Nestled in the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most significant art in Spain’s capital, lies The grand and illustrious Madrid Mandarin Oriental Ritz Hotel can be found nestled within Madrid’s prestigious ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area known for hosting some of the world’s most finest and exceptional masterpieces. It is a fitting location for a hotel that offers masterpieces of it’s own — the esteemed dishes of chef Quique Dacosta.
While Dacosta has been making waves on the Spanish culinary scene for years, he’s only recently been appointed to the lead the Madrid Mandarin Oriental — but he’s already bringing a new level of sophistication and gastronomic skill to one of Spain’s oldest and most treasured hotels.
From washing dishes to opening restaurants
Chef Quique Dacosta kicked off his cheffing career in the late 1980s in Valencia. His first restaurant gig was washing dishes as a summer job, but life in the kitchen sparked a passion for cooking. Dacosta soon developed a signature style of combining his love of regional ingredients and traditions into excellently-crafted dishes. In in 1986 he began working at Denia restaurant El Poblet, where he began to make a name for fine Valenican cuisine. By 1999 he was the owner of the restaurant, which had evolved into one of Spain’s finest establishments thanks to his vision in the kitchen.
He still owns El Poblet, which now has one Michelin star, and has opened a second self-named restaurant in Denia, which boasts three Michelin stars since 2013 and has also been included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Dacosta’s curiosity and adventorousness can be seen in the sheer amount of establishment he has ventured into — aside from his restaurant in Denia and El Poblet, he also owns tapas bar Vuelve Carolina , gastrobar Mercatbar , and open-fire cooking restaurant Llisa Negra all located in Valencia.
If this wasn’t enough, Dacot has also designed a line of professionally-inspired household kitchens, published several recipe books and is also an ambassador for food organization Action Against Hunger.
About the Mandarin Oriental
Dacosta has no shortage of restaurants and kitchens he could join, so it’s safe to say he’ll pick only the most exciting and prestigious offer — and the Mandarin Oriental Ritz in Madrid is just that. The hotel is a Spanish landmark with over a century of history. Upon returning from a tour of Europe, King Alfonso XIII of Spain decided that the Spanish Court lacked a hotel with enough splendour for European royalty and other illustrious visitors. So he commissioned French architect Charles Mewes and Spanish architect Luis de Landecho to build a site of unparalleled beauty and sophistication. Finished in 1910, and was owned by various noble and aristocratic families, who even converted it into a military hospital during the Spanish civil war in the 1930s. The period saw a period of decline under different individual owners, until hotel chains got in the picture — the hotel swapped from UK chain Trusthouse Forte, French group Le Meridien, until Orient Express Hotels took it on in 2003 with joint owners. In May 2015 Oriental Express became the sole owner of the property, and gave it a whopping $103 million make-over. The hotel opened its doors in restored glory once again in April 2021.
The hotel’s luxury suites exude class using lavish and elegant design concepts. They combine minimalist sophistication and classic style, with each room boasting stunning views of the hotel’s surroundings.
Walking into the Madrid Mandarin Oriental Ritz is like stepping through a silk-woven timewarp into the arms of royal luxury.
Quique and Deessa Restaurant
A man with an outstanding reputation, Dacosta was approached by the hotel directly to take charge of the hotel’s principal restaurant, Deessa.
Dacosta has publicly announced his intentions for the restaurant — he’s going for three Michelin stars.
Set to open in 2020, Dacosta experienced the setbacks of COVID-19, which paralysed the restaurant and hotel industry for over a year. He’s now excited to see his ambitious vision finally realised, working side-by-side with Mandarin hotels to craft a whole new hotel experience — catering for a small number of hotel guests (150 suits) but with a gastronomic experience at its center. With the hotel, he’s designed five different spaces - Deessa, Palm Court, RItz Garden and bars Pictura and the Champagne bar. It expresses the essence of a Madrid Larder with local ingredients from a completely avant-garde perspective; Deessa will offer two tasting menus. One will include Dacosta’s most renowned dishes, and the other will be a contemporary menu with dishes inspired by his new madrileño setting. It will even have a chef’s table hidden in the kitchen for the fortunate few who will get the experience the perfect choreography performed by the entire kitchen team.
Deessa’s winning cuisine
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Deessa offers two luxurious tasting menu.
At 180 euros per menu, you can experience a taste of excellently executed traditional, classic Spanish cuisine or opt for a modern, innovative infusion of dishes designed specifically for Deessa.
Menu ‘Clásicos Quique Dacota’s presents an array of the Dacota’s historical favourites of his colourful career as an award-winning chef, poetically described in the menu as a “gastronomic tale with a beginning and perhaps and end” . While each dish is exclusive to Deessa., you can still experience some of his most-celebrated classics, such as the Denia red prawn.
The ‘QDRITZ Contemporary menu’ was explicitly curated for Deessa with entirely new and innovative dishes designed by Dacosta and Ricard Tobella ‘Capo’, Deessa’s head chef. The menu includes extravagant dishes such as the roasted Norway lobster, with the cooked head presented separately, and a dessert inspired by Madrid offering floral fantasies of violets and a soup of almonds and white petals.
If you are lucky enough to experience the ‘Hidden Table’ experience, a sommelier is on hand to offer wine pairings from their luxury wine by the glass programme. It features 250 European wines alongside a selection of artisan beers and an impressive cocktail list.
The prestigious restaurant opened its doors on the 15th of April 2021 and is now available for bookings.
As we begin to venture back out to restaurants, inhaling the irresistible aromas that spill from kitchen passes, the re-opening of the Madrid Mandarin Oriental Ritz is a warmly welcomed return to the hospitality industry for Madrid.— and there’s no more exciting person to herald this renewed momentum than chef chef Quique Dacosta.
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