Top celebrity chef now has 6 different restaurants in Marbella
The Costa del Sol, and Marbella in particular, has over the years established itself as a gastronomic destination that exudes sophistication. The number of Michelin stars awarded to establishments on the coast is a testament to this, and while there are probably more than a handful of chefs and restaurateurs who deserve a mention, there is one man who has done more than others to infuse this coast with a modern culinary energy, and that is Marbella-born, many Michelin-starred chef, Dani Garcia.
Dani García, born in Marbella in 1976, studied at the La Cónsula Hospitality School in Málaga. He started out as one of Martín Berasategui’s apprentices, a select few of whom quickly became leading stars on the Spanish culinary scene. Today, together with José Carlos García (El Café de París in Málaga) and Ángel León (Aponiente in El Puerto de Santamaría), García is a leading light in the new Andalusian cuisine.
In 2004, he was hired by the Meliá hotel group to set up the Calima restaurant in Marbella). There, in collaboration with Raimundo García del Moral, Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Granada, García was the first to develop the culinary use of liquid nitrogen at -196ºC (-303ºF). For a time he was the only European chef, apart from Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, to use the properties of nitrogen in cuisine.
His relationship with Calima restaurant finished in 2013 and in 2014 Dani García became head chef at Dani García Restaurant, which was located in Puente Romano Beach Resort Marbella, where today his restaurant, Leña, which was awarded the accolade of being the most beautiful restaurant in the world, sits at the heart of the resort.
The energetic Marbellí has garnered a growing reputation worldwide, putting him in the same league as other celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, although García isn’t known to swear quite as much. Like Ramsay he also had his own very popular cooking show (on Spanish TV) for several years. Few have the audacity to launch as many restaurants, and in such quick succession, as he has. A high profile billboard, currently on Marbella’s Golden Mile, lists them all, from the French-flavours of Babette, the Italian Alelí and Japanese Kemuri, the Argentine steakhouse, Leña, to the Spanish-inspired, Lobita de Mar and his latest opening, Tragabuches.
Dani García is not the only Michelin-starred chef on the coast, but he is celebrated here, because he is a Marbella lad who even as he elevates his culinary art, never forgets his roots in Andalucian cuisine. With so many restaurants under his umbrella, you’re bound to find one that appeals to you. Whichever one it is, it will be a flavourful experience.
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