Spain has one of the world’s most fascinating cuisines and the restaurants to prove it. The experts at the Michelin Guide are well aware of this, and every year they travel throughout the country to review the restaurants worthy of joining the iconic list.
On November 25th, the Hostal dos Reis Católicos in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia) hosted the unveiling of the coveted stars in the 2016 Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal. One of the most anticipated events in both countries, chefs and gourmands rejoiced at the results.
This year brought no surprises in the leading positions, a good thing since all of the eight restaurants previously awarded three stars—the highest rating—have managed to keep them. Akelare (San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa), Arzak (San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa), Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Vizcaya), DiverXO (Madrid), El Celler de Can Roca (Girona), Martin Berasategui (Lasarte, Guipúzcoa), Quique Dacosta (Denia, Alicante) and Sant Pau (Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona) retained their excellence and their stars fro at least one more year.
1. Celler de Can Roca
Since DiverXO—in Madrid—earned its third star two years ago, nothing has changed at the top of the Spanish Michelin Guide, so we will have to wait another year to see if Mugaritz restaurant and its chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, or the great Paco Luis Pérez, who runs the restaurants Miramar de Llança in Girona and Enoteca in the Arts hotel in Barcelona, can get their third star.
Two restaurants, Coque in Madrid, and Zaranda in Mallorca obtained two stars for next year. Coque has—at the helm of its kitchen—the prestigious chef Mario Sandoval, First National Gastronomy Prize in Spain in 2013, working closely with his brothers Diego—the maitre—and Rafael as the sommelier, a prosperous family of professional gourmets now in the third generation.
Zaranda is run by chef Fernando P. Arellano, who despite his youth shows the skills of an experienced cook, probably learned at restaurants as prominent as Le Gavroche in London or the Maison Pic, in Valence, France, where he worked with the renowned chef Anne-Sophie Pic.
1. Coque de Madrid
3. Sant Pau
Fourteen new restaurants have obtained their first star, which many experts say is the most difficult to get and, at the same time, the easiest to lose. The winners were: Kabuki Raw (Casares, Málaga), Sollo (Fuengirola, Málaga), Messina (Marbella, Málaga), Acanthum (Huelva), Disfrutar (Barcelona), Hoja Santa (Barcelona), Tresmacarrons (El Masnou, Barcelona) , Emporium (Castelló d’Empuries, Girona), El Ermintaño (Benavente, Zamora), Villena (Segovia), El Rincon de Juan Carlos (Los Gigantes, Tenerife), Zarate (Bilbao), Lua (Madrid), and Casa Marcelo (Santiago).
On the Portuguese side, although there is great merit in their chef’s talents and good service, so far no restaurant has earned three stars. Three of its restaurants have two stars, and eleven restaurants have one star.
If you are fond of fine cuisine and enjoy dishes that cause admiration for their careful preparation, constant innovation and delicate flavors, do not hesitate a moment and take a plane to the Iberian Peninsula to enjoy delicious cuisine of the highest quality. ■