Quique Dacosta is a chef originally from Extremadura (where he was born in 1972, in the town of Jarandilla de la Vera), but it was in Valencia, the city that he chose to adopt, that he built the stage for his cuisine at the same time innovative and linked to traditions. Dacosta has used the region's culture and territory as an inspiration for his creations in the kitchen.
He started his career in the late 1980's and soon began working at El Poblet, which he later transformed in Quique Dacosta Restaurant when he bought the place. The restaurant initially served traditional Spanish cuisine and then evolved to dishes more devoted to the Mediterranean Sea and the Montgó Nature Reserve, seeking a relation of proximity with its surroundings, both Alicantine and Valencian roots. As Dacosta came to the fore of the restaurant, he has shaped a new era for Valencian cuisine, bringing local recipes and cultural traditions to the spotlight.
There are Spanish recipes but everything reinterpreted by the chef’s artistic expression and the sense of excellence that marks his work - mainly in his eponymous restaurant in Dénia, which has 3 Michelin stars since 2013. It was in the same year that Dacosta received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Miguel Hernandez University. The restaurant has also been included over the past few years at the World's 50 Best Restaurant list - its first entry among them was in 2012.
In addition to the cuisine, he has designed a line of professionally-inspired household kitchens, and he is an ambassador for Action Against Hunger (a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger). Dacosta also published books such as De Tapas con Quique Dacosta, focused on tapas recipes, and Arroces Contemporáneos (Contemporary rice dishes). He has spent much of his career researching techniques and products related to paella, a quintessential Spanish recipe.
Dacosta signature cuisine brings up to date recipes using new techniques: he always wanted to lighten food as a central concept, with dishes that nourish body and soul, in recipes such as his famous arroces and the iconic Gamba de Denia, a local shrimp cooked in salt water. The Spanish chef weaves together a compendium of culinary modernist Mediterranean masterpieces, masterfully inventing, deconstructing and reinventing. It is the case of Senia Rice Cooked with a Broth of Smoked Eel, Cherry Pearls and Rosemary flowers, one of his most famous recipes, that rescues flavors and ingredients from a variety that symbolizes the meaning of paella rice: the Senia.
Dacosta cooks using only local ingredients, sourced within 75km of his restaurants.
Besides his eponymous restaurants, the chef owns El Poblet, a restaurant he opened in 2012 in an homage to his past workplace to serve classic hits of his career (awarded a Michelin star), Vuelve Carolina (a tapas bar), Mercatbar (a gastrobar), and Llisa Negra (an open-fire restaurant), all of them located in Valencia, the city where he is building a food empire.
Dacosta also inaugurated Enigma restaurant in the Palazzo Versace Dubai hotel, an exclusive pop up located in the United Arab Emirates and is poised to open his first restaurant in London, named Arros QD, focused on rice, an ingredient he has devoted his career to.