08 Jan FLT Managers Series, Part 3: Malaga’s Food Scene with Jean Pierre
In the third installment of our City Managers Series, we are having a chat with FLT Malaga manager, Jean Pierre. In this interview, he tells us about Malaga’s food scene and why this city is so special to him. Jean Pierre also tells us a bit about the city’s history, culture, and why every foodie needs to visit Malaga,
Jean Pierre Vala
Born in Paris, near Montmartre. Since I very young my Spanish mother often asked me, “Jean Pierre, come here to help your mama cook!” I studied at the European Business School, and in order to gain international experience, I participated in study abroad programs in London and Madrid.
Then, I left Paris to work in Spain as a seller for one of the most prestigious winemakers in the world: Bodegas Miguel Torres. This winemaker was built through the effort of five generations. I have also been organizing seminars, walking tours and foodie gala evenings in Spain! Why are all my life experiences linked with food and wine? “Jean Pierre, come here to help mama cook!” Home is where the heart is.
How long have you lived in Malaga? What drew you to it?
I arrived in Malaga a year and a half ago. I had been there several times for holidays and finally decided to live there for good. People are so friendly here!
What do you love about Malaga? What is your favorite neighborhood? What are some of your favorite things to do here?
Malaga is not a big city, but there is always something new to discover! I really enjoy the Perxell area. It’s is not the most famous and touristic district, but a very authentic one. Also, the Pedregalejo district is very lovely: nice beaches and restaurants in front of the sea! There are always special celebrations here, and cultural events like Semana Santa, ferias, cinema, flamenco, and music festivals.
Malaga is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean, and its favorable location on the Costa del Sol and weather make it one of the most attractive Spanish cities.
What things should visitors in Malaga see and do during their stay?
The first thing I will recommend obviously will be to tapear. Variety is the spice of life! Visitors will taste many dishes in several places on Malaga’s food scene. It’s so much fun! Visitors should walk to Malaga’s historic center. There, they will appreciate the Roman theater, the cathedral, the Alcazaba, and many typical Andalusian streets. Also, it’s very fun to visit a very traditional food market.
What is the foodie scene like in Malaga?
In Malaga you should be patient everywhere! It’s totally normally to order and wait a bit for your tapas. Therefore, it is a nice moment to have a drink and meet some new friends.
Malaga’s wines are also very impressive. There are two DOs, DO Malaga and DO La Sierra de Malaga, with different vineyards and grapes. It’s an opportunity to discover new sensations for wine lovers!
What’s your favorite local dish in Malaga?
La ensaladilla rusa and fried anchovies!
What is something about Malaga that you want people to know?
A real Malaga citizen is called The Anchovy! The gastronomic offerings are becoming more and more sophisticated and strong on Malaga’s food scene.
Important: more than 3,000 years of history have passed since Malaga’s establishment. Malaga’s historical center has a strong relation to Roman and Arab culture.