Challenger stats: Chef Andres
From: Mieres, Asturias, Spain
Restaurants: Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Minibar by Jose Andres, Oyamel
Cuisine: Spanish cooking! Also, Greek, Turkish, Lebanese and Mexican. Minibar is where I let my imagination go free.
Interests: Barca, my family, good food and wine, technology and travel
Ideal secret ingredient: Cigalas, centollo or lobster
Culinary inspirations: Ferran Adria, Juan Mari Arzak, Martin Berasategui, Thomas Keller and all the guys who work with me.
Ideal judge: Ferran. It would be an honor to have my friend and mentor there.
Culinary secret weapon: Mortar and pestle, microplane, iSi bottle, Spanish olive oil
Favorite restaurant: Depends on my mood! Some days it would be French Laundry or El Bulli. Another day it would be Rompeolas or Rafas, or maybe something at La Boqueria in Barcelona.
Favorite food: Again, depends on the day! Sometimes jamon Iberico or fabada asturiana or soft shell crab. Other days I want centollo and sidra or cigalas a la plancha or watermelon and tomato or sea urchin or sashimi. Other days, nothing is better than pancakes and maple syrup with my girls. And sometimes you can't beat a good hamburger.
Food you won't go near: I can't think of any!
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: I don't know! This depends on perspective, no? What is weird to me is normal to you! And visa versa. I guess people might think percebes (gooseneck barnacles) are weird. They look like something from the movie Beetlejuice.
Favorite food destination: Casa Gerardo in Asturias for fabada, Chesapeake Bay for blue crab, El Bulli for anything.
Alternative dream job: Soccer player, actor, playwright, astronaut or sailor