El País says: “Quique Dacosta celebrates 26 years in the profession. Interestingly, the menu with which he has just inaugurated the season might be one of the most suggestive of all the ones I have sampled throughout his brilliant creative career.”

With these words it is not my intention to publish a critique of my experience, which, as always, I will publish on @ElViajero_Pais. I’m just trying to create a space for the gallery of photographs I took during my lunch. In every one of his offerings, Dacosta hides his marvellous technique of following paths that unfold more naturally than ever. He makes use of local produce and although uses condiments from the global pantry,  his food is very much focused on his Mediterranean roots. As a rule, he plays with flavours at the very limit of contrasts, seeking not to provoke but to create harmony and balance. Offerings that step across the boundaries between the established and the unknown.

For Dacosta, flavour is an absolute goal, and aesthetics an acquired commitment. As always, the sea is a common thread that runs through many of his recipes. This time the red prawn, the gourmet symbol of Denia and common motif as an ingredient throughout his cuisine, is half brined and roasted in salt in a rustic and primitive act. Sea urchins, at the height of their season, help him to unfurl his imagination and he presents them in two suggestive ways, while achieving a silky texture with cuttlefish roe. The same is true of the goose barnacles, combined harmoniously with bean pods in an unusual symphony. In a league of their own are the ingredients semi-cured in brine which help him to bring out iodised sensations and waves of umami that flood the diners’ palates.

In 2016 the creativity of Quique Dacosta opens up into a wide range of diverging pathways. He continues to evolve with the same enthusiasm as always but, if possible, more vigorously than ever.

By: Jose Carlos Capel.