Much like the $500-per-head dinner celebrating the life and work of Spanish chef Juan Mari Arzak went virtually unmentioned during the recent South Beach Wine & Food Festival, so did big news from another top Spanish chef.
Quique Dacosta, the recipient of three Michelin stars for his eponymous restaurant in Denia, Spain, was in Miami to cook for the legendary Arzak and dropped hints he's looking to open in the Magic City soon.
Dacosta was joined in Miami by Andoni Aduriz of San Sebastian's Mugaritz (#6 on World's 50 Best) and Alex Atala of São Paulo's D.O.M. (#7 on World's 50 Best). The event was hosted by chef José Andrés. The trio of incredible chefs was spotted dining around town -- they were hosted at La Mar, the recently opened El Cielo, and for a preview tasting at the Bazaar.
In the included Instagram shots, Dacosta mentioned he was "buscando localizaciones" (looking for locales), using the hashtags #Miami and #EnCrecimiento.
Curious to know more, we reached out to Dacosta's team and were left with this answer: "It's an initial idea, but we can tell you that we are very open to developing a project in Miami. I can tell you that we are in a moment of gathering spaces as well as possible investors."
Another source close to Dacosta, who asked to remain nameless, told New Times: "Quique is looking to open in 2016. He has a couple of different projects based on Mediterranean food [Vuelve Carolina and Mercat Bar] and another rice-oriented. He will visit Miami in the next months to continue the search."
In addition to his flagship Quique Dacosta, which holds the #41 spot on the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, Dacosta is also the owner of Mercat Bar; Vuelve Carolina, a tapas concept; and El Poblet, under his Daco & Co. management company. Per the website, "We will take charge of opening new gastronomic concepts: bars, restaurants, tapas concepts, stores."
Like Ferran Adrià, Dacosta began his career at El Poblet, a coastal restaurant serving traditional seafood and other local dishes. He would eventually become the restaurant's head chef, pushing the menu in an innovative, modern direction, and eventually renaming it while keeping the El Poblet moniker for other projects.
With Andrés already bringing new Spanish cuisine to Miami, it's very plausible we could expect to see more coming from the Iberian Peninsula in the near future. If Michelin clout and Spanish fame are heading to Miami, things will get a lot more interesting.