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Disfrutar and Noor, Spain's new three Michelin stars

2023-11-28T22:08:30.467Z

Highlights: Disfrutar and Noor, Spain's new three Michelin stars. The Rioja restaurant Venta Moncalvillo joins the group of two-starred restaurants, and the French guide distributes more awards in Madrid and Andalusia. In October they received the National Gastronomy Award, have placed the restaurant in second place on The World's Best 50 Restaurants list. They offer several tasting menus: Disfrutar Classic, made up of creations that have become classics of the house.


The Rioja restaurant Venta Moncalvillo joins the group of two-starred restaurants, and the French guide distributes more awards in Madrid and Andalusia


The rumors have been confirmed, in part. One of the two new top additions to the 2024 Michelin Guide have fallen in Andalusia: Noor, the restaurant that chef Paco Morales opened in 2016 in his hometown, Cordoba, and whose kitchen he runs with Paola Gualandi. The other winner of the night broke one of the unwritten traditions that the guide had been fulfilling, it is not known if intentionally or not, such as not distributing a third star in the city where the gala was held. The awards ceremony was held at the Auditori Fòrum of the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), and there the restaurant Disfrutar Barcelona, run by Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, entered the firmament of the three-starred winners.

It's the end of a good year for this trio of chefs. In October they received the National Gastronomy Award, have placed the restaurant in second place on The World's Best 50 Restaurants list and from now on they will be part of the Michelin elite. Theirs is a team effort, not only theirs, but also the hundreds of people who make up the staff of Disfrutar y Compartir, the other restaurant they run in Barcelona and Cadaqués (Girona). The proposal of these three former chefs of elBulli is one of maximum evolution and creativity. Michelin highlights precisely this, the play and mastery they propose with shapes, textures and flavours, in addition to the fact that new products are constantly coming out of their laboratory, such as solid bubbles or, almost the most surprising, a live table, capable of playing with the diner (only by reservation). And the guide delves into the fact that, in addition to the quality of the product, it is important to enjoy an extraordinary experience and observe the expertise of the chefs. They offer several tasting menus: Disfrutar Classic, made up of creations that have become classics of the house, Disfrutar Festival, with a repertoire of around 28 dishes created this season, both at 275 euros; The wine pairing is 145 euros, and the semi-dealcoholized combination is 165 euros.

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For Paco Morales (42 years old), who picked up his new jacket thanking his parents, "dad, goal achieved", and his partner and head chef, Paola Gualandi, joining this group is the culmination of a dream after returning to his homeland and haute cuisine. In 2016 he opened his most ambitious gastronomic proposal in the Cordoba neighbourhood of Cañero, where he grew up, which has led him to investigate and delve into the aromas and flavours of Andalusian cuisine and recreate them in a contemporary version. Noor, which in Arabic means light, is, according to Michelin, much more than a gastronomic restaurant, because behind every detail there is a multidisciplinary team that contributes its knowledge to bring out of the darkness the essence of that cultured and in a certain way magical Cordoba, which dazzled since the Caliphate of Abd al-Rahman III. The premises also stand out for its bright interior, with the exposed kitchen and a beautiful interior design work. For the guide's inspectors, the investigative work is remarkable from the beginning, as each season focuses on an era. Today, Morales' cuisine embroiders the Spanish Golden Age through three menus – Mudéjar (€145, with wine harmony, €75), Morisco (€170, with wine harmony, €90) and Al-Jazeera (€245, and €125 more if chosen with a selection of wines – that reinterpret the culinary splendour of the <>th and <>th centuries. Among its dishes, Michelin highlights durum wheat pasta, smoked butter, chicken and squid background (a reinterpretation of the Abbasiya) or, for dessert, the neighbourhood oranges with orange blossom, fried almonds and extra virgin olive oil. Previously, Morales had directed the kitchen of the restaurant that bore his name at the Hotel Ferrero, in Bocairent (Castellón), where he obtained a Michelin star, he had worked at Mugaritz (Errenteria, Gipuzkoa); at the Senzone restaurant inside the Hotel Hospes in Madrid (Senzone); at Al Trapo, at the Hotel de las Letras, also in Madrid; and advised on the gastronomy of the Hotel Torralbenc, in Menorca.

Disfrutar and Noor are already part of the elite gastronomy of the French tyre guide, to which 13 three-starred tyre companies still belong: Arzak (San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa); Lasarte (Barcelona); Martín Berasategui (Lasarte-Oria, Gipuzkoa); El Celler de Can Roca (Girona); ABaC (Barcelona); Cenador de Amós (Villaverde de Pontones, Cantabria); Akelarre (San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa); Aponiente (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz); Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante); DiverXO (Madrid), Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Bizkaia), Atrio (Cáceres), and Cocina Hermanos Torres (Barcelona).

The surprise of the night fell in the two-star category, with only one winner: Venta Moncalvillo, in Daroca de Rioja (La Rioja), directed by Ignacio and Carlos Echapestro, who also have a green distinction. On Wednesday, her mother, Rosi, would have turned 70, and for her it was the most heartfelt recognition of the night. "It all started with you, celebrate it however you want," confessed chef Ignacio Echapendro on stage, with his brother, the head waiter, by his side. From there he remembered the father, who allowed them to start in his home the project that began almost three decades ago "two village kids", oblivious to gastronomy, "elegant, but intruders, and 28 years later I find myself with two stars", who thanked the team, "who cook and take care of the customers".

In the one-star section, a light rain fell in the Barcelona night, 31 awards in total, spread throughout Spain, although more intense in some areas than in others. In the north, the two in Asturias remained, those of the restaurants Marcos (Gijón), owned by Marcos Granda, whose head chef, Marcos Mistry, was in charge of debuting the jacket, and NM (Oviedo), whose kitchens are in charge of Daniel Silvestre and Nacho Manzano, owner of the two-star restaurant, Casa Marcial. In Galicia, it was picked up by Brais Pichel, at the Terra restaurant, Fisterra (A Coruña). Another surprise was the entry in the guide of Txispa, the restaurant of the Japanese chef Tetsuro Maeda, who opened his restaurant in May of this year with some controversy after choosing Axpe as its location, in the Atxondo valley (Bizkaia), a few meters from the grills of Etxebarri, where he worked for a decade.

Madrid continues to be a place of reference where everyone wants to be, according to Michelin, as another of this year's trends. This year, the gastronomic project of chefs Jorge Muñoz and Sara Peral has received the OSA award, one of the great openings of the year in the capital. Also El Club Allard, which tries to regain the glory of yesteryear with Martín Berasategui, who returns to Madrid with the head chef, José María Goñi, after Etxeco's failed attempt, at the Bless Hotel in Velázquez. Another was for Desde 1911, the ambitious project launched in November 2021 by Pescaderías Coruñesas, with the chef Diego Murciego and the renowned Abel Valverde in the dining room. It was also received by Cebo, the gastronomic restaurant of the Urban hotel, which already had it with Aurelio Morales and which since last year has been managed by the chefs of Cañitas Maite, Javier Sanz and Juan Sahuquillo. The couple made their debut in the guide last year with their first star at OBA, in Casas-Ibáñez (Albacete). In the capital, she was also welcomed by Santerra, where Miguel Carretero cooks, and the Japanese restaurant TOKI, the gastronomic project of Marcos Granda, whose kitchen is in charge of Tadayoshi Motoa.

Andalusia was graced with several, especially Jaén, whose Provincial Council is a sponsor of the gala. There, they won the Malak award, where Javier Jurado, Radis, with Juanjo Mesa, and Vandelvira, in Baeza, with Juan Carlos García at the helm, took the helm. El Puerto de Santamaría (Cádiz) went to Tohqa, which was picked up by Eduardo Pérez, and to Marbella (Málaga) by Back, owner of David Olivas. Also receiving their first recognition were: Canfranc Express, by Eduardo Salanova, in Canfranc Estación (Huesca); Casa Bernardi, by Ferdinando Bernardi, in Benissa (Alicante); Fraula, by Roseta Félix and Daniel Malavía, in Valencia; Kabo, by Aaron Ortiz, in Pamplona; Orobianco, by Paolo Casagrande, where Andrea Drago cooks, in Calpe (Alicante); Quirat, by Víctor Torres, and Suto, by Yoshikazu Suto, both in Barcelona; Barro, by Carlos Casillas and Jaime Mondéjar, in Ávila, a restaurant that also obtained its first green star; Erre de Roca, by Alberto Molinero, from Miranda de Ebro (Burgos); Andreu Genestra, in Llucmajor (Mallorca), who recovers the two brightnesses, red and green, which he had lost due to the transfer of the premises; Bevir, by José Luis Espino, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Haydée, by Víctor Suárez, La Orotava, Taste 1973, by Diego Schattenhofer, in Playa de las Américas, Tenerife (all three in the Canary Islands), Omakase by Walt, Walter Sidoravicius, in Ibiza; Sa Clastra, by Jordi Cantó, Es Capdellà (Mallorca) and Unic, by Frenchman David Grussaute, in Sant Josep de sa Talaia (Ibiza).

There are six restaurants that have lost their stars, including the two-starred Angle in Barcelona, which has one. They lose it in Madrid, Lúa and Gofio; in Marbella, El Lago; El Nuevo Molino, in Puente Arce (Cantabria), La Cuina de San Simón, in Tossa de Mar (Girona).

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Source: elparis

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