Spanish chef Martin Berasategui recently earned a three-Michelin-star rating for his Lasarte restaurant in Barcelona. It is the chef’s second venture to score the coveted triple-stars, the first being at his eponymous restaurant in Basque Country, Spain. Only a select few other chefs have achieved two three-star ratings.

Lasarte is a joint effort of Martin Berasategui and Paolo Casagrande. The cuisine served at Lasarte is described by Michael Ellis, Michelin Guides’ international director, as “surprising and particularly imaginative”.

Ellis also complimented Berasategui’s feat in the culinary scene, noting that  “Some of his great creations make it possible to gauge the full extent of this chef’s creativity: unique creativity in the service of an almost exceptional taste experience, elevating this restaurant to the position of one of the meccas of world cuisine.”

Other than the Spanish west coast capital, the Basque Country region in the country’s north is also cementing Spain’s status as a Michelin-acclaimed gastronomic hotspot. Berasategui’s self-titled restaurant there has attracted food fans from all around the world. The region is also famous for the dining establishments under the renowned Arzak family.

The 2017 edition of the Spain and Portugal Michelin Guide also lists 28 two-star restaurants of the region and a new total of nine three-star restaurants in Spain.

While France only counts 10 two-star restaurants in the latest Guide, the 2017 Spain and Portugal edition sees 28 restaurants awarded two stars, with 23 in Spain and five in Portugal. With a list like that, there’s something for all tastes and in all regions. However, further down the Costa Blanca, Alicante stands out for its upsurge in culinary quality, in particular with Escalata in Cocentaina and BonAmb in Xabia.

The future of Spain’s gastronomic scene seems assured, with 15 restaurants newly crowned with one Michelin star. Catalonia confirms its status as an unmissable destination for food lovers thanks to Céleri, focusing on a raw no-cook cuisine, and Xerta, serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine.

With its vibrant energy, the gastronomy of Spain almost overshadows that of neighboring Portugal, with which it shares a Michelin Guide. Portuguese cuisine is, however, on the up, Michelin resumes, with two new two-star restaurants and seven eateries gaining one star.

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