It had always been his dream to open his own restaurant. And as soon as he graduated, Israel Ramos took the leap, and it was the right decision. Now, he runs a Michelin-starred restaurant in Jerez, named Mantua. The key to his success? Serving traditional dishes that transport people back to their grandma’s recipes, but with a surprising twist. However, his main focus is not on the dishes, but on the hospitality and the overall guest experience. Every detail counts, and with that in mind, Ramos has been running his restaurant for four years now. We headed to Jerez for an interesting chat with the chef and founder of Mantua.
Rarely has a restaurant location felt so fairytale-esque as the setting that surrounds El Lago restaurant in Marbella. Established in 1999, the Greenlife Golf Clubhouse in the heart of Elviria Hills is an idyllic place. From the start of their adventure, they have sought their own path, one based on an authentic, intimate and seasonal culinary discourse, where the main goal is to build a close rapport with a great team comprising artisan producers from the surrounding area. This commitment to the regional cuisine of Malaga and wider Andalusia, combining local top-quality produce and creativity, characterises the place. As the cherry on the cake, the restaurant was the first haute cuisine restaurant in Andalusia to be awarded the Km0 certificate by the international Slow Food organisation, which honours restaurants who only use ingredients cultivated within a radius of 100 km. El Lago also obtained a Michelin star in 2005.
Relaxed, elegant gastronomy with a touch of gold – you’ve come to the right place at Restaurant Fred in Rotterdam. It’s not only with the interior that inspirer and chef Fred Mustert is going for gold. On the plate, too, he serves nothing less than the best. The dishes here are elaborated to perfection, with as much of an eye for details and aesthetics as for taste. All these facets provide a holistic experience that makes dining at Fred’s fascinating. We headed over with The Best Chef for a great conversation and a lovely lunch.
Located on the waterfront near the Rotterdam Euromast, Parkheuvel restaurant has been an icon in the Dutch gastronomy landscape for many years. Chef Erik van Loo earned his stripes in this two Michelin-starred restaurant, with its refined, modern French cuisine, all served up in a chic, hospitable setting. Since his son Juliën van Loo joined the business around three years ago, the cuisine has been given a more contemporary twist with elegant presentations and new influences. A bright future seems guaranteed for Parkheuvel. Together with The Best Chef headed on over to taste and talk.
“A pure gastronomic experience at a breathtaking height, with the skyline of Antwerp as a culinary backdrop”, that’s how the new Zilte presents itself. Although many elements in that description are already well-known, the place has been completely transformed. In addition to a 180° flip of the restaurant’s orientation, resulting in a whole new city view, the minimalist concept of yesteryear has made way for a warm, stylish and tranquil interior with a cosmopolitan feel. On the plates we still find Geunes’ refined and tasteful classic cuisine, as always beautiful, contemporary and extremely elegant in presentation, plus an extra touch of passion that comes through in the dishes. We recently visited the new Zilte, together with The Best Chef.
Paco Roncero is famous for a gastronomic style that combines the best produce with great technique and creative avant-garde inspiration. His approach translates not only in his cooking method, but also in the way of presenting and understanding food as a unique sensory experience.
Awarded the title of ‘Discovery of the year 2019’, a recent 14.5/20 in the Gault & Millau guide, and a first Michelin star, chef Kevin Lejeune is most definitely a rising star and exceptional talent. After several years working as a sous-chef at La Paix restaurant, run by the renowned chef David Martin, Kevin decided to make the leap to his own restaurant, La Canne en Ville, just outside of Brussels city centre. Craftsmanship is reflected here in a refined cuisine bursting with personal touches and on-point flavours. Connoisseurs and experts describe the cuisine of chef Kevin Lejeune and his young team as contemporary, innovative and subtle. Continue Reading
The talented young Spanish chef Javier Aranda provides a feast for the senses and a theatrical dining experience at Gaytán, his restaurant near Madrid’s Parque de Berlín. Continue Reading
In the northern part of Spain’s capital city, Madrid, you’ll find one of the country’s most extraordinary and surprising culinary experiences: DiverXO restaurant, by chef David Muñoz.
At restaurant The White Room, chef Jacob Jan Boerma – the three Michelin-starred chef of restaurant De Leest – transports his cuisine from the quiet and tranquil countryside to the vibrant city of Amsterdam. The restaurant is part of the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, the first NH Collection hotel of NH Hotel Group in the Netherlands. As gastronomy plays a prominent role in the experience at NH Collection Hotels, it was an obvious choice to house a fine dining restaurant here. With Jacob Jan Boerma as the driving force and Signature Chef behind this project, and the young Randy Karman as Chef de Cuisine, The White Room has become as a unique and highly valued restaurant. Here, they lift an elegant, yet accessible cuisine to perfection. Together with the sour nuances and spices Jacob Jan Boerma is known for, they give substance to the illusion of white, in accordance with the similarly-named restaurant. The young team’s mission is to offer recognisable flavours in an unexpected way. Being rewarded with a Michelin star within 1.5 years after its opening, the chefs and their team seem to have succeeded with their mission perfectly.
Jezus-Eik (Overijse), a small city south of Brussels, on the edge of the Sonian Forest, is the home of chef Alain Bianchin, one of the most well-known chefs in the area. Refinement, technical skill, passion and energy characterize his cooking style. He also likes to surprise guests with his eye for detail and a touch of showmanship. Connoisseurs and experts from all over the world find their way to Alain Bianchin’s restaurant and fall in love with his modern take on the gastronomic French-Belgian cuisine. Continue Reading
Having dinner at a restaurant located in an extraordinary location, is something that’s sought-after more and more in recent years. In 2014, restaurant RIJKS opened its doors in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – the Dutch national museum of arts and history that exhibits a collection of masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and many other famous artists. Joris Bijdendijk has been the restaurant’s Executive Chef right from its inception, but he’s up to more than just being the chef of this beautiful restaurant. On the sidelines, Joris Bijdendijk introduced the “Low Food” movement and started a second restaurant named Wils. At RIJKS the chef and his young, emerging team get their inspiration from ingredients grown on Dutch soil, while also making use of the many international flavours that have influenced the Dutch cuisine across centuries. Awarded one Michelin star in 2017, RIJKS is not only worth a visit for its unique location, but also for its exquisite cuisine.
In the heart of Amsterdam, tucked away behind a historical façade right on the canals, you can find the luxury boutique hotel The Dylan and its restaurant Vinkeles, a destination unto itself. Awarded a Michelin star, its refined French cuisine offers an excellent blend of classic and contemporary styles. Set in a sunken dining room surrounded by the original wood ovens that once served as a bakery for the Old & Poor People’s Office, the restaurant offers an intimate and elegant setting combining the old world charm of authentic Amsterdam with the new, refined style of today. Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers and Chef de Cuisine Jurgen van der Zalm use only the freshest ingredients for their seasonal menu, which showcases their dedication to purity of flavour and presentation. Restaurant Vinkeles in three words? Exciting, modest and refined.
At the top floor of the Smolenskaya building in Moscow’s historical centre we find The White Rabbit restaurant. The White Rabbit Family’s flagship, with a total of twenty-five Russian restaurants by restaurateur Boris Zarkov and chef Vladimir Mukhin. As you step inside the glass dome the first thing that catches your eye is the spectacular 360° view over the city. The Alice in Wonderland themed interior also stands out: luxurious and playful boasting paintings of rabbits, colourful rococo furniture and plush sofas. You truly enter a different world. Even the elevator that leads to the restaurant is decorated accordingly and oozes a distinctive aroma. Follow chef Vladimir Mukhin on social media and you’ll see him posting videos of himself singing and philosophising from this elevator.
In the south of Spain in the province of Cádiz, a half an hour drive from Jerez, there’s a charming harbour town called El Puerto de Santa Maria. Besides its beautiful historical buildings and whitewashed houses, great Sherry wineries and beloved beaches, this place has much to offer for those who seek ultimate culinary pleasure, with Aponiente Restaurant as a must visit checkbox and a true highlight on your bucket list. In his previous life Spanish topchef Ángel León – founder of Aponiente – must have been a creature from the sea, as his passion for the briny deep seems limitless. The obsession with the sea is omnipresent at Ángel León’s culinary home base. The location, the architecture, the interior design, the table decoration and of course the dishes, they all reflect that true love and fascination for the ocean and marine life.