ALICANTE has been crowned the gastronomy king of the Comunidad Valenciana with 16 Michelin stars.
The province outshone Castellón and Valencia – which bagged two and nine stars respectively during last week’s ceremony for the Michelin Guide Spain & Portugal 2020.
The Seville-based pinnacle of Spanish cuisine saw Alicante gain one new star – at the Tula restaurant in Javea – and Denia’s golden child Quique Dacosta increase his Michelin star accolades to five thanks to his new Valencia-based Els Poblet.
The list of Alicante’s star eateries includes:
Quique Dacosta in Denia, the only restaurant in the entire Comunidad Valenciana with three Michelin stars. A pioneer, visionary chef, Dacosta will mix traditional Gamba de Denia rice-based dishes with surprises like edible roses. Menu: €210 per person.
BonAm in Javea holds onto its two Michelin stars with the experienced Alberto Ferruz at its helm. Its menus feature dishes ‘full of the Mediterranean nuances of sun, salt and fine weather’, according to Michelin Guide. Seasonal menus capture the essence of the changing weather, and currently takes full advantage of local mushrooms, truffles and the Spanish hunting season. Menu: €75-135.
L’Escaleta in Cocentaina also keeps its two stars with a menu rooted in Alicantina tradition. At Kiko Moya’s baby, expect to find fideos, cured prawns, and the unique ‘rice squares’ of Valencian rice – sticky or dry – served on a rectangular iron tray and finished in an open oven. Menu: €50-125.
Audrey’s in Calp retains its one star with a gastronomic homage to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic star role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The restaurant headed by Rafa Soler seeks to blend Mediterannean heritage with the world’s finest culinary styles. Menu: €55-89.
Beat in Calp also holds one star with its Mediterranean-style cuisine situated in the plush The Cook Book hotel. Head chef José Manuel Miguel brings his experience from the culinary Mecca of Paris to the Marina Alta with three set menus that will ‘steal your heart’, according to the new Michelin Guide. Menu: €45-89.
With stunning views of the Peñón de Ifach, Orobianco in Calp keeps its Michelin star under the guidance of the Italian Ferdinando Bernardi. After scouring the world indulging his passions, Bernardi brings his expertise in pastries and baking to the Marina Alta, while serving up the best of Alicante featuring Denia’s iconic red prawn and Santa Pola’s Caridean shrimp. Menu: €55-95.
El Rodat in Javea also retains its star with a menu that relies strongly on the port town’s local fisheries. “At El Rodat we don’t sleep, we dream,” says head chef Nazario Cano, with a cuisine that materialises its high ambition, according to the Michelin Guide 2020. Menu: €85-140.
“Women who succeed in the kitchen are often raised by the passion of their mothers and grandmothers,” reads the Michelin entry for Casa Pepa in Ondara. Head chef Antonia Ballester likewise aims to celebrate the memory of previous owner Pepa Romans, with a menu that ‘cooks with emotion’. Menu: €45-85.
El Xato in La Nucia hangs onto its Michelin star in its iconic bodega-turned-restaurant beside the local church. Head chef Cristina Figueira continues the family-run business with over 100 years of history through her traditional, rice-based dishes. Menu: €54-70.
At La Finca in Elche, head chef Susi Diaz also presents an exquisite menu based upon the traditional rice dishes of the Valencian region. The Michelin Guide 2020 describes the seamstress-turned-chef’s culinary sensation with these words from Mother Theresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving feeling a little better and happier.” Menu: €79-119.
El Monastrell in Alicante rounds off the province’s haul of Michelin stars at its Marina-side premises. María José San Román won over this year’s inspectors with a Mediterranean menu celebrating the traditional saffron, virgin olive oils and exquisite fruits of the sea. The restaurant expertly wields local varieties of rice, including Albufera, Bahía, Bombita, pairing them perfectly with their local counterparts. Menu: €66-115.