He is one of Spain’s best-loved and most highly lauded chefs. Quique Dacosta, born and raised in Jarandilla de la Vera, is the founder of an eponymous restaurant in Dénia, Alicante. This establishment has garnered an enviable three Michelin stars. Also and a reputation for cuisine that blends vision and tradition to perfection.


A Self-Taught Star

One of the most striking things about this chef is that he is entirely self-taught. Curious and passionate about food since his youth, he recalls discussing this profession when he was young with his mother. Sacrifice, she warned him was necessary for a life dedicated to food. “Cooking transports you to places, it embraces you, it gives and takes away in equal measures. But it seduces you, enamours you and when you wake up there is no turning back. You get caught in its grasp.”

A Personal Philosophy

Quique decided to put all his time and effort into being a chef in 1986 (at El Poblet, now Quique Dacosta restaurant). Back then, all he wanted was “to make a living in a simple way. To run a humble, artisanal business; to give our clients food and drink. Ultimately, to feed the soul as well as provide fuel for the body.” Many days have passed since then but, he says that his team’s ideology remains the same. “Our territory is our signature; tradition and memory lend us stability and authenticity. The table is the best place to express identity.”

Awarded for Excellence

In 2012/2013, Quique Dacosta’s restaurant received three stars from the Michelin Guide. It has featured consistently in Restaurant Magazine’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. It was also named Best Restaurant in Europe (2012 and 2013) in the prestigious list, Opinionated About Dining, by Steve Plotnicki. In addition, in 2013, he received Doctor Honoris Causa in Fine Arts by the University Miguel Hernández. These are just a tiny representation of the many awards garnered by Quique and his team.

Without a doubt, one of the most memorable things the Chef has done is the excellent Amazon Prime special Una Vida, Una Cena. This was his biggest challenge yet. Expressing (through food) the memories of six of Spain’s most famous celebrities/artists/athletes. The list includes Najwa Nimri, Inma Cuesta, José María Manzanares, Garbiñe Muguruza, Andrés Velencoso. As well as multi-Grammy-award winner, Alejandro Sanz.

A Career in Ascent

From July 1, the restaurant decided to offer diners one (and only one) menu, called Quique Dacosta Restaurante XX–XX. He hopes “to reconstruct and relive memories which, owing to the passage of time and to the current state of affairs, have taken on an incalculable beauty.” Quique wishes to embrace the sense of appreciation – a value he has held close to his heart for 30 years. “Produce always takes prime value, as does the territory of its source.”

Clearly the chef is keeping busy in many other realms aside from running a successful restaurant. He recently designed a line of domestic kitchens alongside Porcelanosa. As well as that he features in the latest campaign by Swiss watchmakers, Breitling.

He has also published De Tapas con Quique Dacosta, which features 80 recipes of his own creation. Quique is additionally an ambassador for Acción contra el Hambre.

Finally, he has launched ArrosQD – an innovative concept in the heart of London. He is also the owner of three more establishments. Michelin star El Poblet, Llisa Negra, Vuelve Carolina, and Mercatbar in Valencia.



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