Fish, meat, vegetables, mushrooms, dried fruits, cheese, cured meats, wines, oil… Catalonia is a land of farming and fishing industry, of agriculture, rich and diverse in food and wines, certainly with a strong cuisine tradition. In addition to all this, there is a recent interest for innovation and experimentation in cuisine, which started a few years ago by the internationally renowned chef Ferran Adrià. He placed catalan cuisine in the spotlight of the world of gastronomy.
Some of the best chefs in Catalonia started their career at El Bulli, the restaurant of Ferran Adrià, who laid the foundations of the author cuisine in Catalonia. In El Bulli they learned and grew up as creative cooks who afterwards opened their own restaurants, spreading an exceptional cuisine throughout the country. Maintaining high standards in quality and creativity, many restaurants in Catalonia are currently starred 1, 2 or 3 Michelin Stars. Having dinner in one of these restaurants is not just eating, it is an exquisite experience to be lived with all your five senses. Every dish is a surprise, a creation of color, texture and flavour which does not leave anyone indifferent.
Michelin Stars are considered the Oscars of gastronomy, the most prestigious award for a restaurant, considering the selection of products, creativity, flavours, the precision in cooking, the price-quality ratio and consistency, as well as the excellence in the dining-room service. The best restaurants are rated from one to three stars, one star meaning it is a very good restaurant in its category and three stars identifying restaurants with an exceptional cuisine, worth a special trip to experience a meal there.
In Catalonia, there are two restaurants starred 3 Michelin Stars: El Celler de Can Roca in Girona and Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar. These are exceptional restaurants that offer an author cuisine that is a result of continued experimentation, innovation and the meticulous study of flavors, scents, textures and colors of food combined and synthesized in kitchen labs. El Celler de Can Roca has also been awarded the World’s Best Restaurant twice, in 2013 and 2015.
Michelin Stars restaurants embody the excellence in cuisine, a pursuit that evolves from the well-rooted Catalan cuisine. Most of Catalan people love good cuisine and enjoy bringing out the best of fresh and quality products harvested, fished or produced locally. In general people, including young people as well, like to cook and experiment in the kitchen. Fresh food is easily available thanks to the network of public markets, where product quality is paramount -another hallmark of Catalan culture and lifestyle.
Catalan culture is in many aspects defined by its wines and its cuisine. You can discover it enjoying an exceptional gastronomic experience in one of the many starred restaurants or also by strolling along one of the food markets, having a food taste in a typical Catalan food restaurant or tasting some of the local products in these fairs that usually take place on the weekends in many streets and squares around Catalonia.