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The eleven stars of Andalusian cuisine

TIME : 2-25 18:25:20

The constellation of Andalusias Michelin stars just got a little brighter. In a seemingly symbolic nod to the rising eminence of Andalusian gastronomy, the gala event to announce the 2015 Michelin Guide forSpain was held in the Andalusian port city of Marbella this year. While no new restaurants were added to the elite list of Michelin starred restaurants in Andalusia, one restaurant did gain a second star, bringing the total number of stars to eleven across nine restaurants.

Many would consider Marbella to be the epicentre of fine dining in Andalusia, and indeed three of the nine awarded restaurants are located there, including veteran two-starred Chef Dani Garcia. However, the remaining six designated restaurants are dotted across the region, offering representative tastes of the various provinces and a well rounded, eclectic mix of styles between them.

Why not plan a trip to Andalusia for a tour of all nine?

Restaurant Dani Garcia **, Chef Dani Garcia, Marbella

Likely the best known chef in Andalusia, Dani Garcia has maintained his two-star status for years already and continues to dazzle in his self named restaurant in Marbella. His cuisine of contradictions blends traditional Andalusian dishes and fundamentals with his flair for modern methods and international influences. The Once Upon a Time tasting menu will carry your senses through a fantasy and back again.

Dani Garcia

Restaurant Aponiente **, Chef Angel Leon, Cadiz

After earning his first Michelin star in 2010, Angel Leon is this years only Spanish chef to have been awarded a second star. There has been much anticipation in culinary circles and for many, the second star for the chef of the sea is long overdue. As his nickname would suggest, Leons cuisine is decidedly fish and seafood centric, but dont expect Bluefin tuna or other overfished, endangered species. Leon leads the drive to sustainable eating, making delicacies out of lesser known and less fashionable fare.

Aponiente

Restaurant Jose Carlos Garcia *, Chef Jose Carlos Garcia, Malaga

Local born chef Jose Carlos Garcia entered the ranks of Michelin starred restaurants with JCG just last year, after previously earning a star with his restaurant Caf de Paris, also in Malaga. Here delicate flavours and modern techniques mix with the freshest ingredients and every plate is pretty as a picture. Set in the recently developed Muelle Uno area of the Port of Malaga, the restaurant overlooks the harbour and lends the sophistication that this cosmopolitan city deserves.

Jose Carlos Garcia

Restaurant El Lago *, Chef Diego del Rio, Marbella (Malaga)

El Lago, Spanish for the lake takes its name from the beautiful lakeside setting in the Elviria Hills area of Marbella. Add to the placid atmosphere an ever evolving creative cuisine, personalized service and an exclusive list of some 350 Spanish wines and El Lago well deserves its Michelin star, first awarded in 2005. Such is the commitment to development that once a year the restaurant exhibits a weeklong presentation of the latest trends in gastronomy with rotating daily menus.

El Lago

Restaurant Skina *, Chefs Marcos Granda, Hideaki Yoshioka and Jaume Puigdengolas, Marbella (Malaga)

With not one but three head chefs, this careful collaboration was always destined for a Michelin star and has maintained this status with consistency since 2008. The dishes are distinctively Andalusian, including many local, traditional dishes presented with a creative touch and beautiful flair. Skina, located in the historic heart of Marbella, seats only fourteen diners and is one of the smallest restaurants in the world to have been awarded a Michelin star.

Skina

Restaurant Abantal *, Chef Julio Fernandez, Seville

Another long-standing member of the Michelin club, Abantal has held its star for seven years running. The attention to detail is as evident in the sleek presentation of the dining room as it is on every beautifully presented plate, combining flavor, creativity, texture, craft and esthetics. Steeped in its Andalusian roots, the cuisine draws on Moorish-Arab influences fused with imaginative, adventurous modernity.

Abantal

Restaurant Choco *, Chef Kisko Garcia, Cordoba

Born in 1978, Kisko Garcia is one of the youngest chefs of the new Andalusian cuisine movement. Based in Cordoba, Garcia draws on local classics such as cold Mazamorra soup and adds touches reminiscent of the citys Moorish past. Tradition blends with modernity and the simplicity of pure products contrasts with the complexity of refined techniques.

Choco

Restaurant Alejandro *, Chef Alejandro, Almeria

Going only by his first name, Chef Alejandro professes to believes in simple cooking, based upon respect for traditional Almerian ingredients. To see the sophistication of his creations, you might not call it simple yourself There is no question as to the purity of the ingredients, often taking on the elegance of Japanese cuisine, particularly evident in his passion for local Mediterranean fish and seafood.

Alejandro

Restaurant La Costa *, Chef Jose Alvarez, Almeria

Another Michelin star for the eastern coastal city of Almeria. La Costa restaurant has been in operation since the 1960s, lending a history and tradition to this establishment of haute cuisine. It wasnt until 2006 that La Costa finally earned its Michelin star under Chef Jose Alvarez, whose innovation and modern touch built on the longstanding focus on quality and the freshest seafood and vegetables of the El Ejido locale of Almeria. With three separate dining rooms, the restaurant offers tapas in the tavern, an informal dining room for gourmet gastronomy, and a tasting room where guests can sample the specialties of the chef.

La Costa

One to watch

Finally, if this list isnt enough to get you inspired about Andalusian cuisine, there has been much chatter about another restaurant that is widely expected to be the next star on the horizon. At Restaurant Sollo, in Benalmadena Pueblo just outside of Malaga, Chef Diego Gallegos brings the passion of his native South America to Andalusia with triumphant results. He only uses seasonal ingredients in his menus and has paired up with the worlds only organic caviar farm (near Granada) to offer an exquisite caviar tasting menu.