10 May, 2010 @ 10:32
1 min read

Beware the apprentice

AFTER four years at the top of the food chain, Spain’s most famous chef has finally been usurped – by his former apprentice.

The Michelin-starred Ferran Adria lost out to his former trainee Rene Redzepi in the San Pellegrino list of the world’s top 50 restaurants.

Despite Adria’s slip, Spain can still boast that it has four of the world’s top ten restaurants.

Famed for combining classic Nordic food with a modern twist, Redzepi is also a self proclaimed “son of Spain’s avant garde” after learning his trade under Adria’s wing.

But having sat proudly at the number one spot for the past four years, El Bulli restaurant, on the Costa Brava, was ousted by Redzepi’s Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.

Famed for combining classic Nordic food with a modern twist, Redzepi is also a self proclaimed “son of Spain’s avant garde” after learning his trade under Adria’s wing.

Food experts suggested that Adria lost the much-coveted top spot because he recently announced that El Bulli will close in 2012.

Adria revealed that it will be reopened in 2014 as a non-profit foundation that will act as a “think tank” for the evolution of food.

A further two Spanish restaurants El Celler and Mugaritz took fourth and fifth spot, while Arzak, in San Sebastian, edged in at number nine.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. El Bulli did’nt serve real food anyway. I remember a comment in the Sunday Times from someone that ate there – he and his wife could’nt remember a single one of the 38 yes 38 little tapas they were served – THE NEXT DAY.

    If we are talking real world restaurants then having travelled extensively across Spain – all the restaurants have the same kind of food – meat and chips.

    There will always be the exception and Angela and I were lucky enough to find tucked under the old cities walls in Santiago de Compostella a restaurant where the locals were queuing to eat!

    It was fusion food – I chose chicken and mango salad – exceptional. Angela chose scrambled eggs with garlic and spinach – also exceptional.

    I fyou ever get to Ferrol ask for the whereabouts of the local El Campo – right across the road after the car park is Juanitos. The construction workers and truckers travel a long way to eat there.

    When we left Galicia in 2002 the menu de la dia was €7.20. The Caldo Gallego was reeally good and it is served in a huge turreen, I freely admit I pigged out on this world class soup – 3 bowls at least.

    Merluza a la plancha was a must. The litre bottle of wine was entirely drinkable – how I ever left there being able to walk (the soup not the wine) was a miracle. Best day to visit – Saturdays, much quicker service because on week days there would be upwards of 200 workers piling in by 1PM.

    Here in the Aveyron, I only have to walk across the road to the Flambadou – if you don’t get their by 12.15 forget it. It will be full of construction workers eating near Cordon Bleu quality of food.

    Le formulae/ Menu de la dia is €10.50:

    1st dish – homemade soup (sadly this is only available in autumn/winter/ early Spring. I am a soup junkie.

    2nd dish – cold buffet always having prawns/shell fish/cold cuts of beef/lamb/pork or chicken and various salad things and hard boiled eggs – it’s all a lot better than I have painted it. this is a help yourself buffet with no restrictions on what or how much you choose.

    3rd dish – always 2 specials and if you don’t like them, their is always steak (far better than anything available in Spain). I have never really liked salmon but Laurent (the chef) created a superb dish of salmon and two different kinds of white fish served in a mild cheese sauce with pasta – I now love salmon.

    4th dish – selection of cheeses (help yourself)

    5th dish a selection of tarts or fresh fruit and cream and of course a large bowl of fresh fruit.

    A small carafe of red/white wine is €2.50 and coffee is extra.

    I ate out in the best restaurants in Granada – I could always better the quality in my own kitchen without having to spend at least €80 for two with a reasonable priced bottle of wine.

    Why do the Spanish bang on about their crap ham – too tough and chewy, fatty and not a nice taste to boot, when they have superb sheep and goats cheeses that the rest of the world knows nothing about.

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