The Gala of the National Festival of Botillo Exaltation in Bembibre paid homage, with all honors, to its most emblematic sausage. And it featured a pavilion filled with an audience from the very beginning and a record-breaking dinner.
Both the mayor, Silvia Cao, and the councilor for Culture, Festivities, Tourism, and Commerce, Belén Martín, reflected on this, expressing their pride for such a emblematic celebration that has been accompanied by a series of commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of the National Festival of Botillo Exaltation.
The maintainer of this edition was the chef Sergio Torres, who, due to an unforeseen event, attended alone without his brother Javier. He took the opportunity to share with the audience the botillo and review his connection to traditional cuisine thanks to his grandmother Catalina. Three months ago, the restaurant run by the Torres brothers, Cocina Hermanos Torres, achieved its third Michelin star.
Alongside the maintainer, there was also prominence of the Asturian singer Víctor Manuel, originally from Mieres del Camino, a mining town that he portrayed in two of the songs he didn’t forget in his recital, namely “Abuelo Vítor” and, as an encore, “Planta 14.”
The event was attended by the former president of the Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who praised the capacity of the Botillo Festival, even comparing it to the Goya Awards, given that it was another one of the great events taking place that same night.
Regarding other authorities, there was no lack of the Minister of Development and Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León, Juan Carlos Suárez-Quiñones; the government delegate in Castilla y León, Virginia Barcones; the government subdelegate in León, Faustino Sánchez; the president of the Provincial Government of León, Eduardo Morán; as well as deputies Javier Alfonso Cendón and Andrea Fernández, and other regional representatives such as Luis Tudanca and José Ramón García.
Throughout the gala, hosted by Héctor Keudell and María de Miguel, there were several significant moments. The event included the screening of the video “A Bembibre se vuelve siempre,” which premiered at Fitur last January, as well as three other videos, one reviewing the history, another about the maintainers, and a final one showcasing the performances.
As usual, the National Festival of Exaltation of the Botillo serves to formalize the twinning that began in 2016, first with towns in which a product or ingredient related to the sausage is present and, in a second moment, with institutions who have some link with Bembibre.
This year, it was with the Casa de León in Madrid. Belén Molleda, president of the Madrid institution, was present at the event, signing the twinning protocol with the National Festival of Botillo Exaltation.
Photos: Mila García