He began working in agriculture, later he was a waiter and also a fisherman. From that combination came the journalist who most promoted gastronomic tourism in the province. Antonio González Pomata (Alicante, 1926-1996) is part of the cultural history of the province, as a defender and diffuser of the value of traditional gastronomy, through its articles and collectibles Meals of the earth In the diary INFORMATION, from where he promoted the creation of the gastronomic weeks held between 1987 and 1994 to revalue the autochthonous cuisine of Alicante.
His documentary legacy, which includes more than 13,000 graphic testimonials, including photographs, slides and negatives, was donated by the family to the documentation center The Llum of the Mediterranean Foundation. And this entity signed an agreement with the Carmencita chair at the University of Alicante which has resulted in the Menjars de la Terra exhibition. Legado de González Pomata, curated by Ángeles Ruiz and Carmen Velasco, and whose inauguration was affected by the confinement, although it is expected that it can take place before the end of the year.
Until arriving at this exhibition, which was born with the intention of being itinerant, the UA researcher Ines Anton has been in charge of inventorying, cataloging and analyzing the material, under the supervision of the two curators. To this have been added interviews with the family and people related to Pomata, as well as the journalistic publications that appeared in INFORMATION.
Through this legacy, a tour of Alicante gastronomy of the last decades is made. “From the menus of 40 years ago to the Michelin stars, our gastronomy has changed a lot”, he points out Angeles Ruiz, for whom the work carried out by González Pomata “narrates the tourist and gastronomic history of the province from the 1980s to almost the present day.”
The main axis of the exhibition revolves around gastronomy, highlights Carmen Velasco, “But then there are other very important aspects such as the recovery of traditions, the importance of the product and its preparation.” There are also festivals, customs and tourism. “He has documented each step, the history of our province from top to bottom, from many points of view.”
In this sense, Ruiz emphasizes the value that the journalist placed on the product itself. “There are many photographs and articles in which he talks about the drought, the floods, the production.”
The different editions of the Gastronomic Week played a fundamental role in defending traditional cuisine, “which will then be very important for today’s haute cuisine,” says the head of the La Llum documentary center. And they also became an act of social relevance with a prominent weight in the reformulation of provincial gastronomic tourism.
The exhibition, which through the figure of González Pomata wants to promote the preservation of the gastronomic legacy, reflects the transformations that have occurred in the landscape, in the way of working and producing, in agriculture and in the way of living.
The gaze of Alicante photographers also occupies a prominent role, especially Perfect Arjones, also of INFORMATION, with whom he formed a great work team.
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