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The province of Girona (North of Barcelona) in Spain is one of the world’s major food and wine destinations and a region at the forefront of culinary innovation – El Bulli (near the town of Roses, now closed but many local chefs trained here) was 5 times awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant and El Celler de Can Roca (in Girona city) has been awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant twice (in 2013 and 2015) and is the current Worlds Nº3 Restaurant.

The Emporda region of Spain is located within the province of Girona on the Costa Brava. Medieval villages, pine-clad hillsides sloping down to crystal clear bays and picturesque fishing villages make up this enchanting region; it’s a wonderful place to explore, enjoy the natural countryside and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

The gastronomy of the Emporda region is rich and varied with a cuisine classed as ‘sea and mountain’, as local produce comes from both the land and the sea.  You will surely enjoy indulging in the delicious star products such as:  Freshly caught Mediterranean fish, Prawns from Palamós, Anchovies from L’Escala, Rice from Pals , DOP Emporda Olive Oil and DO Emporda Wines to name a few. Dining here is not just about eating and drinking, it is a way of life!

Not surprising, therefore, that Michelin have dished out some stars here in the Emporda area of Girona with the likes of Michelin 2* Restaurant Miramar (Llançà) and Michelin 1* Restaurants: Castell Peralada (Peralada), Els Brancs (Platja de Canyelles Petites, Roses), Emporium (Castelló d’Empuries), Bo.Tic (Corça) and Casamar (Llafranc).

With such great standing and local produce the Emporda region is filled with great places to eat, making it difficult to single out the best!  Without a doubt the Michelin restaurants are all well worth a mention but here are just a few of our favorites,  that we should probably keep to ourselves, but we love to share :-)

Compartir, Cadaques

A great restaurant, opened in 2012, by 3 ex-Bulli chefs.  Modern well-presented small dishes to share (hence the name, as Compartir in Catalan means Share in English) are offered in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. The style is contemporary cuisine, based on the culinary tradition of the area. Booking is indispensable as it is the trendiest place in the area.

In 2014 Chefs Oriol, Eduard and Mateu opened another restaurant, but this time in Barcelona, Disfrutar (“Enjoy” in English) and it has already been awarded with its second Michelin Star (for the 2018 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal). Will Compartir soon be able to share a Michelin star status with Disfrutar? We think it is just a matter of time :-)
Compartir

Mas Pou, Palau-Sator

A wonderful local restaurant housed in a 16th-century stone farmhouse in a sleepy medieval village. This authentic and rustic restaurant is family run and serves truly Catalan food, all delicious, traditional and great value. If you’re stuck for a decision on a starter then try their “pica-pica” which is an array of small dishes and a great opportunity to taste various Catalan dishes and produce.  You will certainly not leave here hungry :-)

Mas Pou

Entre Dos Mons, Palamos

This fantastic little and elegant place is ideally located in the middle of the restaurant area of Palamos and only opened in spring 2016. Translating to English as “Between two worlds” the name refers to the young and talented owners and the cultures they were raised in – Peruvian and Catalan. The result is a cuisine that draws inspiration from their childhood memories as well as from influences acquired over the years. Beautifully presented dishes and sophisticated desserts alongside excellent service are guaranteed at this fabulous fusion restaurant.

Entre Dos Mons

 

Can Dolç, Sant Feliu de Boada

Located in a quiet and peaceful rural village, next to the stone-house-surrounded church, this old-fashioned restaurant literally translates as “The Sweet House”. This must surely refer to the delicious homemade desserts as their house specialty is Grilled Meats or “Carns a la Brasa”.  Nothing fancy, just authentic local dishes, quality meat, great variety of appetizers, homemade desserts and an extensive wine list, all accompanied by a charming rural atmosphere, will find you enjoying excellent Catalan cuisine.

Can Dolç

 

Villa Teresita Restaurant at Hostal Empuries , Empuries

This delightful restaurant is the gastronomic offering of a delightful and romantic little hotel just on the Empuries beach (near L’Escala), with a lovely terrace providing picturesque sea views. Chef focuses on eco-Mediterranean cuisine using local and home-grown produce to combine Mediterranean sea-fare and innovative recipes. Not surprisingly, due to its prime position in the bay of Roses next to the fishing port of L’Escala, the fish dishes are exceptional.

Hostal Empuries

 

We have many great dining opportunities for you all over Spain, Portugal and SW France.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance to sample all kinds of restaurants from fine-dining and Michelin stars to authentic haunts and tapas haunts – contact us for your personal quote!

The Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal 2015 is fast approaching and we’ll keep you updated with the results of the Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain for 2015! In the meantime, over the next few days we’ll be showcasing some of the Best Michelin starred Chefs in Spain, if not the World, with our own Pre-Michelin Guide Spain 2015 SuperChef Series by Gourmand Breaks – An insight into the world of some of the current Michelin 3 star and Michelin 2 star chefs in Spain! First off, and in no particular order, a chef shooting for that 3rd Michelin star in 2015 with 2 contenders:

Paco Pérez – Recognized with five Michelin stars (two at Enoteca restaurant in Barcelona, two at Miramar in Llançà and one at restaurant “5”  in Berlin), his innovative cuisine reflects the essence of the Mediterranean Sea with cooking based on tradition and high quality local Spanish produce.  To be enjoyed on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours :)

Paco Pèrez - Miramar

Paco Pérez was born in Huelva but at just 6 months old his family moved to Llançà in Girona, a small fishing village on the Spanish North Costa Brava coast, where he subsequently grew up.

At age 12, Paco Pérez discovered his passion for cooking when he started helping out, at weekends and in the holidays, at the tapas bar owned by his family in Llançà. He then combined his studies with summer jobs in various local restaurants.

After finishing his studies Paco Pérez worked in diverse local restaurants and even went to France to train alongside one of the founders of “nouvelle cuisine” Michel Guèrard. But what most probably set Paco Pérez on the culinary Superchef path was when he returned to Catalonia and joined Ferran Adrià at El Bulli in 1993.  Here, and over 5 years, he took various courses and placements and acquired much of his philosophy of pioneering techno-emotional cuisine.

In 1997 Paco Pérez married Montse Serra, daughter of the owners of the Miramar Hotel-Restaurant on the seafront promenade of Llançà, Girona, Spain and together, keeping it in the family, they embraced the development of the Miramar. After three years of producing modern Catalan cuisine, during just the summer season, they decided to up the stakes and open all year round in the hope of turning this place into a landmark restaurant in the world of pioneering cuisine.

Chipirones - Miramar

 

Paco Pérez, together with his wife, managed to gradually convert the Miramar from the past traditional restaurant of a hostal, first opened in 1939, into the avant-garde cuisine restaurant that it is today. Betting on traditional and local cooking using high quality products from an ideal environment Paco Pérez’s talent, technique and innovative twists on traditional seafood dishes have earned the Miramar its current two Michelin stars (2006 and 2010).

Also for Paco Pérez in the Michelin 2* Restaurants List for Spain 2014 is:

Enoteca Restaurant in Barcelona

Paco Pérez spreads the heart and soul of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine by bringing the essence of the Miramar and its culinary philosophy, with an emphasis on fish and seafood, to the luxurious 5* Hotel Arts in Barcelona. His guidance at Enoteca, for contemporary cuisine with a traditional base, top quality ingredients and excellent attention to detail,  has led to it receiving two Michelin stars since the 2013 Michelin Guide.

Michelin 2 star restaurant Enoteca offers a contemporary classic Mediterranean cuisine with outstanding quality and imagination and a wine cellar that features more than 500 types of wine.

Paco Pérez is not the only Superchef with a restaurant at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. Sergi Arola, of Michelin 2* Restaurant Sergi Arola Gastro (Madrid) fame, showcases innovative tapas style traditional Mediterranean cuisine at “Arola”.  Sergi is a disciple of Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire.

Also by PACO PÉREZ:

Restaurant 5Das Stue 5* Hotel (Berlin)

This Michelin 1 star restaurant is the extension of the Miramar Restaurant into Germany. It is named after Paco Pérez’s focus on the five senses, and also a reference to the five fingers of the hand, because the kitchen produces pioneering works of culinary art.

Mirror RestaurantThe Mirror Hotel (Barcelona)

One of the best restaurants in Spain for luxury rice and seafood dishes,  in the heart of Barcelona.

L’EGGS Restaurant by Paco PérezPasseig de Gràcia (Barcelona)

The first gastronomic themed restaurant in Barcelona featuring eggs as the star dish. A fun and casual restaurant offering eggs in all their formats.

La Royale RestaurantUptown Barcelona

Upscale hamburgers in uptown Barcelona.  La Royale presents a revolution of the concept of a hamburger in the city, with signature ideas and the best refreshing gin and tonics.

Black Restaurant – Uptown Barcelona

The cosmopolitan Manhattan-esque cocktail lounge at La Royale. Offering the signature Burgers of La Royale as well as the best vodka & tonics and a great champagne collection.

 

With Spanish Chefs taking the World by storm, now is the time to visit Spain, home to 10% of the World’s Best Restaurants and numerous Michelin starred Restaurants!  On one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours you can indulge in the Best Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain.  Contact us for your personalized quote.

 

 

Take advantage, while you’re in Calella de Palafrugell on one of our luxury private tours in Spain, to take a walk on the wild side! Of the Costa Brava that is, as the words translate into Wild Coast.

Calella de Palafrugell is a picture postcard fisherman’s village on the Emporda coast in Northern Catalonia, Spain.  The Summer months see swarms of tourists on the beach, with tens of thousands of visitors flocking here on the first Saturday of July to appreciate the Havaneres Festival.  This festival welcomes varios musical groups who play old sea shanties with a backdrop of the lapping Mediterranean and bobbing boats.

Although a summer retreat for many, all year round the miles of coast path that line this rocky wild coast are enjoyed either for a short stroll or a longer hike.

The “Camins de Ronda” as they are known in Catalan, are a series of footpaths linking together some of the Costa Brava’s coves. As the path meanders on the cliff top, the Mediterranean embraces the rocks below, opening at times to give us the gift of a curious cove or an idyllic inlet.

Most of the coastal path is continuous but north of Calella’s neighbouring village, exclusive Llafranc,  the route goes inland as the coast gets wilder.  For example, on the coast of Begur there are four sections of coast path which are not joined, but can be equally enjoyed separately.  Even further north, in the L’Escala area some of the paths really show the wild nature of the coast with rock formations leading the way. Southbound from Calella, the coast path extends as far as La Fosca, near Palamos, and beyond.

In the past, the paths were used by smugglers and by guard patrols alike, but, in recent times the network of footpaths here have been restored to provide pretty hiking trails passing through some the areas most emblematic locations.  All the routes are clearly signposted and easy to follow.  Whichever route you take you can be assured of breathtaking views over the coves below and out to the spectacular Mediterranean sea.  You will most likely pass through pine groves on your journey and maybe even pass the occasional watchtower.  Exhilarating sea air and unspoilt beauty awaits you at every corner of the extensive coastal path, whether a gentle stroll from Calella de Palafrugell to Llafranc or a longer walk to discover a hidden cove.

Walk on the Wild Side and enjoy breathtaking views and exhilarating sea air from the coastpath in Calella de Palafrugell !

 

 

Take a walk along the wild Costa Brava coast while you’re in Calella de Palafrugell on a  Private Luxury Spanish Tour