Michelin stars have shone again in Barcelona. On a night full of emotions, the French guide has taken two Spanish restaurants to the gastronomic Olympus. Noor, in Cordoba, and Disfrutar Barcelona, in Barcelona, have been awarded their third Michelin star. Many surprises in a night that has become eternal...
The Michelin star gala kicked off after 19:20 p.m. with a full auditorium – 750 people – and nerves in the room running high. With Andreu Buenafuente as master of ceremonies at the Auditori Fòrum of the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), the best of the country's gastronomy waited nervously for the names that were sounding on stage. This year there has been maximum secrecy from the guide. The chefs' phones were smoking these past few days, but without any certainty of what the gala would bring.
In Andalusia, Noor, Paco Morales' project and whose kitchen he directs with Paola Gualandi, has shone, a gastro-cultural concept where they try to create a place for all kinds of people to enjoy Opened in 2016, last year it was already sounded in the pools for the third star, but it has taken a year to get it.
The Andalusian chef is inspired by the history and culture of Al-Andalus, whose main milestone was the Caliphate of Abd al-Rahman III, which turned Cordoba into the most cultured and advanced city of its time. Research work with documentalists, historians, archaeologists and designers encompasses the entire creative process of the space.
Disfrutar is the second gastronomic event that has convinced the inspectors to climb the gastronomic Olympus in this edition. Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, all three of whom were trained at ElBulli, undoubtedly lead one of the most creative restaurants in Spain, where they perfectly combine sophisticated techniques, seasonal products and a revised Mediterranean recipe book. This was another of the names that sounded the most in the gastronomic gossip to achieve the third star.
Until today, this select club of three stars was made up of 13 gastronomists and all of them maintain the highest distinction: Arzak (San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa); Lasarte (Barcelona); Martín Berasategui (Lasarte-Oria, Gipuzkoa); El Celler de Can Roca (Girona); ABaC (Barcelona); Cenador de Amós (Villaverde de Pontones, Cantabria); Akelarre (San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa); Aponiente (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz); Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante); DiverXO (Madrid), Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Bizkaia), Atrio (Cáceres), and Cocina Hermanos Torres (Barcelona).
Only one restaurant has been added to the list of two-starred restaurants this year: Venta Moncalvillo, the restaurant of Ignacio Echapresto, a chef who left the anvil for the stove. Located in a small village of 50 inhabitants, the chef and his brother Carlos, in charge of the dining room and the winery, have restructured the proposal from a sustainability perspective to give more prominence to the vegetable garden. Their dishes usually combine only two or three elements. "This is a project that started 28 years ago and we didn't know where we were going to end up. This is the ostia," said an emotional Ignacio on stage.
Those who make their debut in the guide
Among the 31 restaurants that have been awarded the first star are Marcos, in Gijón, a project by Marcos Granda; NM de Oviedo, with Daniel Silvestre in charge of the kitchen; Terra, by chef Brais Pichel; Txispa, by chef Tetsuro Maeda, from Axpe; Canfranc Express, Eduardo Salanova; Casa Bernardi, in Benissa; Fragua, in Valencia; Kabo, in Pamplona; Orobianco, in Calpe, Andrea Drago's restaurant; Quirat, in Barcelona, by chef Víctor Torres; Suto, also in Barcelona, with the chef Yoshikazu Suto at the helm: Barro, a dining room in Ávila by Carlos Casillas and Jaime Mondéjar; Erre de Roca, in Miranda de Ebro, with chef Alberto Molinero.
In Madrid, there are interesting proposals, such as OSA, the project by Sara Peral and Jorge Muñoz that opened a few months ago betting on a cuisine of identity, with many values and against the current. Both worked at Mugaritz (eternal two Michelin stars), Andoni Luis Aduriz's restaurant in Rentería (Guipúzcoa), a stage that marked their way of understanding and looking at gastronomy. So do Cebo, from the tandem formed by Juan Sahuquillo and Javier Sanz; Since 1911, it has been a restaurant of Pescaderías Coruñesas in Madrid, with Diego Murciego in the kitchen; Club Allard, with Martin Berasategui and José María Goñi; Santerra, Miguel Carretero and Toki's restaurant, Marcos Granda's Japanese restaurant and Tadayoshi Motoa's restaurant behind the Japanese bar.
Five stars travel to Andalusia: Back, with chef David Olivas, in Marbella; Malak and Radis, both gastronomic from Jaén; Tohqa, in El Puerto de Santamaría and Vandelvira, in Baeza. Also in the Balearic and Canary Islands, the list is extended with Andreu Genestra, in Mallorca; Bevir, by chef José Luis Spino, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Haydée, in La Orotava; Omakase by Walt, in Ibiza; Sa Clastra, in Es Capdellà (Mallorca); Taste, 1973, in Playa de las Americas; and Unic, in Sant Josep de sa Talaia (Ibiza).
The 12 green stars were awarded to Andreu Genestra, Barro, Ben's Davall, Ca Na Toneta, Casa Marcial, Molino de Alcuneza, El Molino de Urdániz, Castelló D'Empuries, Estragón, Hábitat Cigüeña Negra, L'Algadir del Delta and Monte.
Among the novelties of this XXIV edition, which was the first time that it was held without Portugal and the new award for the best sommelier, which was awarded to Josep 'Pitu' Roca, from the three-starred El Celler de Can Roca. The recognition for the work in the gallery went to Joan Carles Ibáñez, from Lasarte Barcelona. The mentor chef, an award that rewards chefs who regularly reward promising young chefs, went to Juan Mari Arzak, one of the great figures of Basque cuisine. The award was collected on stage by his daughter Elena Arzak, the fourth generation of chefs in this family. For her part, the Young Chef Award was given to Martina Puigvert, from Les Cols, the two-Michelin-starred chef in Olot.
In addition to stars, the guide awards the Bib Gorumand – best value for money – and recommended restaurants. This year, 23 people have joined the first category and 91 have been added to the second category.