The Michelin Guide distributes new stars to 31 Spanish restaurants but does not extend the list of the prestigious ‘triestrellados’ | People

There is no new restaurant with three stars in the Michelin 2022 guide for Spain and Portugal, finally launched at a face-to-face gala (although also broadcast on the web) held at the Palau de las Artes in Valencia and with a culinary culmination of figures from the community, coordinated by Quique Dacosta. Despite the disappointments of those who hoped to enter or see its brightness grow in the Olympus of the stars, the sector has happily celebrated the gastronomy festival in which it has been the night of long speeches and short jackets, since none seemed finish fitting in with its new owner.

“It is a great luck and an honor to achieve this recognition in such difficult times as those we all live through,” said one of the night’s protagonists, Paulo Airaudo, chef at the San Sebastian restaurant Amelia, which rises to two stars.

The 11 Spanish tri-starreds so far have kept their level unchanged: Arzak, with three stars for three decades and Elena Arzak at the helm; Akelarre, by Pedro Subijana; Martín Berasategui; Lasarte Barcelona, ​​by Berasategui, with Paolo Casagrande; Celler de Can Roca; Quique Dacosta; Azurmendi, by Eneko Atxa; Aponiente, by Ángel León; ABaC, by Jordi Cruz; DiverXo, by Dabiz Muñoz, and Cenador de Amós, by Jesús Sánchez.

These restaurants top (remember that the stars belong to the premises, not the chef) they are the only ones in the entire Peninsula, as the Portuguese culinary scene lacks the highest recognition. The last three Michelin stars was the Cantabrian Cenador de Amós, in the 2020 guide.

Only four new Spanish restaurants, in San Sebastián, Mallorca, Toledo and Madrid, will show two stars in 2022, a sign according to the Michelin tire guide that “there is exceptional cuisine” and “it is worth taking a detour” from the road to enjoy of the table.

Amelia is Paulo Airaudo’s project in San Sebastián, an intimate place with a bar and three tables, located in the Villa Favorita hotel, in front of La Concha beach, and which had already achieved a star for its skillful and delicate mix of influences Argentine, Italian and Japanese cuisine. “We are very happy to have contributed a grain of sand to a city full of great chefs,” said the chef after receiving his new jacket.

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Although Voro evokes the intense action of devouring, the dishes of Andalusian chef Álvaro Salazar (Linares, Jaén, 1985) display on the Balearic island Mediterranean creations “free and unattached” with a subtle interplay of textures and nuances. This new shine for Voro (located in the Park Hyatt hotel in Canayamel) is added to the one already obtained in the 2020 guide.

The homonymous restaurant owned by Iván Cerdeño, in an 11th-century cigar store in Toledo with beautiful views of the Tagus and the city, is upgraded in the category for its “tribute to La Mancha products with creative and innovative compositions”, as Michelin values. His cuisine focuses on memory and the environment, with a special focus on hunting.

The chefs Paulo Airaudo, from the Amelia restaurant;  Iván Cerdeño, from the establishment of the same name;  and Álvaro Salazar, from Voro.
The chefs Paulo Airaudo, from the Amelia restaurant; Iván Cerdeño, from the establishment of the same name; and Álvaro Salazar, from Voro.

To highlight among the peculiarities of Michelin, the direct award of two stars to an establishment that opened last June, the Smoked Room, a space with a bar and a few tables dedicated to the embers. The inspectors were “delighted with the preparations with subtle hints of smoke” from a self-described Fire omakase (fire tasting), located next to the Leña restaurant in the hotel on the Madrid promenade of the Castellana Hyatt Regency Hesperia (where the iconic Santceloni was). Both businesses belong to the Dani García Group, of the Malaga chef who closed his homonymous restaurant in Marbella in 2019, recently obtaining his three stars.

With one star, which is also coveted by restaurants due to a knock-on effect that is especially necessary today, there are 27 establishments in different parts of Spain, with an abundance of young professionals alongside veterans. The Valencian Community, host of the Michelin Gala, takes six stars, with a large presence of cooks: Lienzo (María José Martínez), Fierro (Carito Lourenço) and Kaido Sushi Bar in the capital; Arrels (Vicky Sevilla) in Sagunto, Atalaya (Alejandra Herrador) in Alcossebre and Peix & Brases in Dénia.

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The cooks of Valencian restaurants awarded with a Michelin star.  From left to right, María José Martínez, from Lienzo;  Carito Lourenço, from Fierro;  Vicky Sevilla, from Arrels and Alejandra Herrador, from Atalaya.
The cooks of Valencian restaurants awarded with a Michelin star. From left to right, María José Martínez, from Lienzo; Carito Lourenço, from Fierro; Vicky Sevilla, from Arrels and Alejandra Herrador, from Atalaya.Rosa Rivas Carrero

Some of the winners bring the brilliance of previous places to their new location. This is the case of Ment, the restaurant that Oscar Calleja opened in Salamanca after closing his two-star Annua in San Vicente de la Barquera. Another Cantabrian, El Serbal, relocated to El Sardinero beach, renews his Santander star (since 2003). Also in Santander, who opens a desired macaron Of the red guide is Sergio Bastard for his Casona del Judío. In Asturias, the Ayalga de Ribadesella wins a star, like the Japanese Nintai from Marbella, attractive adventures directed by sommelier and restaurateur Marcos Granda. A star goes to Galicia (Santiago de Compostela) for Auga e Sal, a project by Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, son with chef Áxel Smith. Another star gets Nublo, in Haro, an initiative of notable former Mugaritz such as Dani Lasa, Llorenç Sagarra and, in stoves, Miguel Caño from Rioja. And the extraordinary game cuisine of the Zamorano Lera, in Castroverde de Campos, also gains a shine.

Stars fly to the Canary Islands for Tenerife, Nub and El Rincón de Juan Carlos, who at the gala wanted to dedicate his award to those affected by the La Palma volcano, and for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Poemas by Hermanos Padrón. The Balearic Islands win a star for the reopened Zaranda (Mallorca) by Fernando P. Arellano, who once held two, and for La Gaia (Ibiza), the kaiseki Mediterranean by Óscar Molina.

They complete the unistellar list Atempo in Barcelona (of the Jordi Cruz orbit); the neotradicional Garena in Dima (Vizcaya); Cañabota in Seville, as they boast, “an attractive bar that has grown up”; Coto de Quevedo, modern rurality in Torre de Juan Abad (Ciudad Real), and Versatile, Extremadura heirs of Martín Berasategui in Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres).

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“Despite being a complex year for the gastronomic sector, the gourmets they will be delighted to know that Spain and Portugal are seeing the emergence of an impressive number of new star restaurants throughout their territory, “they say at Michelin, whose inspectors closed their travel reports in October.

Despite the opinion of those responsible for the guide, more recognition is missed for the novelties that have emerged in Madrid, which is experiencing a particularly brilliant gastronomic moment. The only new stars for the city —in addition to the Smoked Room— come to Deesa, the restaurant of the Quique Dacosta universe that reigns in the luxurious and renovated Ritz Mandarin Oriental hotel, and to Quimbaya, where Colombian chef Edwin Rodríguez celebrates a colorful exoticism.

Andorra enters the Michelin 2022 guide with the Ibaya restaurant, which has achieved a star under the leadership of a Spanish chef, Francis Paniego (El Portal de Echaurren **) from La Rioja.

Michelin continues to bet on the Green Stars for sustainability and grants eight new ones to the peninsula. In Spain: Celler de Can Roca, Coque, Cenador de Amós, Finca Alfoliz, Lera and Maca de Castro.

This year the guide introduces two awards: the Michelin Award for Young Chefs, which goes to the young chef from Skina (Marbella) Mario Cachinero, “for his reinvention of traditional Andalusian recipes”, and the Michelin Chef Mentor Award, awarded to the Basque teacher Martín Berasategui, who accumulates 12 stars in his different restaurants and a battalion of illustrious students.

Another of the famous red guide’s bets are the Bib Gourmand, restaurants that offer good food with “the best value for money”, and this time it selects 41 places in Spain and two in Portugal.

The pandemic has left many hospitality victims by the wayside and Michelin reflects this. In the 2022 guide, 24 restaurants have been left without stars, 16 of them due to closure or transfer of location and 8 due to withdrawal of distinction: Monastrell, Orobianco, Manuel Alonso Restaurante, Es Racó d’Es Teix, Casamar, El Club Allard, Sents and Alejandro.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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