Wed. Feb 26th, 2020

I want to walk while half the world eats my cherry gazpacho

He said goodbye last night from the top of the haute cuisine, with three Michelin stars to his credit, without tears or regret, because he would do it "50 times without hesitation." Dani García, the Malaga who has made history in gastronomy, now wants to "feed thousands instead of hundreds."

For the last dinner of Dani García Restaurant in Marbella (Málaga), just one year after getting the coveted third star, his chef surrounded himself with his friends by profession. There were Ferran Adrià, "beacon of a generation that gave everything for nothing"; Joan Roca, Quique Dacosta, Ramón Freixa, Paco Roncero, Josean Alija, Toño Pérez, Pedro Sánchez …

More than 40 Michelin stars gathered at the tables of a restaurant that last night closed a trajectory of more than two decades of sacrifices and satisfactions devoted to haute cuisine. Because Dani García (Marbella, Málaga, 1975) faces a new stage that will lead him to open in 2020 "between five and ten restaurants inside and outside Spain", with the illusion of "feeding thousands instead of hundreds" .

"My dream from now on is to be on a Sunday strolling through Marbella knowing that half the world is eating my cherry gazpacho or my brioche de rabo toro", assures Efe the cook, in reference to two of his most popular creations.

This Monday begins the works to turn Dani García Restaurant into the 'steak house' Leña, a sector "that is not very covered in freshness and modernity" and that in its version will go "beyond the sirloin" to offer chickens, ducks and rabbits roasts, skewers like tapas and smoked meats like brisket.

His 'Andalusian brasserie' BiBo, present in Marbella and Madrid, is also about to open in Doha; in May 2020, it will inaugurate its exclusive brand for the chain at the Four Seasons hotel in Madrid Dani's; It has three headquarters in Lobito de Mar and has its sights set on New York, Bahamas and Paris. "They are offering us many places and we are studying them; we have discarded many," he says.

He wants to "grow with other brands", as a "revolutionary concept of 'fast food'" that he will develop in New York but which, like everything he dreams and does, will have "Andalusian connotations," he says without wanting to specify more.

That is why he defends that his project to change haute cuisine for models that bring the cuisine of his region around the world at affordable prices "is not a chimera" and feels supported by his family and his colleagues, who applauded him last night and They even kept him before tasting the Madre menu, a journey through a trajectory that began in Tragabuches, continued in Calima and culminates, as far as this field is concerned, in Dani García.

He put on the table, helped by chefs and waiters who have accompanied him at different times of his career, iconic dishes such as nitro tomato or frozen semolina with olive oil (fruit of his innovative work with liquid nitrogen), yogurt foie (one of his tributes to his admired Joël Robuchon) or the Malaga ajoblanco with herring roe, a 1998 dish with which he began to raise Andalusian cold soups to haute cuisine.

The dessert, Andalusian freshness, personally served the two people who have marked him most in his career: his mother and Ferran Adrià, who shared a table.

But he has not only had successes in his career. Gone are left bumps like Manzanilla in New York: "The worst of these years has been on the verge of chaos for giving everything; the dramatic part of a restaurant is to fight to the death for a dream and go wrong, achieve professional success but not business. "

After learning "with the years and the hosts", to ask "why does the ego exist in a profession that consists of working for others", the Marbellí feels "happy" to close a stage in which he renounces "everything "What he wanted to undertake" a much greater dream ": to build a hotel emporium to take Spanish and Andalusian cuisine around the world and have free time.

"You can be a cook in many ways and I now want to cook for the whole world with the same enthusiasm as when I started but with the experience of 20 years in haute cuisine," he says convinced.

He speaks with real enthusiasm about his project to export Spanish cuisine around the world. "Taking the products of my country around the world, as José Andrés does – the successful Asturian chef based in the US – seems wonderful to me. The world needs 300 level chefs creating Marca España out there."

His colleagues by profession no longer see the closure of his 'triestrellado' restaurant as crazy. "I have explained it and now it is different. This is something very personal, mine and my circumstances and I do not do it to open a path by which they have to follow me, but it is true that I have had the courage to be the first , because there are more people who think about it and this removes consciences. "

He will continue with his cooking program "Make lunch" in La 1 and embark on a multitude of hospitality projects, but he will have "freedom" to travel, walk, share time with his family without having to "look at restaurant reservations".

Pilar Salas

. (tagsToTranslate) Dani (t) Garcia (t) I want (t) gazpacho (t) cherries

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