Quique DaCosta: A Significant Influence on Modern Spanish Cuisine

by Kristine - 18 June 2015

Quique-DacostaRegarded as one of the most prominent chefs in Spain, Quique DaCosta is a perfect example of an individual who has made a name for himself through true dedication and passion for his craft. DaCosta is an autodidact who gained inspiration in his teens by studying cookery books written by the great French chefs.

Born in Cáceres in 1972, Quique DaCosta has certain distinct characteristics that make him stand out among the other chefs in Spain. He is creative, curious and committed to research. Who would have thought that the 14-year-old kid who used to wash dishes at a pizzeria in Dénia in 1986 would become such an important figure in the world of Spanish gastronomy?

When he turned 16, the budding young chef began working at El Poblet, a family-run restaurant in Dénia that primarily specialized in Castilliano cuisine. More than 25 years later, he still works at the same venue.

A very innovative chef, DaCosta introduced many new culinary ideas into El Poblet and once he gained full control of the kitchen in 1999, the popular establishment started specializing in high quality Valencian cuisine.

He influenced the transformation of El Poblet to such an extent that in 2009, the name of the restaurant was changed to Quique Dacosta Restaurante. By 2013, it had become one of the outstanding restaurants in Spain with 3-Michelin-stars.


DaCosta uses both modernist and traditional methods and takes a creative approach when it comes to preparing his dishes. He is especially known for using as few ingredients as possible to achieve the maximum flavor. Since he uses only a few ingredients, the diners can taste the flavor of every ingredient with utmost clarity.

He gave diners a whole new experience in 1997 when he introduced edible veils, and again in 2000 with the introduction of edible papers. Another interesting addition to his repertoire was the Cubalibre de foie, which became very popular after making its first appearance in 2001.

To this day the chef continues to captivate diners with his superb top-end meals and artistic presentations. The customers at his restaurant can always attest to the remarkable quality of his cuisine, from the taste to the appearance.  The celebrated chef is able to create this emotional impact on his diners by only using locally-produced ingredients.


DaCosta’s dedication to research led him to discover the importance of rice as an ingredient in Spanish cuisine. So much so, that he wrote and published a book about it in 2005 (Arroces Contemporáneos). During this time, he also researched sprouts, micro greens and aloe vera as potential ingredients in his dishes. As well as winning Michelin stars, his work has led to many other awards including being voted the No. 1 European restaurant on the Opinionated About Dining website for two years running between from 2012 to 2013..

In addition to running his restaurant in Dénia, DaCosta also owns two popular tapas bars (Vuelve Carolina and MercatBar) in Valencia, and has also resurrected the name of El Poblet with the opening of another restaurant in the city.

Visit the Quique Dacosta website.

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