This recent February, Altea hosted the Gastronomic Route: Plat de Calent. Nine restaurants of this municipality were part of this contest and presented some of their menus including a traditional recipe from Altea.
More than 800 menus were served and the Racó de Toni was the winner among all the competitors. They received the higher punctuation and the highest rate of clients.
We had a talk with the manager of this restaurant and we really admired his knowledge of the hospitality industry.
Antonio Sánchez Rodríguez was born in the Albecete Sierra, Elche. He is married with Ignacia Juliá Ripoll, native from Altea. The Raco de Toni was opened in 1982 and they already had a family of two boys and 1 girl who, nowadays, are members of the restaurant´s staff. Antonio and José Ignacio are in charge of cooking and managing the client’s area.
Antonio Sánchez started his formation since he was 12 years old in some big enterprises from Valencia. Then, he travelled all over Spain and the world. He worked as a teacher at the Valencian Community CDTs and the Salto de Agua Institute. He also taught his children all what he knows and he encouraged them to go through some training programs in elite restaurants and hospitality schools. Sánchez has worked as well as a gastronomic advisor of several enterprises and created the Albatros Hospitality School.
What inspired you to create the Plat de Calent menu?
We were inspired by both sea and land Altean products.
Do you use innovative techniques?
We present a traditional cuisine but we have also adapted to the current trends. We have been inspired by the great chefs and head chefs. We always observe our clients and adapt our traditional cooking to the current times.
How important is the presentation in all the dishes created by you?
It is truly important; however, we are in favour of letting the client know what they are eating. We do not like to cover or hide the product. This is something all clients like.
Do you that these tapas routes benefit the town?
They certainly do. They are a great opportunity to share the gastronomic culture of our town.
How many times have you been awarded during your long career?
There comes a time in which all walls are not enough to hang all the prizes.
Which one has been the greatest one?
When I think of this, many people who are, unfortunately, not physically with me come to my mind. The one I remember the most is my brother Manolo. He once asked me if I liked cooking and I told him I did. He said: cooking is a tough task, think about the answer again. I will ask you once again in the future. He also said: I am really proud of you for being the professional you have become. I know you will make everyone know about your cuisine. These words are the greatest prize I have ever received and the prize I remember the most.
After these words, we said good bye to Antonio Sánchez and his family and wished them good luck.
MESÓN RACÓ DE TONI
Calle La Mar, 127
03590, ALTEA (Alicante/Alacant)
Tel: 965 841 763