Creative dining experience from one of Spain's most innovative chefs
Creative mind: Andoni Luis Aduriz, simply known as Andoni, is considered by many observers to be the natural heir to the title of Spain’s most pioneering chef after Ferran Adrià. Treating Mugaritz as a research lab, he encourages innovation and creativity in all of his staff.
How does it play out? A meal takes place over 20 courses – several of them, if the weather is clement, served in the gorgeously appointed gardens around the restaurant. Basque cuisine often combines elements of the mountains and the sea, and so it is at Mugaritz where the menu might roam from lettuce hearts with chorizo and house-cured salmon bonbon, via aged mole leaves and bone marrow presented in a book, to tigernut ice cream with fresh fried rice.
What’s the vibe: One of the greatest things about Mugaritz is the sense of play, whether it’s the waiters throwing a curve-ball for the wine lovers at the table with a mystery bottle (a well-aged rosé from Lebanon’s Chateau Musar, perhaps), or the presentation of chocolate petit fours in stacked oak boxes designed to allude to the seven deadly sins.
Bonus point: In summer 2018, Mugaritz is hosting the first-ever winner of a 50 Best BBVA Scholaship, aspiring Taiwanese chef Jessie Liu.
Portrait: Alex Iturralde; images: Jose Luis López de Zubiria