Who will win the new Michelin stars of Spain tonight (according to the greatest gastronomic prescribers)

Desserts

Tonight the gala in which the 2019 Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal will be presented will be held in Lisbon. No one will know for sure which restaurants will be worthy of new stars until then, but the rumors have been sounding loudly in gastronomic circles for weeks.

We have spoken with a good part of the best-known gastronomic critics and prescribers of Spain and one name is repeated above all: that of Dani García (in the opening photo) that almost all the experts agree in pointing out as deserving of its third star for your restaurant in Marbella. The third of Coque also sounds strongly, after his transfer to Madrid, that of Atrio (in Cáceres) and, as always, that of Mugaritz, although many are already resigned to thinking that his avant-garde cuisine will never satisfy the inspectors of the guide, a directory as influential as it is criticized, due to selection criteria never without controversy.

Carlos Mateos, better known by the nickname of Mr. Espeto, assures that “the criteria of the Michelin inspectors are tremendously different and confusing and, on many occasions, difficult to understand and share”; José Carlos Capel, critic of The country, believes that the guide "will keep with the conservatism of always"; and Julia Pérez Lozano, director of Gastroactitude, insists on a very repeated idea among professionals in the sector: that the guide does not reflect the culinary level of Spain, because a country like Germany, in which, according to Pérez Lozano, people eat worse, has more stars.

A separate issue is the very scarce female presence, which, judging by the survey carried out by Direct to the Palate it will not be fixed at all this year. Something that, in the opinion of Pérez Lozano, has a lot to do with the panel of inspectors: “Until recently there were no women on the inspectors' cadre, which if I am not misinformed there are 12. Now I think there is a Brazilian woman who travels through Spain, at least occasionally. In any case, insufficient. Are there no Spanish professionals trained to do this job? In tourism schools most of the students are women ”.

Mario Sandoval, chef at Coque, one of the restaurants that sounds strong to receive the third star.

The favorite restaurants of the great gourmets

When asked which restaurants will win the new Michelin stars this year, all the specialists surveyed point out the establishments that are most likely to win them, but also those that in their opinion should receive them, which is not the same. This is your individual opinion, which also serves to find out which restaurants have stood out this year (and are worth visiting, star or not).

Pilar Salas

The gastronomic journalist of the Efe agency assures that the organization of the guide has confirmed that 20 restaurants in Spain and Portugal will enter the guide for the first time. "That means they are dedicating themselves to working as headhunters, in addition to consolidating restaurants that have been working for many years," says Sala. "According to this source, it will also be widely distributed, that of the Basque Country, Catalonia, Madrid and Lisbon is decentralized."

AbAC and Aponiente were the restaurants that obtained their third Michelin star last year.

In his opinion, the Michelin Guide is very important, insofar as it is the chefs themselves who give it an authority that no one disputes: “The nervousness that exists a few days before is palpable throughout the gastronomic world, because it continues to trust at their discretion, even if there are discrepancies in the content. It is a symbol of prestige and more clients are received ”.

Regarding specific restaurants, Salas prefers not to give names, but points out that he is Andalusian, and would like to see new stars in his land. "Madrid also has very interesting things, but we cannot forget Galicia, Valencia, and I would even say some for Castilla-La Mancha", he explains. "Read between the lines."

Matoses

The well-known gastronomic critic known by the nickname of Matoses bet for the third stars by Dani García, for the high level of his cuisine and a dining room experience like few others in Spain, and Atrio, for “the incomparable comfort of that magical place of pilgrimage ”.

For the second bet on Enigma, Ricard Camarena, Etxebarri, Venta de Moncalvillo and Zuberoa, which already had this distinction a decade ago.

Image of the atrium kitchen.

As for the first star, Matoses lacks greater recognition, to other catering institutions such as Horcher or El Motel Restaurant. "Also to temples of extreme products such as Lera, Los Marinos, Askua, D'Berto, Estimar, FM or La Tasquita de Enfrente, all clearly solvent in the kitchen and regularly in the theoretical Michelin evaluation points", he explains. “Something similar happens to me with bistros of outstanding culinary quality such as Gresca, Sacha or La Buena Vida. Lastly, rewarding more remote territories where offering a remarkable cuisine, there is hardly any recognition, as in Menorca; there two restaurants could opt for their first macaron: Sa Pedrera des Pujol and Sa Llagosta ”.

Julia Perez Lozano

The director of Gastroactitud bets on the third star of Dani García, Coque, Atrio and Santceloni. He also believes that Mugaritz deserves it, but assures that "it is possible that neither the Michelin reader nor the inspectors are interested in such an experimental, intellectualized kitchen."

He is also missing a first star for Nerua or Ricard Camarena. “Maybe it's because Michelin doesn't take creativity into account. It is difficult for them to differentiate the originals from the copies, ”he says.

Andoni Luis Aduriz (right) and Guillermo Cruz (left), chef and sommelier, respectively, from Mugaritz.

"In Spain there are restaurants with excellent food that don't even appear in the guide, I'm not saying they have stars," says Pérez Lozano. “That means that for Michelin they don't exist. And suddenly you find yourself reviewed all the stores of the same chain, for example. How is this explained? "

Philippe Regol

The author of the blog Gastronomic Observation reiterates its hope that Ricard Camarena, Enigma, Tickets, Alkimia or Carmen de Montesión will have better recognition. "Camarena is more than likely," says Regol. “With Enigma they will do as with Enjoy: make them suffer one more year. It would be a shame because his culinary experience is already on the way to three stars ”.

Regol is also betting on the second for Mina, Nerua, Etxebarri, Noor and Bardal.

Ricard Camarena sounds strong to receive his second star.

"In the 1-star field, there are many restaurants that I like," he says. “I think LU in Jerez will have its fair recognition. Back's kitchen in Marbella would also deserve a good evaluation by the Guide. In Valencia I would like it to be Saiti. In Madrid, I don't know enough about the situation to give my opinion much: I like the cuisine of La Buena Aparecida but the volume of customers can put off the inspectors. In Barcelona, ​​the restaurants that I prefer do not have the Michelin profile and therefore do not believe that they ever do: Coure, Gresca, Dos Pebrots, Alkostat, Bodega 1900, Espai Kru, Direkte ... ”.

"One day we will have to be asked about restaurants that should lose a star," concludes Regol. "Taking out stars is what would give the guide more credibility."

Jose Carlos Capel

The gastronomic critic of The countryTrue to its style, it is short and direct: “The Michelin will remain as conservative as ever. It will surprise with some unknown star and in other cases it will fulfill the expected. This year, it seems that they are going to give three stars to Dani García, two to Ricard Camarena and one to Bagá. There may be a three star in Portugal ”.

Carlos Mateos

Carlos Mateos, better known as Mr. Espeto, also bets on Dani García's third, who "has never done more deserving", and for Atrio. Also in Andalusia, it bets on the first of Jardín de Lutz or La Cosmopolita.

Mateos believes that the guide should also reward places with a simpler cuisine, but that focus on offering the best possible raw material: “It is clamorous that places like Los Marinos José, dedicated to the product, do not have their first star. The same could be preached in places like DBerto, El Campero, Güeyu Mar, Cataria, Cañabota, Askua and so many great restaurants dedicated to the best raw material. It would be desirable for them to reward the effort to sustain a quality traditional cuisine of so many restaurants as other countries do ”.

The Roasted King of Gueyu Mar.

“I would like to see Lera with her first star and Zuberoa regain her second. Just as I would like to see Bagá and Lú Cocina y Alma awarded and a second for Noor ”, concludes Mateos. “If we talk about Madrid or Barcelona, ​​the cases of places like Gresca, La Tasquita de Enfrente, Sacha, Lakasa, the second from Vía Veneto, La Buena Vida, the third from Enjoy ... But I also think that the guide should be opened to other restaurant formats that are doing very well even without complying with the classic rules. I'm talking about places like Nakeima, Umiko, Bardeni or Espai Kru ”.

Daniel Salas

Director of Kitchens insists that Mugaritz deserves his third star. "Enjoying is not only in the dishes that are pleasant for the palate, in Mugaritz one is going to discover and tear down walls", says Salas. It's something unique, and if that doesn't deserve a third Michelin star, let me know what it deserves ”. He also bets on Coque's third. "Of course Sandoval has made merits for this, and there are many who hope that 2019 will have a new three stars in Madrid," says Salas.

The well-known Madrid chef Sacha Hormaechea always sounds like one of those who deserve a first star.

In Madrid, a city that Salas has studied the most, he opts for the second from Lua and the first from Sacha, his favorite restaurant in Madrid. “And what about La Tasquita de Enfrente by Juanjo López? The restaurant that is most committed to quality product, which has shown that elaboration and technique taken to the extreme is not necessary, another example of a restaurant that could perfectly have its Michelin star ”, he says.

Images | Dani García Group / Carles Allende / Ricard Camarena / Camará de Salamanca

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