Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia, the only venue with a Michelin star in Malaga city has just celebrated ten years of serving seriously creative dishes. This restaurant commemorated the occasion in style with the presence of one of Spain’s greatest chefs. And best of all, we were there in person to join the celebrations.
We know time flies, but ten years is still a long time. And certainly, a landmark whether in age, marriage or business. And in today’s rollercoaster economic climate maintaining a business afloat for a whole ten years is a real achievement. Even more so when it’s a restaurant – lets not forget that all eateries were closed fully or partially for months between March 2020 and early this year.
So, it was a real pleasure to attend the 10th-anniversary celebrations at Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia.
Jose Carlos Garcia and Martin Berasategui
The star guest at this stellar occasion was Martin Berasategui, one of the best chefs in Spain. His restaurant in the Basque Country has boasted Michelin stars for years and currently holds two.
Martin also turns out to Jose Carlos’ mentor and the maestro behind the Malaga’s chef skills. Both spoke very fondly of their times together when Jose Carlos went off to study the art of cooking with Martin in the 90s.
We were all struck by how they were old friends rather than teacher-pupil and both obviously very much in awe of the other’s skills. Martin said he thought Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia could easily go for years, up to 200 if needs be!
Martin Berasategui’s menu contributions
But Martin wasn’t just in Malaga to reminisce with Jose Carlos about their cooking days in the Basque Country. Spain’s top chef was here to add culinary weight to the occasion by creating some of the dishes on the menu.
They included his signature starter, foie gras caramelised millefeuille with smoked eel, fresh spring onion and green apple. Exquisite doesn’t near describing this one and several of us on our table picked this as our favourite of the evening.
He was also responsible for the meat savoury of the night: double-cooked pigeon with black beluga lentils and chia seeds. Also delicious and of course, paired to perfection with a red Rioja, La Cueva del Contador 2015.
Also on the menu
As you’d expect from a venue of this standing, Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia pulled out all the stops to celebrate his ten years. And from start to finish. We loved the chicken parfait with Pedro Ximénez and cocoa and ajoblanco (cold almond soup) with red wine and vainilla ice as the amuse-bouches.
We then moved onto seven courses of culinary delights. Jose Carlos Garcia prides himself on his use of local produce (at least 70% of the ingredients are sourced locally) and they played centre stage in several dishes. Another of our favourites was the Malaga prawn carpaccio – it tasted just as good as it looked.
The venue at Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia
Jose Carlos has a prime location on Muelle Uno with a spacious venue next to Mariner’s Chapel (one of our favourite spots in Malaga). The restaurant has frontline views of the city skyline, best viewed at sundown.
Inside is uber-modern with industrial piping on the ceiling and minimalist design. A massive vertical garden lines one wall and its lush plants make a lovely backdrop. The seats are as comfy as can be – a 7-course dinner takes a while so you need a good chair.
And the napkins are so big they could double as tablecloths. But that’s the sort of thing that sets a Michelin star establishment from the rest.
The team behind the scenes
But behind all greatness, there are other people and both Jose Carlos and Martin were quick to point out that they don’t do all this foodie magic on their own. While they might be the creativity behind the dishes, there’s a big team backing them up.
They both thanked their extensive teams and Martin went beyond to thank everyone involved in a culinary journey. From mushroom pickers and fishermen to the preppers and cleaners via the market stall holders and all the dozens of others whose work and efforts go into making a restaurant what it is.
Thank you and happy anniversary!
We had a ball on a perfect evening and would like to take this opportunity to thank Jose Carlos and his team and Martin for making us feel so welcome. His handshake at the end made me feel like an old friend.
Here’s to many more years of fine dining in Malaga!
See for yourself
Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia is currently serving his 10th-anniversary menu as the tasting option. It costs €126.50 per person and pairing options are available. You can book your table here.