Story and food photos by Manos Angelakis
Additional photos by Grupo Dani García
This meal took place in 2018, well prior to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Dani García, the Andaluz chef, was another of the apprentices of Martín Berasategui who become a leading star in the Spanish culinary circles. He is renowned for creating deceptively simple dishes; his cooking is seasonal and always delicious. He achieved his first Michelin star in the family restaurant Tragabuches in Ronda, where he developed a kitchen full of culinary invention with such dishes as prawns tartar, oxtail ravioli with cold mashed chestnuts, bacon strips with crunchy crumbs rondeñas, and gazpacho sorbet with apple jelly!
Currently the Dani Carcía Group of restaurants includes the eponymous gastronomic restaurant Dani García; the concept-restaurants BiBo and Lobito de Mar in both Madrid and Marbella; Leña, in Marbella, Madrid and New York City that is about elegance, know-how and technical innovation. There is also The Smoked Room at the Hotel Hyatt Regency Hesperia in Madrid and Atelier, the chef’s idea-development laboratory and kitchen in Marbella. These projects, plus a few international ventures, have been developed with the thought that Spain is a culinary world that is seeing many culinary improvements and the innovative chefs should be internationally represented.
Dani García’s kitchens continue to be full of imagination, where the technique is subservient to the flavor. In November 2018, he received his third Michelin star at the Dani García Restaurant. Here you will find a committed gastronome, where tradition and innovation are both embraced in creating spectacular and colorful dishes for his tasting menus.
Our tasting menu included sample dishes from many of his restaurants; adventures in design, taste, color and execution. I became especially fond of a number of his seafood dishes; I’m a product of the Eastern Mediterranean myself, where fish and seafood dishes are mainstays of the local culinary firmament.
One dish that I really enjoyed was the stuffed Spiny Crab shell. This dish is found in many kitchens in the world, especially in South America from Pacific King Crabs called Centollo; the shells are stuffed with a spicy mixture of crab meat, breadcrumb and a little shredded celery and onion. The version that I we had here is an Andaluz specialty; a very similar dish to Coquille St. Jacques made by stuffing crab shells instead of large scallop shells.
Another spectacular dish was the seafood tartare. Presentation and taste were superb and a squeeze of lemon juice on my portion, gave it brightness and exceptional appeal.
An interesting looking creation was made with shredded, smoked pork shoulder (I think) stuffed in something between an English muffin and a bagel. Again, the taste of the meat was kind of familiar, similar to a Texas barbeque, stuffed in bread that was almost as spongy as a muffin but not as solid as a bagel; the taste was totally unexpected.
Had a few other interesting tidbits, for example the seafood & driftwood, casar cheese and salad with a honey-walnut dressing and a ripe sliced strawberry on top.
And finally dessert, a chocolate-covered and stuffed log accompanied by Café Cortado.
Great dishes… it’s well worth a trip to Spain to eat in these incredible restaurants. Very rightfully, the Michelin people are awarding multiple stars to this chef and his food!
© December 2021 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.
In this issue: