There are not many restaurants in the world with three Michelin stars, and yet, somehow Spain has managed to gather 11 of them with its frontiers. Not in vain the Spanish cuisine is rated as one of the bests in the world
2021 has been a complicated year for the world of gastronomy, which should not tarnish the shine of the Michelin stars. Yet, despite everything, this year, the traditional gala was held to reward the talent of Spanish cuisine at the Real Casa de Correos de la Puerta del Sol in Madrid.
In the category of the three stars, the highest distinction awarded by the French Ontario, there are no new additions or new additions this year, so the same 11 restaurants that already wore the three stars in the previous edition of the guide are maintained.
Cenador de Amós (Villaverde de Pontones, Cantabria)
In the Cantabrian town of Villaverde de Pontones, the joy was great after the celebration of the last star award gala in Seville, where Jesus Sanchez and his team received the third Michelin star. But, a bittersweet joy, since just a few days after opening the restaurant on March 4, the pandemic of Covid 19 forced an intermittent closure throughout the year, according to public and health indications.
This has not prevented Sánchez from demonstrating the enormous quality of his cuisine whenever possible, a task that the Michelin inspectors have also recognized in the edition of a, we hope, better 2022. Moreover, his contemporary signature cuisine linked to tradition is still as valid as then.
Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz)
Ángel León's restaurant has not been an exception to be affected by the pandemic throughout the year, first after the complete closure in March, then with the closures imposed by the public administrations and also by the self-imposed closures in August after detecting positive cases of coronavirus among the staff in their normal controls.
Aponiente remains one more year in the guide as the only three-star restaurant in Andalusia with its cuisine proposal attached to the sea, research, and sustainability. In 2022, significant new developments are expected in the concept of León, who has already hinted at changes that can only extend the fantastic experience, driven by his constant restlessness and the necessary search for new challenges.
ElCellerde Can Roca, Girona
The Roca brothers have also seen how their business has been affected by the global pandemic, first through the imposed closures and then after detecting some positives in staff last September that forced a new temporary closure. In any case, they will also wear one more year, the highest distinction of the Michelin Guide.
Arzak, San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa)
Elena and Juan Mari Arzak have turned a family business into a must on the international gastronomy circuit. For more than 30 years now, they have been awarded 3 Michelin stars, something only possible with daily effort, constant innovation, and infinite love for cooking.
It has been a very complicated year for all chefs and Dabiz Muñoz's project, who has had to fight against imposed closures, coronavirus positives, fires, or the most recent closure of StreetXO in his London adventure. Yet, despite everything, the chef from Madrid is unstoppable: creating new business proposals, reimagining existing ones, spreading and demonstrating at all times why he is the most innovative and creative chef of our national gastronomy.
Akelarre, San Sebastian (Guipuzcoa)
Pedro Subijana reopened Akelarre on July 1 after the forced closure in March. He did so with all the necessary measures and with a particular success of the public, something especially remarkable in all the cases on this list due to the lack of foreign tourism given the mobility restrictions imposed by the different countries. Hard months of uncertainty fought with adaptation, flexibility, and effort.
Paolo Casagrande and Martín Berasategui maintain the three stars in their Barcelona location, one of the cities where the hotel and catering business has been hit the hardest. However, this has not been an obstacle for Lasarte to continue to show the identity and renovating cuisine that made them achieve the highest distinction in 2017. Local products, Donostia philosophy, and pleasure without contemplation.
Casagrande already said it at the meeting of the three-starred chefs held on November 30: do not lose hope for 2022 that the highest distinction in the pocket should reverse all the bad things experienced in recent months.
Azurmendi, Larrabetzu (Biscay)
Eneko Atxa is one of the bastions of Basque cuisine through his work at Azurmendi, on Bilbao's outskirts, and with his various consultancies. He maintains his three stars as it could not be otherwise thanks to his combination of sensitivity and avant-garde. This 2022 Eneko will have his first start with his culinary headquarters in Lisbon, which will allow him to maintain his star rating in the face of the loss of the shine of the Eneko Bilbao restaurant, which closed last March and disappeared in this edition.
Martín Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria (Guipúzcoa)
The Spanish chef with the most stars on his back (12) is still in top form despite the storm, pushing forward with his different proposals and imagining new ways. His mother restaurant in Laserte-Oria also maintains its three stars, as do the rest of his award-winning restaurants. He may not be adding any new sparkle, accustomed as he has been to doing so in recent years, but that does not detract one iota of strength from his identity cudgel.
QuiqueDacosta, Dénia (Alicante)
Quique Dacosta has put Alicante on the world gastronomy map with his cuisine, which is attached to the sea, the countryside, and the mountains. A unique sensory experience that remains unscathed in the face of the difficulties that have arisen. The versatility of his different businesses has helped him to weather the storm in the best possible way. In his restaurant, enjoyment continues to be assured, as evidenced by the three stars he has been awarded for yet another year.
Jordi Cruz has been intelligent in calling for public aid for a sector so punished this year 2021 as the hospitality industry. For the third year in a row, the Catalan has maintained his three stars despite the complicated situations he has experienced. Although not directly with ABaC, he did come out the night's winner thanks to the star obtained for his Atempo project in Girona.
Cruz, who did not hesitate to criticize the lack of aid for the hospitality sector in the previous meeting organized by Michelin to serve as a warm-up before this event, remains today one of the great supporters of Spanish cuisine in the French guide and one of the architects of Barcelona is the world capital of reference in gastronomy.