• The World's 50 Best Restaurants
No.49

Quique Dacosta

Denia, Spain

No.49

Modernist master challenges perceptions of Mediterranean food

Chief reason to visit: A standard bearer for Spain's modernist movement, Quique Dacosta is a master of techno-emotional cooking, capturing the essence of the Mediterranean in avant-garde dishes that dazzle the senses.  

Typical dishes: There's plenty of skill and surprise in creations such as faux dove’s eggs made from chicken stock gel and rose petals that are actually slivers of apple. Signatures include local red prawns, presented in red cellophane, and foie gras with rocket, lemon and a rum and coke emulsion.

A few words on the chef: Dacosta started at El Poblet – a family-run seafood restaurant in Denia, near Alicante – when he was just 17, working his way up to head chef, before taking over the business entirely. He renamed the restaurant in 2009.

The dining space: The white-washed building has a beautiful terrace and lounge, where diners begin their meal, before heading inside to be greeted by bare, unlaid tables. Cutlery and crockery are added as the meal progresses to ensure nothing detracts from the food.

What else: The chef closed the restaurant for a period earlier this year, transplanting the entire team to Dubai to run Enigma at the Palazzo Versace, a restaurant that hosts a different Michelin-starred chef every three months.

On the pass

  • Quique Dacosta

Pastry chef

Style of food

  • Cutting-edge cuisine with universal roots

Standout dish

  • Gleva rice D.O Valencia between straw and mountain dry leaves

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