5 Spanish Chefs You Need To Know
Read about some of the best Spanish chefs who have at least 1 Michelin Star!
Spain has been a destination for fine dining for a long time and, because of this, we have bred a lot of famous chefs.
The Michelin Guide has been an essential part of the restaurant industry for more than a century. It rates the best restaurants in the world on a three-star rating system. While the best restaurants in the world get three stars, it’s quite an achievement to receive even one! All of the chefs on this list have received at least one star at a restaurant they run, making them essential to bring to your attention.
When Chef Berasategui started his career at the age of 14, there were no Michelin Star restaurants in Basque Country, where he lived. He trained in France as a pastry chef at the age of 17 and took over his parent’s restaurant when he was 20. He received his first Michelin star 5 years later and now he holds a total of 12 stars across 4 different restaurants! That’s the most Michelin stars held by any chef, they’re held by a Spanish chef! Today, Chef Berasategui is proud to use La Española olive oil in his kitchen and would love to invite you to Restaurante Martín Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria which was voted 29th-best restaurant in the world by Restaurant in both 2008 and 2011.
Chef Ruscalleda is the only female chef in the world to hold a total of 7 Michelin stars which she holds across three different restaurants! She began cooking as a young girl in Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona, Catalonia Spain, and opened her first restaurant, Sant Pau, in 1988. Although her cuisine is strongly based on Catalan tradition, it is also open to many world influences, and she tends to focus on quality and seasonal ingredients. Chef Ruscalleda has also written numerous books on Mediterranean cuisine in which she has adapted her techniques to non-professional chefs who wish to prepare modern, easy, quick, and tasty meals. You may want to pick up a copy of Carme Ruscalleda's Mediterranean Cuisine today!
Chef Ángel León began his career on the line at Taberna del Alabardero in Sevilla, Spain. He then moved on to the Spanish Pyrenees and its regional star Casa Irene, and later to his homeland, the province of Cádiz, where he continued his professional development at Restaurante El Faro. He also pursued a degree in hospitality management, after which he worked at the Hotel Sheraton, in Buenos Aires and Miami. Returning to Spain as chef de cuisine at La Casa del Temple in Toledo, León began forming a culinary thesis based on the unexplored marine bounty of his native port. El Tambuche proved a draw for locals and a stepping stone to León’s lab-equipped fine-dining restaurant, Aponiente. Chef León was awarded a Michelin star in 2010 through Aponiente and has helped design the Clarimax, which eliminates fats from cold stocks while maintaining purity of flavor.
Arzak Family: Juan Mari and Elena Arzak
Chefs Mari and Arzak are the father/daughter duo behind the famous Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain. Chef Mari was interested in cooking from the day he was born as he helped out in his parent’s restaurant for a long as he can remember. He did a stint in hotel management, but it was there that he learned that he had the vocation for cooking. Chef Arzak’s story is similar as she helped her family in the restaurant business since as far back as she could remember. She was also trained in hotel management, but she went on to study at top restaurants in France and Europe, to Gagnaire, Bras, El Bulli, Dutournier. The duo now work together and have for many years at Restaurante Arzak which holds 3 Michelin stars as of this year! Their specialty is Prawns which they say the secret to cooking is to coat them completely in salt and then grill.
María José San Román
Chef Román owns Monastrell, a restaurant in the city center of Alicante that has one Michelin star. She admits that she came to cooking late in life, but she is now fully devoted to it. She is a very experimental chef best known for her study of new uses of saffron. Through her experimentation, she has discovered how to separate the spice from its smell while maintaining its flavor which will be useful in such applications as making olive oil infusions. At Monastrell, you will find her recovering the tradition of local flavors in the guise of state-of-the-art preparation. She has also worked with her daughter, Geni Perramón, at the gastrobar, La Taberna del Gourmet, reinventing the idea of a tapas bar.
Did you know any of these chefs? Is your favorite among them? Please head on over to our Facebook or Instagram and let us know! And the next time you find yourself in Spain, check out some of the above chefs! You will not be disappointed!