The three Michelin starred Valencian chef will open the doors of his first restaurant outside of Spain this June, with rice at the heart of the offering.
Speaking on the opening during one of his many visits to London, Quique has said, “I am excited to bring part of our tradition and gastronomy to one of the most important capitals of the world. Paella is one of the best-known dishes around yet also one of the most mistreated – with this project, I am materialising a passion I have been nurturing for decades: to reinstate the rice culture from the eastern coast of Spain to its rightful home”.
Quique Dacosta is set to open Arros QD on Fitzrovia’s 64 Eastcastle Street on the 7th June 2019. His first restaurant in London and outside of his native Spain, the collaborative project will showcase Quique’s unique style of cooking while highlighting his passion for rice as well as premium, local and seasonal ingredients.
Over the past thirty years, Quique has built a name for himself around the world for his artistic expression in the kitchen and for being a pioneer of avant-garde cuisine. His flagship in Denia, the eponymous Quique Dacosta Restaurant, has held three Michelin stars since 2013, holds a position on the World’s 100 Best Restaurants List and has been twice awarded Best European Restaurant by Opinionated About Dining, to name a handful of its accolades. Quique’s portfolio also includes El Poblet, a one Michelin-starred restaurant in Valencia city, MercatBar, Vuelve Carolina, and most recently Llisa Negra.
Quique’s London restaurant will focus on rice, a product that does not currently have much presence in high-end gastronomy but has always been integral to the chef’s cooking.
One of the most recognized experts in the field, his book and treaty about rice, Arroces Contemporáneos, was published in 2005. An entire section of Arros QD’s menu devoted to rice will include dishes such as Paella Valenciana, a traditional take on the dish that includes Rabbit chop, chicken and butter beans, all cooked over a wood fire and using a variety of timbers to complement each dish. More contemporary rice dishes, highlighting premium and seasonal UK ingredients, will include “chapas” such as Smoked Welsh Duck breast, morel, black trompettes and porcini aioli. All the rice dishes will be designed to share, evoking a sense of familial ritual, comfort and tradition that Quique credits to rice dishes from around the world.
The rest of the menu will feature innovative starters and a selection of meat, vegetable and fish mains that range from larger pieces cooked over fire or charcoal, to dishes using more vanguard techniques and elaborations. All will celebrate the premium produce of the British larder whilst showcasing the creative mark of the chef.
To drink, Arros QD’s wine list will pay tribute to the wines that grow around the Mediterranean Sea, focussing on organic farms, along with premium wines from the most traditional regions of the world. A cocktail menu served in our bar and lounge area will continue on the Mediterranean theme, with modern takes on classic cocktails from the sea’s key cities. A further category will focus on seasonal and locally sourced botanicals and fruits, all thoughtfully paired with unique spirits to bring out the best flavour.
Arros QD has been designed by the highly-lauded Barcelonian studio, Lázaro Rosa-Violán, and will showcase an open kitchen that awards diners with views of the eight-meter flame grill upon which their rice is cooked. A sophisticated yet relaxed setting, the restaurant is set across two floors totalling 9000sqf and holding 140 covers, with four distinct areas including a lounge with bar seating, a more immersive chef’s paella counter and a chef’s table.
Quique has surrounded himself with a range of professionals with a proven track record both in London and the international restaurant scene, including Head Chef Richard De La Cruz.
With this project, Quique seeks to challenge preconceptions and restore Valencia’s rice culture to its rightful place: “bringing our tradition and gastronomy to one of the main capitals in the world, both generally and gastronomically, is an exercise of commitment and responsibility which fills me with excitement”.
Photo credit: Quique Dacosta
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