove with Martin Berasategui and Manuel de la Osa.
His specialty is to reconnect old recipes from Malaga with today’s spirit, but his good work can be appreciated already in the first dish that appears on the table. “Papas aliñás” (a savory potato salad) or some “ortiguillas” (sea asparagus) with the local “Rosas de Málaga” craft beer are ideal to start the appetizer, while the first lines are being painted in the artists’ notebooks.
A few pages on which appear the curves and colors of a good portion of “manolita” sardines from Malaga, fried and pickled, accompanied with piparra peppers and lime: a real delicatessen.
The pages (and stomachs) are completed with stew-croquettes and an absolutely mouth-watering appetizer: Iberian pork with lard and black vermouth.
Daniel also proposes a dish to honor the “ceviche”: A pickled mackerel to lick your fingers and stain the notebooks.
While the pencils and brushes are moving among the artists, in La Cosmopolita there are some stable options like stews, meat and probably one of the best potato salads in town (ensaladilla rusa); but there is another one that changes almost daily as the menu itself reveals: “ Today’s dishes … and tomorrow we don’t know yet.”
So depending on the day, you can find delicacies such as prawn tartar from Malaga with roasted marrow, a dish that combines land and sea as few do- one of the stars of the house.
For hot days included this fall here in Malaga, the cold meat salmorejo is highly recommended. And when winter comes, if it does, it will be time for artichokes with roe or the classic “berzas” from Malaga, an exquisite local stew that could fill an entire book with illustrations and, of course, the stomach.