Oct 27 2023

Rodrigo de la Calle’s Restaurant, El Invernadero, 2nd at We’re Smart Awards

 Chef Begoña Rodrigo, the chef behind La Salita, in Valencia, was named Europe’s Best Vegetable Chef at the awards ceremony

The 2023 We’re Smart Awards were recently held in Brussels, celebrating the world’s very best vegetable restaurants. Spanish restaurants did exceptionally well, a testament to chefs’ creativity and commitment to vegetable cuisine.

Two Spanish restaurants made it into the ranking’s top 10: El Invernadero, by Rodrigo de la Calle, ranked second, and Ricard Camarena’s eponymous restaurant ranked seventh. Other restaurants such as Virens came in 22nd, Gat Blau ranked 48th, and La Aquarela 79th.

Rodrigo de la Calle's cooking style is characterized by a deep appreciation for vegetables, a commitment to sustainability, and a dedication to using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. His innovative and conscious approach to cuisine has earned him accolades and recognition, making him a prominent figure in the world of vegetable-based and sustainable gastronomy.

As part of the Discovery Awards, where three restaurants in each country compete for the distinction, Chef Begoña Rodrigo took home the honor. She’s the driving force behind La Salita, in Valencia, which also ranked 16th on the list.

Additionally, Xavier Pellicer’s restaurant Healthy Kitchen is ranked as “Untouchable,” as it had previously been ranked number one for two consecutive years and “now [serves] as [a] textbook example for other restaurants to emulate.”

The Top 100 list is part of the We’re Smart Green Guide, a gourmet guide that offers reviews of more than 1000 restaurants across 50 countries. The restaurants are ranked between 1 and 5 radishes, depending on how they use fruits and vegetables in their dishes. Those with a perfect radish score are to be pioneers of fruit and vegetable gastronomy.