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November 30, 2014

Michelin: Stars with a Spanish accent

And here it is once again… every year, the publication of the Michelin guide for Spain and Portugal arrived on the crest of a wave of rumours and wagers. Like the Oscars or the Nobel Prize, everyone had their favourites and their predictions, but… this year there was a big surprise!

Widely distributed, unexpected and, although there are no new 3-star restaurants and only one restaurant has risen from one to two stars, the Michelin Guide inspectors have recognised the talents of a new generation of Spanish chefs who have been broadening the horizons of Spanish gastronomy with their determination and enthusiasm.

Indeed, right here on our doorstep, our own Ambassador for The Good Life Embassy (#TGLE), Diego Guerrero, is one of them. This has been a year full of excitement for him, one that has taken him across the world to communicate, demonstrate and spread his enthusiasm for Olive Oils from Spain with #TGLE.

On his travels he’s had the chance to learn first-hand about different gastronomic cultures and new and exotic products, and has been able to cook alongside other chefs of global renown. All this knowledge and experience now forms part of his restaurant DSTAgE, which has risen to Michelin heights just six months after opening.

Although Guerrero previously boasted two Michelin stars thanks to his work at Club Allard, what is really extraordinary is having achieved a star in such a short time since opening a restaurant, a feat that is only within the reach of the finest chefs. Although the Michelin inspectors are anonymous, rumour has it that one of them visited DSTAgE just three months after its inauguration. If his experience was anything like the one Diego shows us in this video, we’re certain that Olive Oils from Spain contributed to the award.

Alongside Diego’s, other landmark achievements demonstrate that Spanish restaurants also shine like stars in other cuisines. This is the case of the Michelin star awarded to PuntoMX – the first Mexican restaurant in Europe to win a Michelin star – and Pakta, the Peruvian restaurant run by Albert Adrià.

The well-known website Eater highlighted the fact that most of the newly-starred restaurants are in Madrid, which puts the Spanish capital on the map as one of the world’s gourmet landmarks. The theme of location was also mentioned in the prestigious UK newspaper the Financial Times, which joked in an article by Paul Richardson that the DSTAgE star “is the first in the neighbourhood”.

And yet the Michelin Guide is not just about Michelin star restaurants: it also recognises small bars, taverns and ‘casas de comidas’ (eating houses) with its “bib gourmand” commendation to places where you can eat really well at an affordable price. Well, in this edition there are no fewer than 230 of them! Two hundred and thirty establishments across Spain, all of which use the country’s most characteristic ingredient: Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain. What’s more, they are also within the reach of the vast majority of budgets. This really is a gastronomic treasure map!

 

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