New Michelin stars for Spain

Michelin presented its 2015 Spain & Portugal Guide last night at Los Monteros hotel in Marbella. The eight Spanish restaurants with three stars all maintained their status but there are no new ones this year. What on earth does Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz have to do to get that third star? Or Óscar Velasco at Santceloni for that matter?  Disappointing too for Daní García, whose two-starred restaurant is just down the road at the Puente Romano hotel, where I was lucky enough to eat a couple of weeks ago. After that dinner, I really thought he would get that third star.

Great news though for Ángel León of Aponiente in El Puerto de Santa María in Cádiz, who was awarded a second star and surely will have three in the next couple of years for his mindbogglingly creative use of plankton. Aponiente is the only new two star however – I was sure Ricard Camarena would get a second star at his Valencia restaurant. Wrong again. Good thing I hadn’t placed any bets really.

More cheering are the 19 restaurants to be awarded their first star. I’m particularly thrilled about El Refectorio at the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel in Valladolid, where I had two staggeringly good meals earlier this year. Congratulations to chef Pablo Montero and his superb team. Montero previously worked at Mugaritz and Aduriz oversees the cuisine at LeDomaine.

Madrid did very well, gaining five new stars for PuntoMX. DSTAgE, Montia, La Cabra and Álbora. PuntoMX is the first Mexican restaurant to gain a star in Europe, quite an accolade for chef Roberto Ruiz.

The Balearics also did well, with Marc Fosh at Simply Fosh and Andreu Genestra both gaining a star in Mallorca, as well as Ana Jiménez García at Can Dani in Formentera – the first star for the tiny island.

Congratulations too to Elkano in Getaria near San Sebastián, one of my favourite restaurants, which has finally won a star for its superb traditional Basque cuisine – the turbot cooked on the outdoor grill is just exquisite.

Pakta, the Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese fusion) restaurant in Barcelona that is one of Albert Adrià’s expanding empire in the Paral·lel district, also gained a star.

The other restaurants awarded their first star are Novo in Ourense in Galicia, Casa Manolo in Daimús in Valencia province, Aizián in Bilbao, La Lobita in Navaleno in Soria province, El Carmen de Montesión in Toledo, El Retiro in Llanes in Asturias, Tatau Bistró in Huesca in Aragón and Kazán in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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