The ‘starlets’ Arzak and Aponiente reopen in early July



The three oldest Michelin stars in Spain, Arzak (San Sebastián), and one of the most innovative for their research on the sea, Aponiente (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz), will reopen on July 1 and 2, respectively, after the break caused by COVID-19.

“Full of enthusiasm and eager to see our suppliers, customers and friends.” This will return to activity on July 1 -when, if the evolution of the pandemic allows it, Spain will be fully in the “new normal” – Arzak, the Spanish restaurant that for more years holds the highest rating in the Michelin Guide since that the third be achieved in 1989.

With the reservations already available on her website, Elena Arzak will once again take the reins of this centennial restaurant with her R&D team at the forefront but still under the watchful eye of her father, Juan Mari Arzak, one of the authors of the New Basque Cuisine, who, according to what her daughter has told on social networks, has remained “totally active and always thinking of cooking” during the confinement.

With all the hygiene and sanitation measures required by the Administration, but without losing its essence, one of the most emblematic restaurants in San Sebastián, Spain and Europe will reopen its doors.

Ángel León has also announced this Tuesday in Gastronomika Live, an ‘online’ aperitif of the San Sebastián Gastronomika congress to be held in October, which reopens its Aponiente ‘three-star’ on July 2, the only one with this distinction in Andalusia.

And it will also maintain its culinary philosophy. “I do not want to reinvent myself, I have spent my whole life working to be where I am and to do what I do,” said León, who resists alternative formulas such as René Redzepi, who reopens what was considered the Best Restaurant in the World, Noma (Copenhagen), away from his haute cuisine project and converted into a “hamburger and wine bar”, at least temporarily.

“Everything is conservative now and I do not want to fall into the obvious of everyone doing the same,” said León, who hopes to cover 60% of his foreign clientele with national diners.

Busy with his research team, led by David Chamorro, in offering new marine ingredients, Aponiente will continue to open the sea pantry to a public that León expects to be more “sensitive” to the environment due to the pandemic.

“What I hope this 2020 is that the Aponiente ship does not sink, that we can save all my crew and that we are reborn in 2021 doing what the body asks of me. Because whoever makes the best grill or the best potato omelette should keep doing the same thing, we don’t have to go crazy reinventing ourselves “, has claimed who from July will bring new diners such as sea honey and other proposals that” will not be seen in any restaurant in the world “.

There will also be no changes in the menu, although there will be changes in the operation of La Taberna del Chef del Mar, which occupies the original place of Aponiente in El Puerto de Santa María and offered 250 services a day before the closure of the coronavirus.

To respect the safety distances, León plans to establish three shifts of 30 people and transform the tavern environment into a “hippie semi-gastronomic”.

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