“Abantal” was the word for “apron” in old Castilian. Practicing the culinary arts in his restaurant under that name, located on the border between the old quarter and the most commercial district of Andalusia’s capital, our chef Julio Fernández Quintero, a native of Seville, has attracted a great deal of attention for his discriminating taste in his rise to the heights of Spanish cuisine, with recently reaffirmed ratings of a Michelin star and two Repsol Suns.
He began to gain prominence in 2005 when, thanks to a recipe for poularde farcie with its chicken livers, creamy rice and truffles, spiced with cumin and oregano, he was named Best Andalusian Chef that year.
The key to his success is very clearly the passion he feels for his work but also the discernment of his creative taste, expressed in contemporary Andalusian cuisine that is rooted in traditional flavors of southern Spain and prepared with techniques developed by a new generation of chefs. In addition, he is a dedicated professional who discovered his passion for cooking after working in other professions. But it is clear that he has come to the table of fine dining to stay.
A lifelong and undiluted Sevillian, Julio says he is “a cook with a calling. I have no professional forebear in cooking, and I devoted my education to totally different fields, communications electronics and competitive sports, specifically kayaking. At one point, to earn extra money, I began working at restaurants and realized that I enjoyed it very much. After a couple of years, I felt I needed some additional training and enrolled in the Taberna del Alabardero in Seville.”
Julio Fernández describes his cuisine as being “inspired from the inside yet radiating outward, although the inner core has always remained the same. Its foundation is the high quality of the ingredients, as local as possible, with my own or reinvented traditional recipes and keeping in mind, after all, the location in which we are working. I aspire to a cuisine that has spirit and soul and, rather than being strictly Sevillian, is Andalusian in the broadest sense. That is our aim in both our recipes and our ingredients”.