Dabiz Muñoz and his Diverxo Restaurant: the 3-Michelin-star
chef is the 6th of the Top Ten  Best Chef

by Jack Wright

As we look back on old 2020, so aptly called The Rat on the Chinese calendar,  we could take solace in the thought that the year hadn’t been an unmitigated disaster. There was, for example, the hospitality industry which seemed to have all but gone under.  And it still does, too. And yet Spain has turned out to be the country that has produced the greatest number of “best chefs” in the world! Per The Best Chef, The Best Pastry Chef 2020 is Xavi Donnay, head pastry chef at Lasarte, Martín Berasategui’s restaurant in Barcelona.

Moreover, four of the Top Ten Best Chef 2020 are Spaniards! To wit: The trio from the Disfrutar restaurant in Barcelona, consisting of Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and Mateu Casañas, is ranked fourth. Joan Roca, of El Celler de Can Roca (Girona) is fifth. Dabiz Muñoz of Diverxo (Madrid) is 6th. And Aitor Zabala (Somni Restaurant, Los Ángeles, USA) is 8th.

Best Pastry Chef Xavi Donnay and his Chocolate Leaf

All in all, fifteen of The Best Chef’s “Top 100 Award 2020” are Spanish, making Spain the country with the greatest number of “best chefs”. In the words of The Best Chef, “Spain performs best with its 15 chefs.”

What makes The Best Chef Awards different than other gastronomy awards is that it focuses on the chefs themselves, instead of the usual focus on restaurants and locations: the chefs vote their peers. However, they cannot vote for themselves.

When choosing the Awardees, the voters must look for creativity, intelligence, passion, innovation, and sustainability. The Best Chef awardee should be a modern chef who creates amazing food, “a role model of hard work that can serve as a guide to new generations of curious new talent,” says Best Chef.

Elena Arzak, 85th of Best Chef’s Top 100, shown with then President of the Basque Country Patxi Lopez

The Top 100 Award 2020 was celebrated virtually. Either that or forego the celebration altogether owing to the pandemic; the Awards could not possibly have been spared of the fallout from the catastrophic corona if the Award were celebrated actually.  For that very reason, the Awards ceremony had had to go virtual. Says The Best Chef: “To guarantee everyone’s safety and taking the current COVID regulations into account, this year the world’s leading culinary platform decided to go back to their roots, presenting their Top100 via a top-notch online show and hosting hybrid conferences like Area Talks and Food Meet Science.” This resulted in #VIRTUAL2020.

The 15 Spanish chefs among the Top 100 were:

Disfrutar (Nº 4), Joan Roca (Nº 5), Daviz Muñoz (Nº 6), Aitor Zabala (Nº 8), Eneko Atxa (Nº 17), Paco Morales (Nº 29), Albert Adria (Nº 30), Martin Berasategui (Nº 37), Adonis Luis Aduriz (Nº 45), Quique Dacosta (Nº 54), Paco Rancero (Nº 71), Ricardo Camarena (Nº 76), Toni Romero (Nº 83), Elena Arzak (Nº 85), and Oliver Pena (Nº 92).

And these chefs are what has made Spain the Land of the Best Chefs.


Featured image (Muñoz and Diverxo) courtesy Diverxo
The Best Chef logo, Fair use

Donnay and his Chocolate Leaf,  Fair use
Elena Arzak (2010)/Irekia, CC BY2.0

Elena Arzak, 85th of Best Chef’s Top 100, shown with then President of the Basque Country Patxi Lopez