Ángel León is in love with the sea. Every dish at Aponiente in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, which recently retained its two Michelin star status, speaks of his connection to the water (his father was a fisherman). In fact, León is known as the ‘Chef of the Sea’ for his dedication to marine research and conservation through gastronomy.
It’s an approach that at first put the restaurant at risk. As he explains in the beautifully shot video from The Art of Plating and Panthalassa below, when he opened, guests would take one look at the menu and walk out, not recognising any of the sustainable fish species he was cooking. Luckily, as the chef concedes, the award of a first Michelin star saved Aponiente and it is now regarded as one of the finest seafood restaurants in the world.
Watch León’s stirring love letter to his briny larder below. It will leave a lump in your throat and a yearning in your belly.