Xiquet, First Michelin Star Valencian Restaurant in US
US-based Chef Danny Lledó is making waves in Washington, DC with his delicious rices. In fact, his restaurant, Xiquet, recently received its first Michelin star and it’s the first Valencian restaurant is the US to do so. Although Danny was born in Maryland, his roots are Spanish as his family comes from Denia, which may be the reason he has such a knack for preparing mouthwatering paellas. Danny sources many of the ingredients from Spain, including olive oil, saffron, and sea cucumbers, and obtains the rest from local providers. Xiquet has only been open for a year and it’s a small venue, accommodating just 30 people, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a stellar impression with its 14-course experience. In fact, there’s a 6-to-8 week waiting list to get a table on the weekend.
Incredibly, Danny studied finance and did not attend culinary school, but he did have the chance to work at some of the leading Spanish restaurants in the US, among them Minibar, Jaleo, Taberna del Alabardero, and Sobrino de Botín.
His experience and talent have allowed him to take home several distinctions, including honorable mention at the International Paella Competition held in Sueca, Valencia, where he represented the US in 2019.
Danny has other ideas up his sleeve, such as offering cooking classes over Zoom and teaching people how to make paella, among other dishes, and he also has his sights set on a second Michelin star.