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RESTAURANTS

Spain knocked off top spot for world’s best restaurant

Spain's El Celler de Can Roca has lost its crown and been relegated to second place in the newly-released World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, beaten by Italian restaurant Osteria Francescana.

Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca. Photo: AFP

But fear not, Spain still dominates the list with three entries in the top ten, compared to one entry each for Italy, the USA, Peru, Denmark, France, Japan and Austria.

At number two is El Celler de Can Roca, run by the three Roca brothers in Girona, northeastern Spain.

“The three Roca brothers are each global leaders in their respective fields – Joan as a chef, Josep as a sommelier and Jordi as a patissier – so their combined creativity is almost overwhelming. But their warm fraternal dynamic also pervades the whole atmosphere of this unique, and hugely popular, restaurant,” said the World’s 50 Best Restaurants guide, released on Tuesday.

The Catalan eaterie had reclaimed the title last year, knocking Denmark's Noma off the top spot, after taking the number one spot in 2013.

This year's list puts are two other Spanish restaurants in the top ten, both Basque, proving that the cuisine of the northern Spanish region is one of the best in the world. And Spain maintains a total of seven restaurants on the top 50 list.

GALLERY: Spain's seven best restaurants in the world

In at number seven is Mugaritz in San Sebastián: “a powerhouse of activity hidden in the green hills of the Basque Country”, explains the guide.

The restaurant is run by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, known simply as Andoni who, according to the World’s Best Restaurants guide, “iis the natural heir to Spain’s most pioneering chef after Ferran Adrià (formally of elBulli).

And at number ten is Asador Etxebarri, described as a “Basque barbecue master cooking up meat feast in the countryside”.

The Basque barbecue master in question is chef, Victor Arguinzoniz who was born in the very same village where the restaurant is now located, around an hour from San Sebastián.

Arguinzoniz worked in a flag factory for years before buying the restaurant in the town with his father and uncle and teaching himself to cook.

The World’s Best restaurant list 2016 is topped by Italian restaurant Osteria Francescana, run by chef Massimo Bottura in Modena. 


A dish from the Mugaritz, the Basque restaurant ranked number seven in 2016.

GALLERY: Spain's seven best restaurants in the world

 

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FOOD & DRINK

These are Spain’s new Michelin-starred restaurants

The new 2023 Michelin Star guide for the best restaurants in Spain and Portugal has awarded new stars to 34 restaurants across Spain. Read on to discover which ones and where they are.

These are Spain's new Michelin-starred restaurants

En España se come bien (People eat well in Spain), you’ll hear many Spaniards proclaim. That’s coming from a country that’s not accustomed to singing its own praises on the global stage. 

Although these higher-than-average gastronomic standards apply to all types of bars and restaurants, when it comes to haute cuisine, Spain continues to be among the top five countries with the most Michelin-starred eateries, together with France, Japan, Italy and Germany.

On Tuesday November 22nd, Michelin revealed its newest restaurant selection of acclaimed Spanish restaurants during an event in the Spanish city of Toledo.

As of November 2022, two restaurants in Spain have been awarded the coveted three Michelin Star distinction.

Three have gone up to the two-star category and 29 restaurants have been given new one-star rankings.

Atrio in Cáceres (Extremadura region in western Spain) and Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona have both earned the top award three-star prize, which is the highest award that can be given, and have joined the 13 other restaurants in Spain at this level.

According to the judges, Atrio won the distinction due to “its elegant and delicate dishes, prepared by chef Toño Pérez, who has shaken up local gastronomic traditions”. His menu focuses on Iberian pork and other products from Extremadura.

While in Barcelona, Cocina Hermanos Torres has been given the top award for “firing the imagination with every bite”. Chefs Sergio and Javier Torres have created “a magical space in which the gastronomic experience consistently seeks out the very best seasonal produce and exceeds foodies’ expectations, turning it into a dining extravaganza,” the judges said.

READ ALSO – REVEALED: Spain’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants

Of the 2023 guide, International Director of Michelin Gwendal Poullennec said: “We were delighted to see how younger chefs are taking the lead and embarking on their own journeys, in many cases flying the flag of reinterpreted regional or fusion cuisines”.

“In turn, vegan options are gradually forging ahead on menus, something which was already occurring in other European countries,” he added. 

Below are the Spanish rankings for the 2023 guide, including the three stars awarded to Atrio and Cocina Hermanos Torres. 

Two stars

  • Deessa, Madrid
  • El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Adeje, Tenerife
  • Pepe Vieira, Serpe, Pontevedra

One star

  • Ababol, Albacete
  • Ajonegro, Logroño
  • Aleia, Barcelona
  • AlmaMater, Murcia
  • Alquimia-Laboratorio, Valladolid
  • Ancestral, Illescas
  • Arrea!, Santa Cruz de Campezo
  • Ceibe, Ourense
  • Cobo Evolución, Burgos
  • Código de Barra, Cádiz
  • Come, Barcelona
  • Enigma, Barcelona
  • Etxeko Ibiza, Es Canar, Ibiza
  • Ferpel, Ortiguera
  • Fusión19, Muro, Mallorca
  • Gente Rara, Zaragoza
  • Kaleja, Málaga
  • La Finca, Loja
  • Mont Bar, Barcelona
  • Monte, San Feliz
  • Montia, San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Oba, Casas-Ibáñez
  • O’Pazo, Padrón
  • Ravioxo, Madrid
  • San-Hô, Adeje, Tenerife
  • Slow & Low, Barcelona
  • Tabaiba, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Ugo Chan, Madrid
  • Zuara Sushi, Madrid

The Michelin Guide also handed out special awards to three different chefs.

The Young Chef Award for 2023 went to Almería-born chef Cristóbal Muñoz, who at age 31, heads up the kitchens at Ambivium in Peñafiel, Castilla y León.

The Chef Mentor Award for 2023 was given to a well-known name in the world of Spanish gastronomy – Joan Roca, who together with his brothers turned El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia into one of the best and most famous restaurants in the world.

Finally, the Michelin Service Award for 2023 was presented to Toni Gerez from Castell de Peralada, also in Catalonia. As the restaurant manager and sommelier, he “excels in customer-facing roles, in particular, when presenting his marvellous cheese cart that goes from table to table,” explained the judges.

In total, the 2023 Guide lists 1,401 restaurants throughout Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Out of these, 13 have three Michelin Stars, 41 have two Michelin Stars and 235 were awarded one Michelin Star. 

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