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2012 Spain Michelin guide


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#1 jmoranmoya

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:06 PM

Hi, I did not see any topic about this in the forum of Spain, so here you go my thought about the 2012 Michelin stars.

On Thanksgiving day Michelin released the 2012 famous stars for the restaurants in Spain. This year, more than any year in the past, the guide demonstrates their different way to measure Spain vs other countries out there. Overall the guide does not reflect AT ALL the gastronomic culture in Spain.

It is hard to believe why restaurants like Mugaritz, Atrio, Calima or Quique Dacosta did not get their 3rd start. Or what about the new Albert Adria restaurant in Barcelona Tickets, they did not even get 1 star. What a joke!

Last year 2011 Micheline awarded to Spain with new 21 stars ( 4 second stars and 17 first new stars ) and they demoted 16 stars. A balance of plus 5. This year we moved from plus 5 to minus 1, thanks to 16 new stars ( 3 new second stars and 13 new first stars ) and the lost of 17.
Anyway I guess it is time for the Spanish cuisine to reinvent themselves - one more time -, after El Bulli closure and push to move to the next level. That being said it is hard to see how the guide judges in a different way other countries or cities ie: New York, where everybody and their mother get a Michelin start or 2 or 3...

List of Changes:

- New 2 stars:
  • Ábac (Barcelona)
  • El Club Allard (Madrid)
  • Diverxo (Madrid)
- New 1 star

  • Maralba (Almansa, Albacete),
  • Solana (Ampuero, Cantabria),
  • Rodrigo de la Calle (Aranjuez, Madrid),
  • Nerua (Bilbao, Bizkaia),
  • Choco (Córdoba),
  • Lillas Pastia (Huesca),
  • Casamar (Llafranc, Girona),
  • Es Fum (Palmanova, Mallorca),
  • Jardín (Port d'Alcúdia, Mallorca),
  • Annua (San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria),
  • Casa Marcelo (Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña)
  • Silabario (Tui, Pontevedra).
- BAD NEWS: Lose their 3 stars
  • ElBulli (Ferran Adrià, Roses) Closed
- BAD NEWS: From 3 to 2 stars

  • Can Fabes (Xavier Pellicer, Sant Celoni). His Chef died this year: Santi Santamaria. There is no doubt that with the new chef that took over the kitchen Xavier Pellicer, the 3rd start will be coming soon
- BAD NEWS: Lose their 2 stars

  • La Alquería (Rafa Zafra, Hacienda de Benazuza) Closed
- BAD NEW: Lose their 1 star

  • Koldo Miranda (Koldo Miranda, Avilés) Closed
  • Drolma (Fermí Puig, Barcelona) Closed
  • Lluçanès (Àngel Pasqual, Barcelona) Closed
  • A Rexidora (Javier González, Bentraces)
  • Gadus (Thierry Enderlin, Cala d’Or)
  • La Solana (Gonzalo Pañeda, Gijón)
  • La Broche (Ángel Palacios, Madrid) Closed
  • Café de París (José Carlos García, Málaga)
  • Tierra (Ismael Delgado, Torrico-Valdepalacios)
  • Ramiro’s (Ramiro Ruiz, Valladolid)
  • Ikea (Jose Ramon Berriozabal, Vitoria)


#2 Adrian

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:54 PM

Disclaimer: I haven't eaten at any of these restaurants but I find the Michelin rating process interesting.

Point: My girlfriend has a friend who makes excellent, very high end chocolates, mostly for corporate clients but also for Nota Bene. She's incredibly meticulous - on the constant lookout for "faults" in her chocolate. Faults are things like air bubbles and nicks, she finds them intolerable. They also have very little to do with how good her chocolates taste (although they taste great), but are an important point of pride in her craft. Michelin's strength, I think, lies in the fact that it's professionals judging food under a rigorous, objective-ish criteria that's been established over, literally, centuries. That criteria is mostly only applicable to heavily formalized French cooking hence Michelin's struggles outside of the French style.* That criteria is also not in perfect lock-step with what is most interesting or the best tasting, which puts Michelin out of step with lots of bloggers and critics.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#3 Orik

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:17 PM

Michelin has been underestimating traditional and regional Spanish food forever - I think it was three or four years ago when it took the last star away from any traditional place in Madrid. On the other hand, it overestimates French style high-end service, which is only possible in the Basque and Catalan area and becomes a joke when attempted in the rest of Spain (except, of course, if Sara Fort is taking good care of you, and even then...)

The end result, other than the guide being ridiculously inadequate for Madrid, is that only smoke and mirror type places that have nothing to do with Spanish cuisine get promoted, the only exception being Can Fabes (at least in Santamaria times, haven't been since his death) that does relate to traditional cuisine but gets the French service just right (and the hotel rooms are close to my dream apartment)
I never said that

#4 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:35 PM

of course of course but

It is hard to believe why restaurants like Mugaritz, Atrio, Calima or Quique Dacosta did not get their 3rd start. Or what about the new Albert Adria restaurant in Barcelona Tickets, they did not even get 1 star. What a joke!


isn't a commentary on the undervaluation of traditional spanish food.
Why not mayo?

#5 Orik

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:51 PM

I realize the complaint is about an overall sense of righteous indignation about the snotty French underestimation of Spanish restaurants, but I think whether Mugaritz gets two stars and not three for some random reason* is less of an indication that Michelin aren't doing their job than the fact that the aggregate of starred places creates a very distorted picture of Spanish gastronomy.




* probably, as Adrian points out, assigning too much weight to some irrelevant imperfections - but then these places signed up for being evaluated this way)
I never said that

#6 Adrian

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:57 PM

* probably, as Adrian points out, assigning too much weight to some irrelevant imperfections - but then these places signed up for being evaluated this way)


Although I would say "arcane" more than "irrelevant". I think that kind of technical proficiency is very important to some, especially the French, and on some level Michelin views themselves as the guardians of that. Think about the MOF and the Bocuse D'Or as well.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#7 Orik

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:43 PM


* probably, as Adrian points out, assigning too much weight to some irrelevant imperfections - but then these places signed up for being evaluated this way)


Although I would say "arcane" more than "irrelevant". I think that kind of technical proficiency is very important to some, especially the French, and on some level Michelin views themselves as the guardians of that. Think about the MOF and the Bocuse D'Or as well.


That's part of it, but then it's hard to say that the kitchen at Mugaritz is not technically proficient. I think the irrelevant bits have to do with a certain set of expectations of how a restaurant should behave that cannot be met in most of Spain.

For example I wouldn't be making too much of an overstatement if I said that nearly any Spanish fish restaurant along the northern coast cooks fish more proficiently than almost any French fish restaurant and that their fish are almost universally better. Yet Michelin won't give them stars because... well, it's hard to put your finger on why exactly they won't do that.
I never said that

#8 Adrian

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:51 PM

Yes and unlike me you actually know what your talking about. My point, which I think you touch on by calling it irrelevant, is that Michelin *may* be looking for compliance with a set of formal technical criteria that are partially irrelevant for a restaurant like Mugaritz, or Michelin lacks the proper set of criteria to apply to a Mugaritz. Michelin is just more capable of evaluating Bocuse than Mugaritz.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#9 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:08 PM

Is my impression correct that the Japan guide is more open to handing out stars to traditional places than they are in Spain for example?
Why not mayo?

#10 prasantrin

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:19 AM

Is my impression correct that the Japan guide is more open to handing out stars to traditional places than they are in Spain for example?


Perhaps. But it's possible the judges for the Spain guide are primarily French (and so they may not "understand" or appreciate traditional Spanish places), whereas as I understand it, most of the judges for the Japan guides are Japanese (who understand and appreciate traditional Japanese places)

#11 jmoranmoya

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 05:51 PM


Is my impression correct that the Japan guide is more open to handing out stars to traditional places than they are in Spain for example?


Perhaps. But it's possible the judges for the Spain guide are primarily French (and so they may not "understand" or appreciate traditional Spanish places), whereas as I understand it, most of the judges for the Japan guides are Japanese (who understand and appreciate traditional Japanese places)

Hard to believe and really frustrating but the head of Michelin guide in Spain is a Spanish guy: Benito Lamas.
Anyway it will be interesting to understand why Mugaritz is not a 3 stars restaurant. After being this year in Arzak, Mugaritz and 11MP in almost the same month, I can not imagine ANY reason why Mugaritz has not been promoted

Other topic is why the traditional Spanish cuisine is not awarded, and too be honest I think it is a French HATE. Anyway there are other guides to cover those restaurants better than the red guide.

#12 Orik

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:53 PM

Hard to believe and really frustrating but the head of Michelin guide in Spain is a Spanish guy: Benito Lamas.
Anyway it will be interesting to understand why Mugaritz is not a 3 stars restaurant. After being this year in Arzak, Mugaritz and 11MP in almost the same month, I can not imagine ANY reason why Mugaritz has not been promoted


I think there's nothing more foreign to the French three star concept than telling you how many minutes your meal will take, for example.
I never said that

#13 jmoranmoya

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:32 PM


Hard to believe and really frustrating but the head of Michelin guide in Spain is a Spanish guy: Benito Lamas.
Anyway it will be interesting to understand why Mugaritz is not a 3 stars restaurant. After being this year in Arzak, Mugaritz and 11MP in almost the same month, I can not imagine ANY reason why Mugaritz has not been promoted


I think there's nothing more foreign to the French three star concept than telling you how many minutes your meal will take, for example.

Orik that's a good point. I have to say that the lack of menu in Mugaritz and having only two envelopes with the time is a little bit different from any other 3 stars restaurant.
Good point!

#14 jmoranmoya

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:56 AM



Hard to believe and really frustrating but the head of Michelin guide in Spain is a Spanish guy: Benito Lamas.
Anyway it will be interesting to understand why Mugaritz is not a 3 stars restaurant. After being this year in Arzak, Mugaritz and 11MP in almost the same month, I can not imagine ANY reason why Mugaritz has not been promoted


I think there's nothing more foreign to the French three star concept than telling you how many minutes your meal will take, for example.

Orik that's a good point. I have to say that the lack of menu in Mugaritz and having only two envelopes with the time is a little bit different from any other 3 stars restaurant.
Good point!


One more thing, I added a note in my blog about traditional Madrid Restaurants. If you visit Spain I would not recommend you to follow only the Micheline guide. Specially if you want to discover traditional and cool emerging places there is an other guide for you: The Repsol guide.

The 2012 Repsol guide was release just a few weeks in San Sebastian Grastronomika and it uses Suns ( Soles ), instead of Stars ( Estrellas ). There are more Soles than Estrellas, and in my opinion reflects the Spanish gastronomy in a more accurate way.

What is more the Repsol guide is available in iPad and iPhone version for free, and via web at http://www.guiarepso...es/gastronomia/

This year 3 new restaurants were awarded with the maximun award, 3 soles:

‘Arrop’ (Valencia), de Ricard Camarena.
‘Nerua’ (Bilbao), de Josean Alija;
‘Ramón Freixa’ (Madrid), de Ramón Freixa,
I'm specially happy about Ricard and Arrop, that we visited at the beginning of 2011 and was one of the highlight of the year with their Arroz de caracoles sin caracoles or this beautiful dessert:



So remember if you plan a visit to Spain, make sure you have this Repsol application handy if you want to discover the most interesting part of the Spanish gastronomy,

Here you can find all the Restaurants in Madrid, where I used to live, with a Sun, most of them would have at least 1 start if they were outside of Spain.:

MADRID
DIVERXO (Madrid) 3 SOLES
LA TERRAZA DEL CASINO (Madrid) 3 SOLES
RAMON FREIXA (Madrid) 3 SOLES
SANTCELONI (Madrid) 3 SOLES
SERGI AROLA GASTRO (Madrid) 3 SOLES
ASTRID & GASTÓN 2 SOLES
CASA JOSÉ (Aranjuez) 2 SOLES
COQUE (Humanes) 2 SOLES
EL BODEGÓN (Madrid) 2 SOLES
EL CLUB ALLARD (Madrid) 2 SOLES
EL OSO (Madrid) 2 SOLES
GOIZEKO WELLINGTON (Madrid) 2 SOLES
HORCHER (Madrid) 2 SOLES
KABUKI WELLINGTON (Madrid) 2 SOLES
LA TASQUITA DE ENFRENTE (Madrid) 2 SOLES
O'PAZO (Madrid) 2 SOLES
RODRIGO DE LA CALLE (Aranjuez) 2 SOLES
RUBAIYAT (BABY BEEF) (Madrid) 2 SOLES
SACHA (Botillería y Fogón) (Madrid) 2 SOLES
VIRIDIANA (Madrid) 2 SOLES
ZALACAÍN (Madrid) 2 SOLES
ALDABA (Madrid) 1 SOL
ARCE (Madrid) 1 SOL
ARS VIVENDI (Majadahonda) 1 SOL
ARZÁBAL (Madrid) 1 SOL
ASIANA (Madrid) 1 SOL
CASA D'A TROYA (Madrid) 1 SOL
CASA LUCIO (Madrid) 1 SOL
CHIRÓN (Valdemoro) 1 SOL
DANTXARI (Madrid) 1 SOL
LAVINIA (Madrid) 1 SOL
MANZONI (La Moraleja) 1 SOL
NIKKEI 225 (Madrid) 1 SOL
NODO (Madrid) 1 SOL
99 SUSHI BAR (Madrid) 1 SOL
PEDRO LARUMBE (Madrid) 1 SOL
PIÑERA (Madrid) 1 SOL
RAFA (Madrid) 1 SOL
REALCAFÉ BERNABÉU (Madrid) 1 SOL
SANTO TOMÁS (Alcalá de Henares) 1 SOL
SANXENXO (Madrid) 1 SOL
SUDESTADA (Madrid) 1 SOL
TABERNA GAZTELUPE (Madrid) 1 SOL
TÁMARA - LORENZO (Madrid) 1 SOL
TEATRO REAL (Madrid) 1 SOL
VIAVÉLEZ PUERTO (Madrid) 1 SOL
EL PARAGUAS (Madrid) 1 SOL
EL PESCADOR (Madrid) 1 SOL
DON GIOVANNI (Madrid) 1 SOL
ARS VIVENDI (Majadahonda) 1 SOL
EL CHAFLÁN (Madrid) 1 SOL
EL CENADOR DE SALVADOR (Moralzarzal) 1 SOL
EL MESÓN DE DOÑA FILO (Colmenar del Arroyo) 1 SOL
EUROPA DECÓ (Madrid) 1 SOL
GOYA (Madrid) 1 SOL
JOCKEY (Madrid) 1 SOL
LA BIBLIOTECA DE SANTO MAURO (Madrid) 1 SOL
LA BROCHE (Madrid) 1 SOL
LA DORADA (Madrid) 1 SOL
LA MANDUCA DE AZAGRA (Madrid) 1 SOL
LA MÁQUINA DE LA MORALEJA (La Moraleja) 1 SOL
LA PALOMA (Madrid) 1 SOL

#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

I link this for general hilarity.


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