Tuesday, September 26

Madrid Fusión: The best dish with cheese is from Extremaduran chef Josemi Martínez Pi

The Extremaduran chef Josemi Martínez Pi (on the right) receiving the first prize in the ‘Bocados con queso’ contest. / TODAY

The chef from Llerena wins the first prize in the ‘Bocados con queso’ contest and third place in the ‘Signature sandwiches’ contest at Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España

The best dish with cheese has much of the gastronomy of Extremadura. The chef from Extremadura, Josemi Martínez Pilar, won the first prize this Monday in the ‘Bocados con Queso de Lactalis 2022’ contest held within Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España. The chef from Llerena, who works at the Balearic restaurant in the Cap Vermell Gran Hotel (Mallorca), won the final held in Madrid Fusión with his smoked Grana Padano and ricotta cake.

The Llere native has presented a smoked grana padano and ricotta cake, which consists of a mousse made with grana padano and ricotta cheeses, but which also contains quince jelly, pine nuts, forest honey and pine smoke.

Josemi Martínez’s proposal has surpassed that of the other five opponents who had reached the final: Gonzalo Fernández Romero (student IES Hotel Escuela of the Community of Madrid), José Ramón de la Cruz Bascuñana (Asador Legazpi, Villarobledo, Albacete) , Lola González Sánchez (Taberna el Balconcillo, Sedaví, Valencia), Alba Torres Used (student of IES Hotel Escuela of the Community of Madrid), and Christian Mor Raso (The Era of the Nogales, Sardas, Huesca).

Proposal by Josemi Martínez. /


A demanding jury made up of Lara Roguez (Kraken Art Food, Gijón), Fátima Gismero (Fátima Gismero Bakery Bakery, Guadalajara), Iván Cerdeño (Ivan Cerdeño, Toledo), Stefano Cossignani (founder of the Pizzaschool training school), Fernando Sáenz ( chef workshop Grate & Dellasera, Logroño), Nacho Solana (Solana*, Ampuero) has dictated Martínez as the winner, remaining in second position. Christian Mor and, in third, Gonzalo Fernández.

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The objective of this contest is to reward those young cheese-loving chefs who, from their school or business, strive to develop unique and different presentations of creative tapas with cheese as the protagonist.

Third sandwich prize

This has not been the only award that the chef from Extremadura has received this Monday. The ‘Bacaillo’, the proposal of this young chef from Llerena, has won the third prize in the ninth ‘Signature Sandwiches’ contest of Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España. The elaboration of it has only been surpassed by the sandwich by Máximo Benagues, who won the contest, and that of the second classified, Alejandro Salcedo. The creator of the winning recipe received a check for €1,500, while the second and third place winners received a check for €300.

Sandwich by Josemi Martínez. /


Their ‘Bacaillo’ is a loaf of smoked cod sandwich with beer bread, yellow pepper, feta cheese, coriander, arugula, lime, olive oil, fine salt, black olives, chives, garlic and onion. “It is salty and it is umami and it is a sandwich that is the result of the pandemic, easy to make at home and delicious,” explained its author.

In this case, the jury was made up of Jesús Monedero, Raquel Castillo, John Torres, Juan Barbacid and Esperanza Peláez. The main requirement of the contestants was the use of one of the three breads from the firm ‘Cereal Bakery’, made with sourdough, 100% natural ingredients, made by hand and baked on a stone floor.

Josemi Martínez has also participated in the first edition of the contest for ‘Best recipe with desalted cod’, to which he has presented a vacuum-cooked cod loin, with sweet corn pil pil, popcorn, fried corn, avocado and achiote oil and chilli. In this case, the first prize went to María Luisa de la Torre González, from the Retama restaurant (Torrenueva, Ciudad Real).

This 33-year-old chef began participating in cooking competitions in 2021 with the aim of gaining visibility for his future gastronomic space. And since then he has not stopped. After having trained in Badajoz and having worked in some of the best restaurants in Spain (Celler de Can Roca, Atrio, Mugaritz…), he is currently head chef in Balearic at Cap Vermell Gran Hotel (Mallorca). Last year he won the first prize in the category of tapas with the best pairing in the ‘Tapa Alimentos de España’ contest and was a finalist with his Iberian acorn-fed ham in the national ‘Pinchos y Tapas de Valladolid’ contest.


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