NEW VIDEO: 3 Michelin-starred chef Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta Restaurante, Dénia

The Staff Canteen


Quique Dacosta is one of the leaders of Spanish avant-garde cuisine and the chef patron of Quique Dacosta Restaurante in Dénia, Alicante. 

Born in 1972 in Jarandilla de la Verra, Quique Dacosta has been working in kitchens for more than 30 years. 

The three Michelin-starred chef never wanted to be famous; he became a cook because he needed to.

“I come from a very humble family from Extremadura. I came to Dénia during a summer with my mum; she was working here as a waitress. I decided to start working in a kitchen when I was 14 to be able to help at home," he said.

The self-taught chef originally drew his inspiration from French chefs Michel Guérard and Georges Blanc, who, he said were the "two icons" that guided him towards a gastronomic language other than eating for the sake of feeding.  

His eponymous restaurant in Dénia was launched in 1981 by a Burgos restaurateur and a Castilian cook, under the name El Poblet. The chef joined in 1988, earning two Michelin stars before renaming it in 2009. Three years later, it received its third star. 

Before he took the helm, the restaurant was more casual than the chef’s progressive, modern approach, which has steered Valencian cuisine into a new era. “the vocation was cooking excellent products, but nowadays the aim has changed.”

“We are doing creative and signature cuisine with a big territorial attachment to Dénia and the Valencia region.”

The menu at Quique Dacosta in Dénia is based on seasonal ingredients with a heavy emphasis on harmonious wine pairing, and is changed annually. 

This, he says, is because “It is built on the sensibility of will to evolve.”

We do not settle on what we have already created, but we believe that we have to progress.

Blonda de esparragos blancos y queso de Callosa Quique Dacosta 2019 by Pelut i Pelat
'Blonda de esparragos'

The restaurant has two menus, one historical, and one contemporary, and fifty of the fifty-one dishes served at Quique Dacosta revolve around a single ingredient: Dénia’s red prawn.

Offering an experience going “beyond food,” the chef’s dishes are like stage performances: a prawn ‘fossil’ buried under a layer of edible rock, white asparagus lace served atop a cup of broth, a dehydrated almond leaf strewn with Marcona almonds and blossom petals.

At Dénia, he said, the emphasis has always been on the excellence of the gastronomic proposal true to his modest beginnings.  

“The calling has always been the same, to earn a simple and honest living by making my clients happy.”


Quique Dacosta has four other restaurants in Valencia and is planning to open another in London, Arroz QD.

The British restaurant will be totally different, he said, but “aesthetically similar to three star language.”

“The main axis of the offer will be the rice, the way it is understood from North to South, East to West of the Valencia Region.”

The chef hopes that the project will win hearts in the United Kingdom.

“We are putting a lot of hope and all our knowledge towards achieving it.”

By Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th March 2019

NEW VIDEO: 3 Michelin-starred chef Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta Restaurante, Dénia