Two Spanish restaurants have just joined the elite list of three Michelin stars: ABaC in Barcelona, run by the television star Jordi Cruz, and Aponiente in Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), run by chef Ángel León. At the presentation of the 2018 edition, the world-famous food guide gave them their highest rating for their “unique cuisine that justifies the trip.”
That makes 11 restaurants in Spain with the three-star rating. The other nine are Akelarre, Arzak, Azurmendi, DiverXO, El Celler de Can Roca, Lasarte, Martín Berasategui, Quique Dacosta and Sant Pau.
“Those restaurants continue to make us fall in love with their excellence, so we have renewed the highest distinction for them once again,” said representatives from Michelin, who announced the new edition of the Spain and Portugal guide on Wednesday at the Abama hotel in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.
The prolific chef Jordi Cruz captivates his guests by telling intelligent stories through his dishes that are always impeccable in technique and taste
Michelin guide on ABaC
Of the new three-star restaurants, the inspectors said that “the prolific chef Jordi Cruz captivates his guests by telling intelligent stories through his dishes that are always impeccable in technique and taste.” And they consider León to be “a visionary champion of a new gastronomic world who finds in the sea – which is still full of mysteries – a unique, surprising and almost inexhaustible pantry.”
As usual, some of the predictions as to where the Michelin stars would fall did not come true. The esteemed Santceloni and Mugaritz once again missed out on the ultimate gastronomical accolade. Aponiente was an expected choice, however. And Ángel León’s Novo Sancti Petri, in Chiclana, already has a one-star rating. He also has a “rogue version” of Aponiente called La Taberna del Chef del Mar, and has just debuted in Madrid with Glass Bar at the five-star Hotel Urban.
There are 30 lucky Iberian establishments with two stars: 25 in Spain and five in Portugal. There are regional routes you can follow in Spain to make to some of these highly rated restaurants, with stops in Albacete and Murcia. In El Palmar, chef Pablo González is at the helm of Cabaña Buenavista, where inspectors have appreciated “the detail and the meticulousness with which they prepare each of their dishes, always with excellent technique, careful presentation and very defined flavors.”
In Barcelona, Sergio and Javier Torres – brothers who are both TV stars – run Dos Cielos. They were lauded for “using their kitchen with emotion and with intelligent creativity.” The El Bulli-trained chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas get extra kudos for their extraordinary Disfrutar. For Michelin, “their fantasy and creativity underpin a gastronomic construction that is always full of clear flavors.”
The restaurant Coque recently moved to Madrid but maintains the two stars it had previously received. From chef Mario Sandoval and his brothers Rafael and Diego, the Michelin guide praises “the fantastic work they are developing at the new Coque, where they give continuity to the wonderful culinary offering they had in Humanes with a really impressive space, which elevates and greatly enhances the experience.”
There are also great options in Portugal for those who appreciate “an exceptional cuisine that is worth the detour.” Two one-star establishments have been added to the list outside of the gastronomic capital of Lisbon: Gusto, in Almancil, which “dazzles with dishes with a marked Mediterranean-international style” and Vista in Praia da Rocha, “a balanced proposal of modern lines based around the products from the sea.”
ABaC and Aponiente join the list of 11 restaurants in Spain and Portugal with three Michelin stars
There are a total of 177 restaurants with one star in Spain and Portugal. In Spain, there are 17 new one-star additions to the 2018 guide.
In Andalusia, there is Bardal in Ronda. Within Catalonia, there is Caelis, which recently moved within Barcelona. The breakthrough and avant-garde Enigma, run by Albert Adrià, gets a star as well. The Castell Peralada, Girona’s restaurant located in a medieval castle, also earns a star.
The new restaurants with one star in Madrid are La Candela Restò, with the traveling cuisine of Samy Ali Rando, and Cebo, of the Hotel Urban, where Aurelio Morales executes a Castilian-Catalan fusion.
In the Basque Country, San Sebastián earns another star for one of this year’s sensations, Amelia, led by Argentine chef Paulo Airaudo. The town of Larrabetzu gets a star for Eneko, the informal eatery run by Eneko Atxa.
There are 30 Iberian establishments lucky enough to have two Michelin stars and 177 with one star
In the Valencia region, there are three new restaurants with one star: Sucede, in Valencia and, in Alicante province, Audrey’s by Rafa Soler in the town of Calpe and El Rodat in Xábia, which features current Mediterranean cuisine with pampered presentations and exaltation of local products.
In rural Cantabria, La Bicicleta has been awarded a star. The inspectors are amazed by “the aesthetics and the gastronomy.” El Doncel, in Sigüenza, gets a star for “offering honesty and delicacy and a kitchen with intense flavors.” Trigo in Valladolid “builds a proposal praising the richness of the Castilian pantry.” In La Rioja a Japanese restaurant receives a star: Kiro Sushi in Logroño. In Tenerife, the host island of the Michelin gala, a star is given to “the surprising” Nube from La Laguna, a cuisine that fuses Italian, Chilean and Canary Island recipes.
English version by Debora Almeida.