The grill master is once again included in the 50 Best list
Chef Bittor Arginzoniz has done it again: his Etxevarri grill has once again been voted third best restaurant in the world, behind the Danish restaurants Noma and Geranium, in the prestigious list ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’, first published in 2002. Bittor already won the award in the previous edition, held two years ago, as during 2021 the William Reed Business Media publishing group decided to suspend the list due to the pandemic.
Etxebarri and Josper
Bittor Arginzoniz’s collaboration with Josper goes back a long way: his cuisine has revolutionised the ancestral technique of cooking with embers, fire and smoke and his experience has led him to work with Josper to design both the Josper Basque Grill and the various kitchen accessories, such as small grills and special grill pans, which open up a whole world of culinary possibilities. All these products are available on our website.
The 50 Best ranking is based on the votes of more than a thousand independent culinary experts (34% hoteliers and chefs and 66% journalists and food writers), a process audited by the firm Deloitte. As a one off, due to Covid-19, on this occasion the votes cast in 2020, which were never published, have been considered as a reference for the list, added to the new votes from the March 2021 ballot. The annual gala took place at the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center in Antwerp, Belgium, and, aside from Etxebarri, six other Spanish restaurants were included in the list of 100 best restaurants.
The other award-winning Spanish restaurants
In addition to Etxebarri, there are five Spanish restaurants awarded in this edition of the 50 Best. In 5th place comes Barcelona’s Disfrutar, run by the chefs Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch; in 14th and 16th positions, respectively, are the Guipuzcoan restaurants Mugaritz, run by Luis Aduriz, and Elkano, managed by Aitor Arregui; 20th place goes to Madrid’s Dabiz Muñoz with DiverXO; and finally, 49th place goes to Azurmendi, Eneko Atxa’s restaurant in Bizkaia. From 51st to 100th position, the Spanish restaurants that made it onto the list are Nerua (53rd), Quique Dacosta Restaurante (74th), Aponiente (79th), and Arzak (94th). Josper would like to congratulate all of them for this prestigious recognition.
Etxebarri Grill, Bittor’s dream
Asador Etxebarri, in the Biscayan town of Atxondo, regains the position it achieved in 2019. Bittor has also won the Estrella Damm Chef’s Choice Award, rewarded by his fellow chefs. This is a very special prize as it is a real source of pride for him to be recognised by his peers. Bittor’s mastery and pioneering technique is inspiring a new generation of chefs, and he is also one of the most beloved chefs due to his friendliness and humility.
Born in Atxondo, Arginzoniz grew up in a family that used fire for everything, as there was hardly any other source of energy in the town. In 1989 he decided to buy an old 18th century manor house, located in a very quiet valley far from the madding crowd, as he says, which after a complete transformation was converted into the famous Asador Etxevarri the following year. With the simple idea of “eating well”, Bittor focuses on the grill, the traditional low fire, and not only meats are grilled: along with Galician beef there is also baby squid, Palamós red prawns, barnacles, octopus, eels, mussels, cockles, tuna belly, asparagus, mushrooms, peas, caviar and turtledoves. Countless products are cooked on the Arginzoniz charcoal grill. Bittor has taken grilling to innovative new levels, which led him to win the National Gastronomy Award in 2017.
Asador Etxebarri is a benchmark for charcoal-grilled cuisine, and not only in Spain, in fact, as the Basque restaurant is considered without a doubt the best grill restaurant in the world. In the following video, Bittor welcomes the organisers of the 50 Best list at his farmhouse in Atxondo:
We at Josper would like to congratulate Bittor Arginzoniz on his well-deserved award, which will undoubtedly spur him and his team on to bounce back after a difficult year, not only for him but for the entire restaurant sector, a sector that seems now to be gradually recovering. Booking at Etxebarri is not easy right now: the reservation period is full and no doubt a lot of diners— more than 80% of the regular diners at the restaurant come from abroad—are waiting for the new period to open. Congratulations, Bittor!
Photos: 50 Best and Josper.