Tuesday, October 19

“We have to opt for a local, sustainable and seasonal model to support each other”

It is difficult to find new restaurants with a great acceptance by the clientele. The ratings on their networks and other internet portals leave no room for doubt, you have to go through the Barrio del Carmen de Murcia and make a stop at Polea. Why? For its friendly service, for its price accessible to all budgets, for a reduced environment in which to have a good time and, above all, for the creativity of its kitchen.

The dishes of Alberto Pardo and Pepa Villa are a show for the senses and their creativity from the moment they are prepared, since thanks to an open kitchen, the diner can enjoy the entire process. “A more intimate bond is created with the customer who comes to enjoy a good meal,” Pepa explained. The originality extends through the concept and through a fairly broad menu.

Alberto and Pepa came to Murcia Gastronómica Live20 to discover their place and their recipes, but also their spirit. A spirit in which respect for the environment, sustainability and a commitment to local produce and the circular economy permeates every dish without our noticing.

‘Eat local, think global’. Under this maxim, the diners of this restaurant benefit the entire nearby environment without realizing it. After the experience of this couple in Scotland, in a country where local produce was highly valued, these chefs had it clear: this concept had to be brought to Murcia with the amount of raw material that we have.

With that zero kilometer philosophy, they inaugurated Polea in the heart of Murcia, in front of the Floridablanca Garden. The menu is based on seasonal vegetables, greens and fruit, trying to value the daily product with a seasonal menu.

A menu designed for those who do not have time during the week for a great after-dinner. Among its dishes, the creations shown at this congress stand out. A pasta dish made by themselves with local products and decorated with sprayed cream of mushroom and chanterelles from Castilla-La Mancha. A dish that plays a bit with acidity. In addition, hazelnuts are added to provide a crunchy touch and some slices of cured egg flakes to add salinity. The ricotta whey has that touch of acidity that Alberto is looking for in this dish.

The Polea philosophy permeates all foods and fish also comes from the closest environment. This is how these cooks turn to the Fishermen’s Guild of San Pedro del Pinatar or the Port of Cartagena. That’s precisely where the fish they cooked in their next dish came from: a loin of bonito with celeriac. Here these cooks take advantage of the unseen part of the celery that remains underground and that has an anise aroma that is quite popular with fish. An ingredient that is used for a cream and with which different preparations are created that cover all possible textures.

These chefs developed their concern for sustainable fish thanks to the ‘Fish with Art’ campaign, of the Columbares Association of Murcia. With this initiative they learned about the most traditional fishing methods in the Region and that ensure the sustainability of the fishing.

To finish, this duo of chefs with awareness of their environment offered us a roasted pork belly with different aromatics and squash in cream.

Using all parts of the ingredient is its main maxim, seeking a use for parts that are otherwise discarded. The dishes have a natural contribution that Pepa believes “was getting lost in current gastronomy.” The idea that this couple came to transfer and that is synonymous with success is the following: “Food that is tasty and that has our close environment to enrich us all and by supporting each other in a circular economy we will get out of this”, they concluded.


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