Cuisine as an artistic creation to delight the senses –this is the way gastronomy is seen in Spain. A range of five-star culinary attractions offering a world of tastes, presentation, aroma, textures, colour and more. Dishes by chefs like Adrià, Arzak, Berasategui, Ruscalleda, Santamaría, Subijana and Roca have placed Spain at the forefront of international haute cuisine.

The new Spanish chefs are artists in the kitchen, as is amply borne out by their widespread international renown. For example, ‘El Celler de Can Roca’, run by the Roca brothers in Girona, was the world’s best restaurant in 2015 and 2013, according to the prestigious ‘Restaurant’ magazine. The same title was held for five years by Ferran Adrià in his restaurant ‘El Bulli’. ‘Mugaritz’ and ‘Asador Etxebarri’, in the Basque Country, also appear on the list, as the 7th and 3th best restaurants, respectively. And eleven Spanish restaurants now have the maximum rating awarded by the influential Michelin Guide. The hallmark of the work of these new culinary artists is their originality and innovation, combining traditional Mediterranean cuisine with fresh and creative ideas. The importance of this new cuisine in Spanish culture is such that the chef José Andrés was awarded the Spanish Order of Arts and Letters in 2010. International prestige A number of restaurants in Spain have been distinguished for their outstanding quality and creativity. Throughout the country there are around 200 Michelin-starred establishments. Eleven of them boast 3 stars: two in Andalusia, one in the Region of Valencia, and one in Madrid, three in Catalonia, and four in the Basque Country. The 2018 edition awarded three stars to the restaurant “Dani García”, in Malaga’s Hotel Puente Romano. “Aponiente”, the restaurant of the “chef of the sea” Ángel León, in Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz, Andalusia) also keeps its three stars. León is famous for using plankton in his recipes, and the sea is the core of his cuisine.

Quique Dacosta’ is a highly acclaimed restaurant in the Region of Valencia. Its cuisine can be defined as being at the gastronomic avant-garde, but with its roots in its local surroundings in Dénia, Alicante. The restaurant is named after the head chef. The city of Madrid has a three-star restaurant –‘DiverXo’– famed for its exceptional creativity and the fusion of an array of cuisines –all known for their aromas, tastes and textures– thanks to its head chef, David Muñoz. In Catalonia you can enjoy the restaurants “Celler Can Roca” in Girona, and “Lasarte” and “ABaC” in Barcelona. In the first, located in the city of Girona, the Roca brothers use their culinary creativity to convey a range of emotions. ‘Lasarte’ is owned by the chef Martín Berasategui, with Paolo Casagrande in the kitchen. Their goal is to create an unforgettable experience with every meal. The second of Barcelona’s 3-star restaurants is 'ABaC', with the chef Jordi Cruz, offering some of the most avant-garde culinary ideas. In the Basque Country, there are four outstanding options for enjoying Basque signature cuisine: ‘Akelarre’ and ‘Arzak’, in San Sebastián, ‘Martín Berasategui’, in Lasarte (Guipúzcoa), and ‘Azurmendi’, in Larrabetzu (Vizcaya). The first is the creation of Pedro Subijana, and offers an experience for all the five senses in a dining room offering spectacular views. José María Arzak's restaurant was the first in Spain to receive three Michelin stars (in 1989), while Martín Berasategui is one of the leading exponents of modern Basque cuisine. Finally the restaurant ‘Azurmendi’ run by the chef Eneko Atxa is on a constant mission to bring pleasure through cuisine. Many other restaurants have become famous worldwide. Here are a few: 'Atrio', in Cáceres; 'Maralba', in Almansa (Albacete); 'L’Escaleta', in Cocentaina, and 'BonAmb', in Jávea-Xàbia (both in Alicante); 'Dani García', in Marbella (Málaga); 'Annua', in San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria); 'Cenador de Amós', in Villaverde de Pontones (Cantabria); 'Casa Marcial', in Parres (Asturias); "Zaranda", in Majorca; 'Enoteca', 'Moments', 'Dos cielos', and 'Disfrutar', in Barcelona; 'Les Cols', in Olot (Girona); 'El Portal', in Ezcaray (La Rioja), 'M.B.', in Tenerife; 'Cabaña Buenavista', in El Palmar (Murcia), and 'Ramón Freixa', 'Santceloni', 'La Terraza del Casino', 'El Club Allard', 'DSTAgE' and 'Coque' in Madrid.

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