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3-Michelin Stars Dani Garcia exclusive interview: he changed Andalusian kitchen & became food creation fashion icon

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Dani Garcia 3-Michelin Stars Spain Marbella celebrity Chef Andalucia
Dani Garcia 3-Michelin Stars Spain Marbella celebrity Chef Andalucia

Dani Garcia 3-Michelin Stars Marbella beloved worldwide celebrity Chef. in 2018, Dani Garcia has been awarded his third star, not more than a month ago (November 2019) he would have closed his famous Dani Garcia restaurant in Marbella, a piece of news that shocked many of his most adept diners.

Link: On November 16, 2019, took place the surprise “last dinner” presented by the Dani Garcia restaurante, located in the city of Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain. Where an incredible venue whose head chef recently earned his third Michelin star was bidding farewell after the announcement of its closing. 

However, celebrating his last dinner in that venue was just another piece of good news, and Dani Garcia is preparing to venture into a more international world, in search of satisfying not thousands, but tens of thousands of palates.

In his own words “My dream from now on is to be on a Sunday strolling through Marbella knowing that half the world is eating my cherry gazpacho or my oxtail brioche”

Dani Garcia is a famous Spanish chef, the first to obtain a Michelin star for the region of Andalusia, and one of the few to be awarded three such decorations worldwide. His most famous dishes include nitro tomatoes, cherry gazpacho, and oxtail brioche.

AU: Annika Urm
DG: Dani Garcia 

1. AU: Thank you for actually having time for me, I appreciate it I know how busy you are

DG: No you know the problem is that I need to work too, I need to make the menu, create recipes, everything.

2. AU: Yes. Do you do everything on your own? I mean like the main thing, is your creation?

DG: Yes, it is my real work, I do the cooking later. 

3. AU: Ok, then let’s get to the subject. What is your “why”? What has got you to wake up in the morning for 20 years and do this? What is driving you?

DG: Professionally? 

AU: Yes 

DG: I think that being a chef is something very special, you work with your hands and you can make happy many people. I think that’s the most beautiful thing about this profession. And of course, I wake up every morning to make people happy!

4. AU: To make people happy?

DG: Yes, with the food. I like to think that I create an experience, a different restaurant, a different dish all that they can live. 

Everything we work on in the end has a goal, to make people happy with the food. Whether it’s a McDonald’s burger or a 3 Michelin-star restaurant, I think we all have that goal in common.

Dani Garcia is a close friend of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert de Niro
Dani Garcia is a close friend of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert de Niro

5. AU: Why you have this particular mission to start? How do you do it? It is difficult.

DG: Well when you start in the kitchen you don’t think about being a 3 Michelin star, no, when I was 17 and I entered cooking school I wasn’t thinking I could be a Michelin. 

If we talk about football when you’re a kid and you play ball it’s very easy to want to be a Messi or a Cristiano, but in cooking nothing like that happens. 25 years ago there was no internet, there weren’t that many famous cooks, there wasn’t. 

So you start because you like to cook, but out of real passion. Not because there is a goal, I think that nowadays when young people start in the kitchen, they want to be “Some cook” who is on TV, who has Michelin stars, etc., etc., right? But when I started it was not like that I got the first Michelin star, there was only one in all Andalusia the first time. That was in 2000. 

*Nitro Tomate since 2008, very famous because Dani Garcia was winning Michelin stars with this dish. 

Nitro Tomate since 2008, very famous because Dani Garcia was winning Michelin stars with this dish.
Nitro Tomate since 2008, very famous because Dani Garcia was winning Michelin stars with this dish.

AU: In Wikipedia says 2007, we have to change it. 
DG: No, 2007 is here, in Ronda. 

6. AU: If somebody would want to become “You” what skills, or what would they need to have? 

DG: To be a successful chef there are only three things you need: Work, work, and work

AU: It is discipline? 

DG: Yes of course, and believing in you. It is 24 years of my career and there was a lot of everything on the road. Very good moments, very bad moments, moments when I didn’t know what I want to do, moments when I wanted to say “Bye-bye”. This is that type of profession where anything can happen.

7. AU: How you coup with failures? How do you deal with them? 

DG: It is not easy. Just believe in yourself. 

8. AU: Are you like taking a vacation, or are you closing yourself or…

DG: I’m average, I’m not strange. I’m maybe a quiet guy you know. I don’t like stress, so I’m in the interior jut calm. 

9. AU: But when something goes wrong, what do you do? 

DG: First you think about what happened, find the “why”. Then you try to learn because that’s super important and you see what happened in this situation. 

You see what has failed, why have you failed? Has your partner failed? Has the location of the site failed? Has the concept failed? We’re in crisis. What’s going on? The prices. Everything. 

Succeeding in a restaurant requires a lot of positive circumstances, and failing in a restaurant a lot of negative ones, not just one. 

There are always many. So, when this happens to you, you try to look back and be super self-critical and think, is it you who has failed, or is it the others who have failed so as not to fail again? 

What happens is that obviously in a country like Spain this is very complicated. In contrast, in the United States, failure is common. 

People try things, they do badly, they try something else, they try to overcome it, and the negative economic part of it. But yes, life goes on and they keep looking for a dream. In Spain, if something happens to you for a long time you are like “haha”. 

It is a quite complex situation that one has to overcome. Luckily I spent some time in the USA and changed a lot that mentality and that way of understanding, basically, life and business. 

10. AU: How do you deal with these negative people? What do you do? How do you block them? Do you block them? 

DG: When I started everything was positive, it was always positive. Why? Because I was just a kid lost in a mountain village in Ronda where all that mattered was cooking, so that’s very romantic, and that’s very nice, but there’s a moment in life when you go through negative things too and so on, which is the moment I’m in now, where you make money now, you’re very successful and then it’s, it’s not so nice anymore. 

You are no longer the same boy, it is no longer so romantic, and people only look for the negative. “Has he been successful? Yes, but surely there was a time when he wasn’t.” That kind of thing used to affect me more. Today? I just don’t care. Spain is a very complex country. 

11. AU: You just don’t listen? 

DG: No, I never read my interviews, I never read too much. Sometimes you enter a network, for example, waiting for something on twitter or Instagram. If I put a picture on Instagram, for example, I’d normally have 100 or 150 or more comments and normally I don’t read them. 

12. AU: Your personal Instagram is very positive? 

DG: Yes, normally 95% positive. There is always somebody you know, “un tuquillo”. Normally if I read something bad I can laugh at it. The most important thing is that you are happy. It’s a selfish thought, but it’s the right one, I care about me, my family, my people around me and my team. I don’t let those people down, nor the paying customer at the restaurant. 

13. AU: What is your biggest achievement so far?

DG: you know I already have a lot more than I ever dreamed of. 

I just wanted to cook and make people happy, so what I have is much, much more than I ever dreamed of. 

Therefore, the truth is that I still have dreams and I still have goals, but it’s like a gift, isn’t it? At this point, everything I have is a gift, everything that keeps happening to me is still things that I appreciate and will appreciate all my life. So basically now my objective is to open more restaurants, to open in New York, to open in Miami, Paris, London, that’s basically what I want and to change the world of gastronomy a little bit in that sense and create a big, important group.

14. AU: If you are going everywhere and opening everywhere, and the market is that different, how do you adapt to it? 

DG: I go to study, you know? We started to travel when very young. When I was a 1-Michelin star I was 24, and I started to travel to Asia, USA, East Europe, London, Paris, and I cooked all the time. 

And normally, we understand different markets that we can find about fish, about meat. If you asked me now about Paris, I would understand. Maybe not 100%, for that, I’d have to go there and study the people and the restaurants, but I get the essential, the menus. 

When I sit down to make a menu for Paris, it is different than when I sit down to make a menu for Marbella or to New York. 

Dani Garcia food pictures 2020
Dani Garcia food pictures 2020

15. AU: How do you do it? 

DG: Working, which is how it goes, just working.

16. AU: How important for you is branding and how you do it? 

DG: You know, when I enter a place everybody starts talking about me, but the thing with food is that there is more than a person, more than a chef. I always say that Dani Garcia is only a person, but I understand that at some point I’m a brand. 

In the end, we want, and I think that this is how we are doing it, that all the brands have their personality. Of course, there is Dani Garcia, but Lobito de Mar is Lobito de Mar, everybody knows what they’ll find in Lobito de Mar. 

I’d love to study all the brands in the world, but probably the ones from the world of fashion are the ones that inspirited me the most. For example, if you take a deep look at Armani, there is Emporia Armani, Giorgio Armani, Armani Change, Armani Sport, and there is the Armani Hotel. 

17. AU: You are reading about this? 

DG: I read, and I travel around the world and I try to learn. 

18. AU: But people are talking about this? 

DG: Not really, I’m reading books, or taking information from the Internet, and travel around the world and see how things work. 

For me, fashion brands are crazy I love their work, how people create a brand. I was in Silicon Valley, two days for studying this a bit, how Facebook and Google work. 

Studying is only business, but I love to know more and understand how different lines of work go. For example, if you look at Louis Vuitton it was a very classic brand and now you see a lot of young men using them. And, I think the restaurant groups in Spain need to get another kind of work to excel in different professional angles. 

19. AU: So you are looking at the best brands and getting ideas, learning from them. 

DG: Sure, and of course I also look to restaurant brands, like Nobu, Novikov, or Milo. Normally here in Spain, I’m here if people want to go to a Michelin star restaurant or a guy who is cooking “flamante”. And I get it, I do it too when I travel, and I like to go to these brands because “why is there a lot of incredible Nobus around the world?” 

20. AU: Tell me why? 

DG: Because Nobu sells very commercial food, it is a very intelligent brand. Nobu creates Japanese food for the world, not for Japanbecause he knows that Japan is very small if you compared it with the world. 

This is why, he creates something extremely special and different, which all palates can understand everywhere in the world. For me, this is the reason behind Nobu’s success. 

Besides he has achieved something great. Nobu is an old guy, but all his restaurants are always full of young people and a lot of energy in that crazy energy, he creates something special and unique. That’s how 20 or 30 years later he is everywhere around the world. 

21. AU: This is coming from inside of him, is this like his energy? Or something that he does with the restaurant? Is he also happy all the time? 

DG: Yes I mean, he is a very crazy guy you know. It is not a usual Japanese, he is very Japanese, but he understands perfectly the restaurants in America, and everywhere, people will eat Nobu Food in the world. 

22. AU: From your experience, what do you need to make a business successful? 

DG: You need to study, you need to create something that the people want. That’s all that is there, you don’t need to create something different with the best techniques in the world to make a Gazpacho, you only need to sit down as a guest, and think like the guest, and find out what the guest wants. 

And everything, about service, about price, about the concept, everything. You tell me now about “this” type of concept and in 20 minutes I could immediately say that you could change this or that, based on the guest. People need to know where they are. 

23. AU: But the thing is that, for example, when Steve Jobs was making the MAC, nobody knew they wanted it, he was making it and then made people want it. You can also make something that you think people would like and then throw it on the market. Have you thought about it? 

DG: Yeah, but my world is too different because food is more essential, people will satisfy their needs for technology maybe 5 times a year. Yet, people need to eat, and everybody loves to eat well. In this way, you can go to a casual restaurant 200 times a year

In the case of technology, you need to create something that people can’t imaginebut you can say that most incredible restaurants are the same, you have the place, you have the chairs, and you sit at the table, get your plate and eat. 

But, it was impossible 20 years ago to think that I’d have a watch where I can read messages and connect so much. But you need to believe really in different things because when I started 25 years ago, fine dining was only French menu, it was only foie grass and lobster and truffle and caviar, but not anymore, and we changed a lot this mentality because we put Gazpacho in a fine dining restaurant, we add this very traditional recipes in our menus and that is a revolution. 

Dani Garcia: To be a successful chef there are only three things you need: Work, work and work.
Dani Garcia: To be a successful chef there are only three things you need: Work, work and work.

24. AU: Now let’s talk about how you lead your team. What is your leadership motto? 

DG: I talk a lot with the team, all the time. They need to understand everything as I do. If I say “I want that, that, that, that” I want them to have the full picture, I want “that” because “that” because “that”. To understand everything, your people need to understand the “why” behind everything. 

25. AU: What do you think is your legacy? 

DG: I think that probably the thing that I’m most proud of is to have changed Andalucía’s kitchen, there was no Michelin star 19 years ago, and very few fine dining available. 

26. AU: You put them on the map

DG: Somehow, but now I think this is the most important thing we have achieved, the one I’m more proud of. Now, and not only in Andalucía, but you can also go to a fine dining restaurant and find Gazpacho which was something impossible to put in this type of menu 19 years ago.

27. AU: What is your motto in life? What motivates you to do so many changes?

DG: I’m not sure I only wanted to be more myself, which is something important. Thus far everything I ever did was working, but now, I got the chance to spend time with my daughter and even had Christmas. 

28. AU: Didn’t you have Christmas before? 

DG: No, never, only when I was very young when I was at school. 

29. AU: Do you regret anything?

DG: Not really. I’m looking for the future, and now I want to change and my vision is to make more business. Now I’m opening in New York so I was there last week. Of course, I’m a chef, so my work is very different. 

30. AU: Tell me your plans

DG: For next year? 

AU: Yes sure

DG: Next year we are going to open more Bibo, one in Malaga, Doha,  Leña here in the Dani Garcia Space, and another one in Madrid in March, and a Dani Garcia in the 4 seasons in Madrid. 

31. AU: With what kind of food? 

DG: It is a very elegant venue, is in Madrid and we are talking about a very elegant hotel. So we plan to make a menu that is worth the 4 season’s brand. 

We are also opening at the end of the year in New York and Miami with a new brand as well so that makes 2 new brands. An elegant figure for the 4 seasons and we are trying something new, more casual, for the new venues in Miami and New York. 

AU: Is it tapas? Or is it more? 

DG: No, it is not just tapas, although there are tapas in all our menus, it is not a tapas restaurant. There is a plan in Paris too, probably by 2021.

32. AU: How will you do it? How do you manage to aim for so much? 

DG: With a lot of help. I mean, now we are about 500 people in the companyOnly in Madrid, there are 200 people and Lobito de Mar is 104 people. So, for this type of business, we need people. In Lobito de Mar there are always around 250 people at a time eating, which represents a lot of work. 

I plan to go around the world and open each brand around the world, Lobito, Leña, Bibo, all should be in the most important spaces where people can go and meet real Spanish food. That is very important for us. 

33. AU: The menu is the same everywhere? 

DG: Not really, even the menus from the same brand as Bibo are different already in Marbella and Madrid. Because the people in Madrid eat more chicken. 

34. AU: So that’s your experience? In 25 years you get what people want in each place? 

DG: Not everywhere, but almost 90%. For example, when we open in New York we already know that people want more real food. So that when they go to a Spanish restaurant they want a real Spanish food experience. 

At the time of the interview in the spring of 2020, we had the global flu pandemic Covid-19, which brought us into a deep financial crisis.

Despite everything Dani Gacria open a new restaurant in JUNE 2020 LEÑA (it means fire and all about meet) at Puente Romano Beach Resort and SPA in Marbella at La Plaza. 

Dani Garcia at his FB wall: Opening a restaurant has a magical and exciting component, creating a new brand multiplies those sensations, even more, there are many months of teamwork so that today before opening Firewood is already at the heart of all of us who have worked to see the light, now it’s time to show you and try to make you enjoy one more brand inside the Dani Garcia Group, it won’t be the last and yes, I can tell you that I fall in love with all equally… I hope from today you enjoy firewood @lenadanigarcia as much as we have enjoyed creating it!!! Now it is not ours anymore, it is yours…

DANI GARCIA from Groupo DANI Garcia announced in June 2020 also expanding to NEW YORK, Miami and Paris

Dani Garcia:… Happy, very happy to tell you the new international project with our partner @samyboysbe and his amazing team at C3, a revolutionary gastronomic platform in New York, joined SBE+SIMON+ACCOR. c3bysbe c3bysbe

Ready to land with new disruptive brands and concepts.
First destinations: NYC, Miami, and Paris. Let’s rock!! (or go!!!)
Incredibly proud and humbled to announce today our new global partnership with visionary and friend @samyboysbe and his amazingly talented team at C3 in alliance with SBE+SIMON+ACCOR. Let’s rock the world of hospitality together with some amazing brands and disruptive concepts! First stop NYC, Miami, and Paris. @c3bysbe.
 
Congratulations from i-Marbella!
 

Michelin Stars *** Chef Dani Garcia has organized five years A 4 Manos Gastronomic event in Marbella. Dani brought 20 Michelin Stars chefs to Marbella., who had 71 Michelin stars together.  All over the World came people to Marbella to celebrate the gastronomic days at Puente Romano. 

links on www.i-marbella.com  The Fourth Edition of A Cuatro Manos cocktail in Marbella 2017 GALLERY, VIDEO

All News Dani Garcia https://i-marbella.com/Gallery/Venues/venue/dani-garcia

 

Red Carpet Marbella with 110 Michelin Stars chefs. Organizer Dani Garcia ***, Including Nobu Matsuhisa, Ferran Adrià***, Joan Roca***, Joël Robuchon 71 Michelin stars and Annika Urm
Red Carpet Marbella with 110 Michelin Stars chefs. Organizer Dani Garcia ***, Including Nobu Matsuhisa, Ferran Adrià***, Joan Roca***, Joël Robuchon 71 Michelin stars and Annika Urm

Besides, Dani Garcia is Cristiano Ronaldo’s private chef every time he visits Marbella and a close friend of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert de Niro. Dani became famous for his Nitro tomato, which Annika Urm tried last year in his pop up dinner at Bangkok. Her is Annika Urm Blog about it : 

2-Michelin Star Chef Dani Garcia pop-up dinner in Bangkok 2018

Dani Garcia is Cristiano Ronaldo’s private chef every time he visits Marbella

Who is Dani Garcia 3-Michelin Star chef (cocinero) you can read Wikipedia

You can find more info about Grupo Dani Garcia 
Follow Dani Garcia
Facebook Dani Garcia
Instagram @danigarcia7
Twitter @danigarcia_ca

i-Marbella.com online magazine was a Media partner at these series of events. All these events have recorded and Stamp in History of Marbella.  www.i-marbella.com online magazine has been bringing to readers and followers amazing events and celebrities from Marbella and all over the world last 14 years  2009-2024

Annika Urm celebrity journalist had an exclusive interview with famous Spanish 3-Michelin stars Dani Garcia
Annika Urm and Dani Garcia Marbella December 2019 exclusive Interview to i-marbella.com online magazine

Dani Garcia is he also uses Golden Stevia sweetener powder, this is good taste and using very little.

Who is Annika Urm:
Annika Urm is a celebrity journalist, businesswoman, writer, public speaker, international influencer, the director of i-Marbella.com, and her job is to report emotional experiences and facts in the best possible way. Annika is a modern entrepreneur, a business lady of high standards and exquisite taste. Annika’s incredible performance is best described by her numerous followers (more than 200,000.00 each month)

Her mission is sugar-free life and great awareness about sugar consumption consequences as diabetes and obesity. 

Follow Annika Urm here:

Annika Urm Instagram
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Annika Urm Twitter
Annika Urm LinkedIn

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