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5 Top Spanish Chefs You May Not Have Heard Of 


Find out our selection of the best Spanish chefs!

For a long time, Spain has been a destination, not just for tourism, but for some of the best food in the world. 

With 224 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, the Mediterranean country has no shortage of award-winning fare to try. But behind every successful venture is a Spanish chef who has taken their extensive culinary knowledge and transformed it into a tingling experience for the taste buds. 

This week, we take a look at five of the best Spanish chefs you may not have heard of

Ferran Adriá

Ferrán Adriá, born Fernando Adrià Acosta, is a renowned Spanish chef who comes from an esteemed family. His brother Albert is a famed pastry chef and the siblings have made their mark in Spanish cuisine. Hailing from Catalonia, Ferrán is a multi-star Michelin chef who is considered one of the world’s best. He was behind the renowned elBulli restaurant on Spain’s Costa Brava before it’s closure, and considers his cooking style as “deconstructivism”, that is, transforming an existing dish through its texture, taste or temperature. An example of this was when he turned almonds into cheese. Ferrán has released a number of cookbooks.

Martín Berasategui

Martín Berasategui is a famous chef that has achieved 12 Michelin stars, the most of any Spanish chef in history. Originally from Basque Country, Martín is an expert in Basque cuisine, and is the owner of a number of restaurants across both Spain and the Caribbean. Restaurante Martín Berasategui, located outside San Sébastien, has twice ranked in the top 50 restaurants in the world

Martín has recently partnered with La Española Olive Oil’s parent company, Acesur, and we are lucky enough to be interviewing him soon. Stay tuned! 

Carme Ruscalleda

Carme Ruscalleda is one of Spain’s most highly-esteemed female chefs, and hails from outside Barcelona. She is one of only four women in the world to hold the highest distinction possible in the Michelin Guide. The Catalan sensation was raised by farmers, but her love of cooking began at a young age. Carme and her husband Toni opened their restaurant Sant Pau over thirty years ago in Carme’s hometown, which achieved three Michelin stars during its long run. Today Carme owns restaurants in both Spain and Japan, which have achieved multiple additional Michelin stars. Her cooking style is strongly focused on traditional Catalan cooking, mixed with world influences

María José San Román

María is another of Spain’s best chefs, and one of the most highly-regarded female chefs in the world. María is all about showcasing the best of Spanish cuisine, and she owns six restaurants and one artisan bakery in her home country. The Alicante chef is self-taught, with a strong focus on Catalan and Valencian regional food. María often travels abroad, teaching her technique to eager audiences. The Michelin-star chef is an expert in saffron, and often called “The Queen of Saffron.” 

Juan Mari and Elena Arzak 

Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak are a father and daughter duo who are both renowned for their extraordinary gastronomic efforts in Spain. Juan Mari is a father of New Basque cuisine in Spain, with much of it “avant-garde” as he calls it. Raised in San Sébastien in a family of restaurant owners, Juan transformed his family’s historic restaurant into a Michelin-awarded destination. His daughter, Elena, trained under Juan, and she has earned the accolade "Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef” in 2012. This family is unstoppable! 

La Española Olive Oil is the Spanish olive oil that home cooks love. Browse the range at Coles Supermarkets across Australia.