It was the boost of Adrià on the list what started to fan the flames of Spain’s blazing rise to the international Mount Olympus of gastronomy.

By Xavier Agulló for SPN Magazine

Ferran himself, the Roca brothers, Arzak and Aduriz were (and are) fixtures in the top 10. Ferran learned how to publicise, explain and communicate the real value of these chefs -and others classified beyond the top ten in the British list-, chefs who, for 15 years, have been defining the rhythm of the cutting edge of world cuisine. To put it into arithmetic terms, in this past year, Spain and Portugal as a region had the most chefs on the 50 Best world list. We owe this to the genius of Adrià, and to the fascinated gaze of the English (and of the world) on our contemporary cuisine. And also, ironically, to Michelin, because its archaic, chauvinistic trajectory had just bored the whole planet and, you know that “for every action there is a reaction”. But even though the World’s 50 Best -with its 900 voters across the globe- have positioned Spain at the top, we shouldn’t forget about all the shady instances that they have tried to cover up, particularly in recent years. The list has even been accused of having judges voting for restaurants they had never visited. David Muñoz confirmed this by voting for Alinea in Chicago, a restaurant he had never been to. So I ask myself astonished, who made him vote?  And, more emphatically, why did he vote for that restaurant in particular? However, from a mathematical point of view, one of Boolean algebra, it appears that a large enough number of voters – I repeat, 900 – can create many groups, the intersection of which (after compromises and deliberation) results in the list. In any case, it is a format, like others, and better, in my opinion, than the whim of a few remote-controlled inspectors. What is certain is that the World’s 50 Best – and most of those involved in the sector agree on this – is the most reliable snapshot of the restaurants who break through every year. And in another format, another vibe which is much more modern than Michelin stars when classifying restaurants for the current public, and when “selling” gastronomy in a 21st century style. With these parameters, be they as they may, Spain has managed to reach the Parnassus of international gastronomy, with all that it has brought and still brings socially and economically to everyone. And that is what matters, right?




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