Michelin inspectors showed Spain a lot of love this year, adding two more restaurants to the exclusive three-starred club to give the country a total of seven triple-garlanded dining destinations.
In total, 21 restaurants in Spain and Portugal saw their star status rise in the 2013 edition of The Michelin Guide Spain & Portugal.
In addition to two more three-starred restaurants, another two eateries were awarded two stars, while chefs at 17 restaurants also succeeded in scoring their first star.
Azurmendi in Spain’s Basque country received its third star this year, where chef Eneko Atxa serves up “distinctive, creative, well-balanced cuisine with authentic flavors,” Michelin said.
Quique Dacosta in Alicante was also promoted into the three-star club, for its “inventive, original cooking that constantly makes innovative use of textures” while specializing in the region’s culinary style.
Spainish gastronomy owns bragging rights to being the birthplace of some of the world’s most innovative, avant-garde cuisine, such as molecular gastronomy, largely perpetuated by chef Ferran Adrià of the now-shuttered El Bulli, which for years was named the best in the world according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The restaurant, however, has closed down until February of next year for a major overhaul.