Restaurant by former El Bulli chefs named the One to Watch
Disfrutar in Barcelona – a collaboration between three former El Bulli chefs – has been named this year’s Miele One To Watch by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants program.
Opened in December 2014, Disfrutar is operated by chefs Mateu Casaas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch. The three met while cooking at the former number one restaurant on the World’s 50 Best list, El Bulli by Ferran Adri.
The Miele One To Watch Award celebrates emerging global talent and recognises a restaurant that is outside the 50 Best itself but has the potential to rise up the list in the near future.
Disfrutar’s founders will be presented with the award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Melbourne on 5 April.
William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said “Disfrutar showcases the individual talents of these three chefs and broadens their influence on Spain’s culinary scene. Their commitment to pushing the creative boundaries of gastronomy makes them worthy winners of the Miele One To Watch Award.”
Following El Bulli’s 2011 closure, Casaas, Castro and Xatruch opened Compartir (meaning “share”) in the nearby coastal town of Cadaqus. Building on the success of their initial venture, the trio launched Disfrutar (meaning “to enjoy”) to widespread acclaim, and earned their first Michelin star in 2016.
Centrally located in Barcelona’s Eixample district, Disfrutar’s multi-course tasting menus are described as avant-garde, theatrical and inventive. Signature dishes include macaroni made from gelatin, tossed in truffle foam and smothered in Parmesan at the table. A deconstructed whisky tart invites guests to wash their hands in whisky and inhale the scent as they eat.
Eduard Xatruch said “Being named this year’s winners of the Miele One To Watch Award is a huge recognition of our collective work. In addition, this award helps Disfrutar, which is a very young project, to become established and obviously encourages us to continue working and challenging ourselves.”
Former One To Watch winners including Den in Tokyo (2016), Sepia in Sydney (2015), Saison in San Francisco (2014) and The Tasting Kitchen in Cape Town (2013).
Other awards have been announced in the lead up to next month’s gala event in Melbourne, including the crowning of Ana Ro of Hia Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia, as The World’s Best Female Chef and the presentation of the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to Heston Blumental.