Toño Rodriguez and Miguel Lopez winners of the Chef of the Year Competition and the Waiter of the Year Competition respectively.






1. Origin and history:


In the bustling atmosphere of the Alimentaria Fair, where culinary excellence merges with gastronomic innovation, the finals of the prestigious Chef of the Year and Waiter of the Year competitions were held on 21 March in Barcelona. This event, which marked the 9th edition of the Chef of the Year Competition and the 5th of the Waiter of the Year Competition, also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the former and the 10th of the latter, adding even more sparkle to an occasion already charged with emotion and prestige.


The Chef of the Year Competition was born in 2004 and during these two decades the competition has become the most followed gastronomic event in the Spanish media. Through the IX editions held to date, the competition has introduced more than 5 Michelin Star chefs such as the winner of the I edition Jordi Cruz or the winner of the VIII edition Cristobal Muñoz.

In 2012, the Chef of the Year Competition was joined by the Waiter of the Year Competition, focused on highlighting the figure of waiter professionals in Spain. A prestigious jury and a firm commitment to highlighting the importance of the dining room have led the Waiter of the Year Competition to hold its fifth edition in 2024.

In this scenario of high-level culinary competition, two true talents in the sector emerged as winners: Toño Rodríguez, chef of the restaurant La Era de los Nogales, and Miguel López, of the restaurant Garena. Both stood out for their skill, passion and dedication, leaving an indelible impression on the judges and the audience present.

Toño Rodríguez, who recently received the coveted Sol Repsol in the 2024 edition, added another outstanding achievement to his list by being proclaimed Chef of the Year. His creativity in the kitchen and his mastery of culinary techniques have established him as a prominent figure in the gastronomic world. Toño is also one of the chefs featured in our Gastrochef by Gary's catalogue.

Miguel López was crowned Waiter of the Year, demonstrating his ability to deliver impeccable service and a memorable dining experience to diners. His passion for hospitality and commitment to excellence has earned him this coveted award.



2. Official sponsors:


Gary's Workwear has been collaborating with both contests for 4 editions now, as official suppliers of work uniforms, and this year was not going to be any less. As official sponsor of both contests, we have had the opportunity to provide uniforms for both the final held in Barcelona and the semi-final held in Murcia in November. The brand is proud to support and celebrate exceptional talent in the restaurant industry, and congratulates Toño Rodriguez and Miguel Lopez on their impressive victories.



3. A luxury jury:


With an exceptional jury, made up of former champions of both disciplines, some of them recognised by the Repsol and Michelin Guides, the Chef and Waiter of the Year Competitions, as well as other gastronomy professionals, are essential when it comes to discovering and promoting talent within the hospitality industry.

The Chef of the Year Competition had a jury made up of twelve members:

  1. Raúl Resino
  2. José Carlos Capel
  3. Joaquín Baeza
  4. Sergio Torres
  5. Álvaro Salazar
  6. Paolo Casagrande
  7. Oriol Castro
  8. Cristóbal Muñoz
  9. Susi Díaz
  10. Julia Pérez
  11. Jordi Butrón
  12. José Carlos Fuentes

While the Waiter of the Year Competition was able to enjoy the expert opinion of a ten-member jury:

  1. Antonio Chacón
  2. Mariano Castellanos
  3. Mireia Riba
  4. Pedro Monje
  5. Manu Iturregi
  6. Luis Carlos Martín
  7. María Casellas
  8. Óscar Solana
  9. Toni Padilla
  10. Xavi Alba



10 of the 12 members of the jury of the Chef of the Year Competition. From left to right: Paolo Casagrande, Oriol Castro, Susi Díaz, José Carlos Capel, Julia Pérez Lozano, Cristóbal Muñoz, José Carlos Fuentes, Álvaro Salazar, Raúl Resino, Joaquín Baeza.



4. Resumen:


The final of the Chef of the Year and Waiter of the Year competitions at Feria Alimentaria was a true feast of culinary talent and exceptional hospitality. Toño Rodriguez and Miguel Lopez have more than demonstrated their skill and dedication, and their legacy will live on as an inspiration for future generations in the culinary industry. It has been a pleasure for Gary's Workwear to participate, once again, and now for the 4th time, as a sponsor and supplier of workwear for both competitions. See you in the next edition.


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