By John Ensor •
Updated: 02 Dec 2023 • 16:40
Credit: Restaurante Radis/Facebook.com
COULD Jaen be the new gastronomic capital? Following the recent news that there are now four Michelin-star restaurants all within a very short space from one another.
The Michelin Star Awards on Tuesday, November 28 confirmed this, heralding a remarkable rise in the province’s gastronomic prestige, writes 20 Minutos.
The event saw three restaurants from Jaen – two in the capital and one in Baeza – receive their inaugural Michelin stars. This recognition showcases the growing talent of Jaen’s chefs and puts the province firmly on the culinary map.
Juan Carlos Garcia, chef at Vandelvira, made headlines with his t-shirt at the awards gala in Barcelona, proclaiming, ‘They said there was nothing in Jaen.’ This statement symbolises the emergence of high-quality cuisine in Jaen.
The Michelin Guide’s inclusion of Malak, by chef Javier Jurado, and Radis, by Juanjo Mesa, alongside previously starred Baga and Dama Juana, forms an impressive culinary square in Jaen. These establishments offer a diverse range of exceptional dining experiences.
‘Malak’, meaning ‘Angel’ in Arabic, signifies a messenger traversing time and distance. Situated in the heart of Jaen, the restaurant promises a culinary journey reminiscent of childhood landscapes.
Chef Javier Jurado offers two distinct tasting menus: the Sierra Segura Menu at €70 and the Aldeas Perdidas menu at €54.
In Jaen, where olive oil reigns supreme, Radis chef Juanjo Mesa stands out. Known as ‘the oil chef’, Mesa’s cooking pays homage to traditional family recipes.
The restaurant’s name, Radis, reflects his mother’s affectionate nickname for him. Radis offers a dynamic tasting menu that revives the flavours of classic dishes.
Operated by chef Pedro Sanchez, Baga is a culinary gem with a motto of ‘feel Jaen’. This gastrobar celebrates local ingredients, with the Michelin Guide highlighting its standout dishes like Buñuelos de carrueco and Quisquillas de Motril.
Dama Juana, under chef Juan Aceituno, brings to life the memories and stories shared with his grandmother, Juana ‘La Chucha’.
The cuisine here is a tribute to traditional, honest cooking, evoking the essence of rural and farmhouse kitchens.
This culinary renaissance in Jaen is not just about fine dining; it’s a testament to the rich heritage and evolving creativity in Spanish gastronomy.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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