The best cocktails from the hand of Nayra Suarez in Pikza

For several months now in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria you no longer eat pizzas, but pikzas and also "p***madre". This is how Nayra Suárez Alemán describes them, who you can see behind the bar of the small Pikza restaurant preparing the best cocktails on the island together with Daniel D'Angelo at the helm of the ovens and the dough.

Since its opening, Pikza has managed to position itself as one of the local reference when talking about gastronomy and good products in the capital of Gran Canaria and this restaurant seeks to be modern and disruptive without any pretension. Located in the heart of Las Palmas, in Olof Palme street, and a few meters from the beach of Las Canteras, currently serves as a Pop Up invited by Siboney in a small and nice place.

The liquid part has a great weight in the restaurant, not only for the cocktails that Nayra Suárez makes from scratch, demonstrating technique and passion for her work, but also for her wine list, worthy of a wine bar and of which we could talk at length. The cocktails served in the restaurants are selected exclusively by the bartender and, in addition, are constantly changing, although if we ask her about the fixed ones on the menu she does not hesitate to affirm that both the Negroni and the Gimlet must always be in her life.

Nayra Suárez is considered one of the best bartenders in the Canary Islands. She tells us that her interest in the hotel and catering business awoke belatedly: "I was predestined to be office meat, and one fine day, by chance of life, I started working at the bar of the Hotel Santa Catalina and that's when it all began".

Nayra Suárez: "I was predestined to be office meat".

He also says that cocktail making is one of his great passions, but that when he entered the world "I didn't know how to make the "o" with a cocktail". He started as an assistant, reviewing glasses among other tasks: "It was right there when I understood and saw how the dynamics of a bar worked and this fascinated me".

"My main and first school, as far as bartending is concerned, was the Hotel Santa Catalina. It was there that I had my first contact with cocktails, it was where I began to have notions and it generated my interest", says Nayra Suárez and adds that, at the same time, she started a blog about cocktails that opened many doors for her in the world of bartending.

Nayra Suárez: "I did some courses on bartending in the Islands, but, above all, I read a lot, every book I could get my hands on".

"I did some courses on bartending here in the Islands, but, above all, I read a lot, every book I could get my hands on", says the cocktail maker and affirms that where she learned the most was during her time in Barcelona and London. "When Daniel and I returned to Gran Canaria, we came back with the idea of setting up something together, where we could combine food, cocktails and wines in the same concept, and so Neodimio60 was born".

This first restaurant, Neodimio60, was born from the idea of Daniel D'Angelo and Nayra Suárez to bring together everything they liked and were passionate about in the same concept: "A place where we would love to go as customers. It was a very nice project in which we learned and enjoyed a lot," says the cocktail maker.

Pikza, more than just a pizzeria

From the perseverance to pursue their dreams and goals Pikza was born, a place that is not just a pizzeria, but a restaurant of pikzas . Here Nayra Suárez and Daniel D'Angelo aim to find the pikza they dream of and for this they use only fresh products, better if they are seasonal, and sourdough, something that characterizes them. The restaurant offers take away and Glovo service, as well as a small bar and several tables to eat on the premises.

When asked how a concept like Pikza came about, Nayra Suárez states that the story is quite long: "In short, Pikza is the combination of several people with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, each in their own branch, who decided to get together to create a concept that had not been developed in the Islands and that they would like to have, always revolving around sourdough. Because yes, we have a p***madre pank".

Nayra Suarez: "We have a p***madre pank".

As we mentioned earlier, Pikza was born as a Pop Up format that has been very well received, but it will not always be like this, as it is waiting to start providing services in its new location, also located in Las Palmas. As for the difference between the two locations, the cocktail maker explains that: "Pikza Pop Up is a pikzeria, our letter of introduction, the reduced version. PIKZA, will be more of a pikza restaurant, a trattoria, always in our own way, the full version".

If we were to think of a cocktail that describes what Pikza represents, Nayra Suarez states without hesitation that it would be the Negroni: "This cocktail is the perfect definition of the "power of three". It is equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. Just like at Pikza we take equal care: food, cocktails and wine." This is simply Pikza, for everything else there are conventional pizzerias.

Paula Vera

Photos: @gorostizaphotography


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