Twenty-somethings or thirty-year-olds, chefs who have started their own businesses in recent years and, although they do not have (yet) the approval of Michelin Guide, some are already beginning to collect recognitions. These are 10 chefs with a restaurant (or bar) in Madrid that should be followed closely, including the commitment to two upcoming openings.

Sergio Tofé / Èter

Granite, 20. Menus: 58 and 90€

Located in the Legazpi district, the bistro La Touche France was the origin of a micro-restaurant that remains one of the most demanded tables in Madrid. The brothers Mario and Sergio Tofé, aged 25 and 32, joined the family business which, after a while, they transformed into Èter, where the roles are divided between living room and kitchen, respectively. Opened in February 2020 (just before the pandemic), it was their own entrepreneurial project, since they resorted to 25,000 euros left to them by their mother -"for the sale of a flat of our grandfather in Moratalaz-, to launch this space aligned with what, perhaps, is an evolved trend: from bistronomy to haute cuisine 'casualized' or close, with its dining room of only five tables raised as the intention of "merging the living room and the kitchen into a single being". The chef had trained at the Escuela Superior de Hostelería y Turismo in Madrid, before going through restaurants such as El Cielo de Urrechu or La Trasiega. Èter's proposal is based on two tasting menus: 'Etéreo by Bloodstock', with 7 passes, for 58 euros; and 'Corpóreo', with 12 dishes, for 90. The Tofé brothers already have some recognitions, such as a Sol de Guía Repsol, Metrópoli Award for 'Revelation Restaurant' in 2021 or being part of the 2022 edition of the '100 Young Talents of Gastronomy' list of the Basque Culinary Center. You have to be aware of their Instagram profile to know when they open reservations -on the 1st of each month-, since they sell out quickly, especially for dinner (right now, there is some gap until the end of April).

Álex Marugán / Tres Por Cuatro

Montesa, 9. Tel. 915 654 557. Menu: 40-55€

With just 30 years old, Álex Marugán already has a certain callus as an entrepreneur. After training in several restaurants in Spain and abroad (he touched various cuisines, including nikei), he decided to open in 2017 a tiny space within the Torrijos Market, where he already gained fame for a cuisine of traditional roots with globalized touches in some dishes and where he made it clear that, as much as the 'three by four' square meters that gave name to the business could seem a limitation, That was already a modern food house. At the beginning of 2021, he moved to a larger premises without leaving this area of the Salamanca neighborhood. His hand with the stew and his desire to get a good product are hallmarks of a cuisine based on "the search for flavor and tradition". Tres Por Cuatro works under a menu format, which can vary depending on the day and season, but it has its hits such as tripe, leg and nose, the wild boar head sandwich or its famous torrezno, which coexist with recipes with an exotic point such as the Mexican monkfish suquet. By the way, it offers these data: since 2017, it has created 158 dishes and has 190 in R+D.

Lucia Grávalos / Amicitia

Genoa, 7. Tel. 910 092 534. Menus: 90 and 32 €

Although she is originally from Calahorra, this cook, who accumulates training in several haute cuisine spaces, is already beginning to be known in Madrid, where, in addition, in just two years, she already has a background translated into two ventures. First, Lucía Grávalos opened Mentica, where she received recognitions such as the Metropolis Award 'Revelation Cook' in 2021 and a Sun from Guía Repsol. Closed this first space, the chef opened a new space at the end of 2022, this time allied with the Catalan Albert Jubany (responsible for Eth Bistró, in Vielha, Lleida) and Juan Carlos Navia (Carnívora, Badajoz) in charge of the direction. The new restaurant is called Amicitia, where its proposal combines the chef's Riojan cuisine with the Catalan cuisine of Jubany, which translates into a double format: an area with a tasting menu with a price of 90 euros and another at the entrance more 'casual' bistro style with menu and executive menu for 32 euros.

Pedro Gallego / Mortar House

Zorrilla, 9. Madrid. Tel. 91 059 55 70. Set menu: 40-55 €

With his wife, Carmen Pereda, Pedro Gallego has won a place among the brave who dared to open in the middle of the pandemic. In September 2020, people from Casa Mortero, their bistro of "stews and embers", went up on Zorrilla Street, right next to La Ancha and behind the Congress of Deputies. It was not an unconscious decision, but the need to continue with a project for which they had closed the rent of the premises in February 2020 and had already gotten into the investment for the reform and its opening. This thirty-year-old chef learned contemporary cuisine and technique in various spaces (just before he undertook, he had gone through Los Chicos, Las Chicas y Los Maniquís, by the Iglesias brothers in Madrid, and Sinsombrero). To that joins his hand with the stew and the result is Casa Mortero, a kind of updated food house where you eat really rich, with "traditional recipes that already have tradition in our gastronomic history", such as lentils with cow's tail, tripe a la madrileña, pularda en escabeche, pochas with clams or potatoes to the importance. Pereda is in charge of the business strategy from the design side.

Carlos Griffo / Calisto

Eduardo Dato, 8. Tel. 91 737 36 40. Set menu: 60 €

With just 35 years and after gathering experience in London and Spain (in spaces of chefs such as Quique Dacosta, Nacho Manzano, Dabiz Muñoz or Dani García), Carlos Griffo decided to undertake an ally with Miguel García (he changed Law to study cooking). Thus, Quinqué, in the neighborhood of Chamartín, started at the beginning of 2019, a food house that fills daily and has received awards such as a Bib Gourmand from Michelin Guide. In the fall of 2022, he opened a second project: Calisto, in the Chamberí neighborhood. It seems to reissue a dining room of bourgeois cuisine in a large space, where the recipes of the north, the seasonal product and the weekly suggestions 'according to market' prevail. Garbanzo pedrosillano a la riojana with octopus or artichokes with 'foie' and cockles are some dishes of a menu that allows you to eat for an average price of about 60 euros.

Agustín González / Enklima

Ferraz, 36. Madrid. Tel. 911 16 69 91. Set menus: 72 and 96 €

It could be, perfectly, a Michelin-starred restaurant, because its proposal since it opened at the end of 2016 is clearly contemporary cuisine with avant-garde techniques. This is the project of Agustín González, who at the age of 33 leads Enklima, where he decided to undertake his own project after passing through spaces, such as DSTAgE or Angelita. It is a dining room with about twenty seats, marked by an interior design of Scandinavian look, an influence that is also glimpsed in the aesthetics of dishes and crockery. "Traditional base with international touches", was the starting point of a gastronomic proposal, which this chef first tried as a model -before opening Enklima- through the pop-up Lumière, which offered a private weekly meal in an itinerant way for only six diners. Enklima works with two tasting menus, which change dishes and products: one of 12 passes, for 72 euros; and another of 16 passes, for 96.

Mario Sánchez / Share

Bethlehem, 6. Tel. 91 033 87 07. Set menu: 57 €

Allied with his partner, the Parisian Charlotte Finkel, Mario Sánchez debuted as an entrepreneur at the end of 2021, with the opening of Comparte. Located in the Chueca neighborhood, it is defined as a "contemporary bistro" and, clearly, aligns with the bistronomic models led by young couples, something that was already a trend 15, even 20 years ago, in France or Barcelona. Roles and origins are distributed, which mark style of gastronomic proposal and format of hospitality: the French takes charge of the room and the Cadiz of the kitchen. In the "Parisian-Cadiz" bet (as they refer to it), under a menu formula, it is completed with the 'Share Menu', with a price of 57 euros and integrated by nine passes, with dishes among which there are recipes already known as steak tartare with croissant and 'beárnaise'. They serve about 35-40 diners per service, who can choose between three spaces: a bar with the kitchen in sight, a large shared table and a table area. In their short career, they have already received recognitions, such as a recent Sol by Guía Repsol or a Metrópoli 'Revelation Chef' Award in 2022 for Mario Sánchez.

Alejandro Martinez / Malo's

Velarde, 13. Tel. 91 214 12 81. Menus 15-30 €

A bar format can also be a clue to follow for hiding young talent. Alejandro Martínez graduated in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts at the Basque Culinary Center and, after passing through several restaurants, he started under the most unsuspected model: a neighborhood bar. To make matters worse, that bar already existed, was famous and had closed. The young chef, associated with Rafael Riqueni and Ignacio Revuelta, assumed in 2021 the management of Melo's, a kind of icon of Lavapiés famous for its slippers (giant sandwiches) and croquettes. Their challenge was to recover a concept of traditional bar with their particular hits, which they revised to refine them something without losing their essence of pure bar, which has guaranteed that they continue to have queue on weekends, as happened in the past of this business. In 2022, Martínez dared with a second place, which has involved changing the neighborhood and expanding the offer (without forgetting its 'super sandwiches', nor its croquettes): Malo's (or Bar Malo's) is again a bar, which is located in Malasaña, where you can have a snack or eat for an average price of 15 to 30 euros. For a few months, the chef has disassociated himself from Melo's, while remaining as owner of Malo's.

Aitor Sua / Trèsde

Cava Alta, 17. Set menu: about 40 €

It's time to bet. In this case for a project that has not yet opened and that will add the desire and talent of three young people who come together to open their own business in the Cava Alta. They have been friends for more than 15 years and, now that they are in their thirties, Aitor Sua, Lucas Fernández and Miguel Vallés are teaming up to release Trèsde, while they share, respectively, the functions of kitchen, living room and management. Seasonal cuisine that "will completely change the menu every two months", with a certain prominence of the vegetable that will be summarized in the so-called 'base formula' EPP (starter, dish, dessert, from several options to choose from), which will be around 40 euros. With experience in restaurants in Madrid (e.g. Montia), Paris and Lyon, Sua applies knowledge of contemporary techniques. Fernández, who has gone through Ugo Chan, also takes charge of the winery in a dining room of 28 seats, which will open from Thursday to Monday. Its forecast is to open in the coming weeks.

Jorge Muñoz and Sara Peral / OSA

Ribera del Manzanares, 123. Madrid.

How is it possible that chefs who have not yet opened their gastronomic space to the public can be included in a selection of young chefs to keep track of? For a pure matter of expectations. It has not officially opened yet, but half of Madrid foodie has already visited OSA during the weeks of testing that it has been operating behind closed doors. Jorge Muñoz (who passed through Mugaritz or La Tasquita) and Sara Peral (Brasserie Lafayette or Pedegrú, as well as the Basque space) are at the forefront of a project that generates infinite expectations, which now they simply have to meet and that only time will show if they respond to a sustainable reality in the long term. The chef earned a name in Picones de María, whose work for an ephemeral time received great praise from gastronomes dedicated to his way of cooking, until Muñoz left a couple of years ago to face the opening of a haute cuisine space with all the ambition and external investment support in a house in the Ribera del Manzanares. No, it is not Noma on the outskirts of Copenhagen, but what is coming is part of the 'Noma effect' in terms of a conceptual, aesthetic and technical form generated by the Danish space?

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