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A New Look for Andalusian Cuisine

Dani García


Dani García (Marbella, 1976) studied at the La Cónsula Hospitality School in Málaga and was another of the apprentices of Martín Berasategui who were quick to become leading stars on the Spanish culinary scene. Today, together with José Carlos García (El Café de París in Málaga) and Ángel León (Aponiente in El Puerto de Santamaría), he leads the way for new Andalusian cuisine.

The key to many of his creations is that he brings out their Andalusian essence using tons of imagination, not to mention scientific techniques. Dani García first attracted media attention when he took over the kitchen at the Tragabuches restaurant in the spectacular mountain town of Ronda (Málaga) and demonstrated his interest in culinary innovation.

In 2004, he was taken on by the Meliá hotel group to set up the Calima restaurant in Marbella (Málaga). There, in collaboration with Raimundo García del Moral, Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Granada, Dani was the first to develop the culinary use of liquid nitrogen at -196ºC (-303ºF). For a time he was the only European chef, apart from Blumenthal and Adrià, to use the properties of nitrogen in cuisine. Some examples of this innovative technique are his 'Frozen raff tomato popcorn with raw Motril baby shrimp', and 'Cold olive oil semolina with ham and croutons'.

Another of his discoveries was that certain marine species such as red mullet or sole, when submerged in olive oil at 170ºC (338ºF), swell up like balloons while the skin becomes crisp and the flesh cooks gently in steam. Other fields of study include how to use olive oil at -15ºC (5ºF). and new ways with cuts of Ibérico pork.

Frying, extra virgin olive oil, Ibérico pork – Dani is a great believer in the potential of the traditional Andalusian products and recipes. Another clear example are cold soups, one of the bastions of Andalusian cuisine, but going beyond the legendary gazpacho and ajoblanco (a cold soup made of garlic and almonds). This chef not only respects tradition but renews it and gives it added appeal.

In early 2008, Dani García took charge of the Meliá hotel bars and restaurants named Uno by Dani García. The first was opened in Madrid and offered international cuisine with an Andalusian and avant-garde slant. Two events of importance for his career took place in mid-2008. His Calima restaurant re-opened after thorough structural alterations expanding both kitchen and dining area, and Dani announced his personal culinary concept called 'Cocinacontradición', which brings together classic flavors and contemporary preparations.

His relationship with Calima restaurant finished in 2013 and in 2014 Dani García started a new time managing the kitchen of a restaurant in Marbella, called Dani García Restaurant and located in Puente Romano Beach Resort Marbella. He received the third Michelin Star in 2018, and some months later he decided to close its Michelin-starred restaurant.

Dani García also has a passion for tapas and informal food, as a visit to Bibo Andalusian Brasserie & Tapas by Dani García, located also in Marbella and in Madrid. Among other delicacies, Bibo offers refreshing cold soups, the best cuts of tuna brought directly from the Almadraba of Barbate, salads with organic vegetables from its own garden, and a wide range of tapas and dishes that wonder through the one thousand and one geographies of Dani García.

At the end of 2018 he announced he will be the culinary force behind the new Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, which is set to open in Madrid in 2020-2021. García has been tapped to open an elegant brasserie-type eatery that will fall somewhere between the innovative gastronomic offering of his acclaimed Marbella restaurant, and his more casual, but dynamic Madrid restaurant, BiBO.

In June 2020 Spanish Chef Dani García announced he was taking his cooking to New York City again. The world famous previously ran Manzanilla restaurant in the Big Apple as well as his eponymous 3 Michelin star restaurant Dani García in Marbella, on Spain’s southern coast, though both closed their doors. He has a few projects in the works at the moment. The first is called Casa Dani, a fine dining restaurant and the other venture is Minük, a fast-casual venue. Both will open in a new 40,000-square-foot culinary space called Citizens, slated to open by the end of the year. Both restaurants will “specialize in Mediterranean flavor with a Spanish flair,” according to fastcasual.com. García has ambitious plans for both dining concepts in the future: he’d like to open 15 Casa Dani and up to 100 Minüks over the next five years. For this project, he and his group will partner with Culinary Collectives Communities (C3) and Sam Nazarian.

  • En la Cocina de mi Madre (Ediciones B, 2013)
  • Las Tapas de Dani García (Everest, 2012)
  • Cocina Contradición (Everest, 2010)
  • Dani García. Técnica y Contrastes (Montagud, 2004)
  • La Cocina de Tragabuches (Tragabuches, 2001)
  • 2015 Andalusian Gastronomy Academy Award
  • 2008 Pastry chef of the Year in Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía Congress
  • 2008 Best Dish of the Year in Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía Congress
  • 2008 Silver Medal, Diputación de Málaga
  • 2006 Chef L'Avenir 2006, Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie Gastronomy
  • 2006 Best Chef, Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía
  • 2005 Best Conceptual or Technical Innovation, Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía
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