By the most affluent, we mean those earthlings with annual incomes higher than 5.3 million USD, because with that income, they have the opportunity to delight in the best culinary experiences around the world and to be the ones who determine which establishments will feature in the yearly World’s Top Restaurants list published by Elite Traveler magazine. Yes, I know, that is not the only one and there are more ranking lists out there with high authority such as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the food-for-thought James Beard Foundation Awards or the Michelin Guide itself.
From 2012 to today it looks like the personal tastes of the affluent are rearranged but their appetite hasn’t varied so much. If fine dining is an occasional treat for most people, epicureans have a natural penchant for the exquisite.
Photograph: El Celler de Can Roca
Being my first intention to instruct you about Spain’s culinary scene, I observe two Spanish restaurants are among the top ten: Azurmendi and El Celler de Can Roca. It might be not surprising to you, in fact the Basque Country and Catalonia are two major gourmet world destinations. And there is more, in position 41 comes Martin Berasategui – who holds a total of eight Michelin stars and is the only chef in Spain to score the coveted triple-stars – and Quique Dacosta follows him in position 42. Mugaritz is placed the 53rd; the Basque dominance is irrefutable.
A new question arises: should you travel to the Basque Country or Catalonia for the greatest Spanish restaurant experience? The answer is yes and no. From north to south and from east to west Spain hosts incredible gourmet experiences for any food and wine enthusiast and in a coming post we will be listing all the destinations gradually to unveil the most unexpected hedonistic spots.
When I first wrote this article back in 2012, the number one most desirable restaurant was Alinea owned by the young Grant Achatz, precursor of molecular cuisine and disciple of Ferràn Adria who offers extraordinary sensations in the only restaurant in Chicago that can boast having earned the three famed Stars.
Spanish cuisine also had some considerable weight in this diner’s guide with the El Celler de Can Roca being named as the best restaurant in Spain and occupying the seventh place on the list and the Mugaritz by Andoni Luis Aduriz occupying the ninth position.
As for the second and third places in this ranking we had The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal followed by a classic New Yorker, the Per Se by Thomas Keller.
The French representation was led by the iconic Pierre Gagnaire, where Pierre Gagnaire and Hervé This have been combining art and science since 1984 with a style that food critics call techno-emotional cuisine.
With its vibrant energy, the gastronomy of Spain is in a self-evident good shape and even if for too long underrated,
Do not get carried away by over-information and contact us to arrange your next foodie journey in Spain or Portugal, let us be your epicurean advisor.