The chefs behind the 21 new Michelin ‘Green Stars’ are among the true heroes of Spain.

This select, forward-thinking group have been championing sustainability in the catering industry for, in some cases, over a decade.

The Olive Press first came across Angel León in 2009 before he won his first Michelin star at legendary Aponiente, which now has three.

Back then, in a small backstreet joint, in the heart of el Puerto de Santa Maria, he was only listing rare and unfashionable types of fish on his menu.

Boycotting cod and tuna, he used almost all local ingredients and even gave a lecture series on sustainability to Cadiz university.

Way before his time, Spain has been far too slow to wake up to the risks of overfishing.

Now, he is finally being recognised for his zeal and passion for the environment.

As is rightly, Diego Gallegos, at Sollo, in Fuengirola, another thoughtful and endearing young chef, who we first met him cutting his teeth at the eccentric Algarinejo restaurant in the wilds of Cordoba a decade ago and knew he would go far.

The pair were among the first chefs to feature in Olive Press editor Jon Clarke’s book Dining Secrets of Andalucia.

Not secret anymore. And thankfully so.

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