Congreso Internacional de mujeres gastronomía y medio rural


Amada Álvarez: "The recipes of the future will come from the recipes of the past”

Carla Vidal


The chairman, president of the "Guisanderas Club", entered into a discussion with journalist and FéminAs moderator Ana Vega on the association's work to acknowledge the work of female chefs in Asturias. 

“We were the first to create an association and work together”. They were the first, but they are still working on it because, as the association's president claims, "things go better that way". It was in 1987, following an informal conversation at a catering congress, when the idea emerged of creating a club "to meet up once a week, share experiences and let female chefs relax a little and meet each other". And, as Amada remembered, “women were in the kitchen, but it was the men who went to the catering events, and they were the face of it all”.

In that regard, the "Guisanderas" Club was crucial to boost "that moment of social interaction female chefs needed", a meeting place that has enabled many of them to secure "the recognition that is necessary and spurs you on in your work”. Recognition, as Amada Álvarez, explains, is not just for the female chefs of today, but also for all those village women who cooked for social events, the genuine origin of the "guisanderas"”. 

It should not be forgotten that, in addition to pointing out the worth of women's contribution to cooking in Asturias, another crucial objective of the "Guisanderas" Club is to retrieve the region's historical culinary memory, and so it was that only one month after it was created they began work on one of their milestones: a recipe book, with a compilation of those that were being forgotten. “A people can't lose its roots - this used to be kept alive by word of mouth, by knowledge passed down from mothers to daughters; now we have to put this knowledge down in writing”. An objective the Club keeps alive in its own motto, repeated by its president on several occasions during her talk to Ana Vega: "The recipes of the future will come from the recipes of the past".

The future is in the past, but the past needs the future to keep it current, and this is why "one of the issues that concerns me most", says Amada, "is the hand-down to future generation", and she finished by encouraging new generations of female chefs in Asturias to join the "Guisanderas" Club.