Dani Garcia is without any doubt one of the most influential chefs in Spain and the world. He was born in Marbella and when he was 18 he started at La Consula Catering School in Malaga. He has received as many awards as stars. In 1996 he started working for Martin Berasategui, and already in 2000 he got his first star at his restaurant Tragabuches. In 2005 he moved back to Marbella and opened La Calima which received 2 stars. In 2014 he moved the restaurant and it then opened up under his own name, Dani Garcia. There he currently has 3 stars. One month after receiving the 3rd star, however, he chocked the world by announcing that he would close his Michelin restaurant. I met Dani during San Sebastian Gastronomika and asked him some questions:
The most exciting thing about starting up outside Spain?
-It is a result of a lot of different aspects, I want to take everything I know about the culture, the food, Andalusia and Spain and show the whole world what I know about it. I want to take all my brands all over the world!
When will you open your first restaurant outside of Spain?
-The first one I will open outside of Spain is my BiBo, which already is located in three different places in Spain. I will open up soon in Doha, Qatar. I hope to open at more locations within a year in Miami, New York, Paris … We are working with different contracts right now and it is very exciting. I am also very curious about Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong. We look at how the cities are structured and do not say yes to all the proposals we get. I’m really investigating the city and if my concept would work in that place. We have, for example, looked at Dubai many times, but we haven’t found a good location. I really like Singapore, so we’ll see.
Have you already decided how the concept should be in the new countries?
-It’s really fun to come up with new concepts, I like the opportunity to work on developing new concepts. One of the most fun things with opening up new paces is to set the concept. To go to a restaurant is not just about food. It is a social thing, it should be fun, the music is important the whole concept of everything is really important to succeed. I am a chef, but I am working on becoming something more. To build a global chain with different types of restaurants.
How do you look at the fine dining scene of the future?
-I think it will change to become more smaller fine dining restaurants. A bit like exclusive sushi places in Japan. I can for example have 90-100 guests a day, and it can be very difficult for example to find good scampi for so many people. Making such food for smaller groups is much easier because I can find enough of really good ingredients for them then.
Which is the best restaurant you’ve been to?
-There are many good restaurants in the world, such as Can Roca, El Bulli and Noma. I haven’t been to Sweden.
What is the most exciting dining experience you have had?
– El Bulli, I was there between 15-20 times. And every time it was absolutely amazing!
Interview and photo by Malin Nordblom
The interview was first published in Swedish at www.gourmet.se
Text and photo Malin Nordblom
Fab Foodie Swede
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