The Red Guide awards prestigious chef Josean Alija's cuisine, in recognition of the Bilbao art museum's commitment to haute cuisine
After only six months of existence, NERUA, the new gastronomic space dedicated to gourmet cuisine at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, headed by chef Josean Alija, has won its first star in the prestigious Michelin restaurant guide, which sets the standard for haute cuisine throughout the world.
At the eagerly awaited presentation of its annual ratings, held at the Palace Hotel in Barcelona, the prestigious Michelin Guide of Spain and Portugal has granted full recognition to the work of Josean Alija, the chef who took over the restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1998 and who, after being awarded the prize for Best Young Cook in 2000, has won numerous awards for his revolutionary purist style that is replete with aromas, textures and flavors at the same time.
Since June 2011, Alija has been at the helm of Nerua, a project with an international scope conceived to offer visitors to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from all around the world as well as Bilbao residents an innovative gastronomic proposal that focuses on the natural, thanks to its relationship with its immediate environment, interpretation of local products and their adaptation to draw out their essence.
Josean Alija's cuisine shows a special sensitivity towards vegetables, a real involvement with sustainability and an ongoing willingness to innovate, which endeavors to provide enjoyable cuisine that takes history into account, yet always freely evolves. "An essential, intimate cuisine", as Alija himself has defined it.
"The Michelin star is recognition for a culinary project to which the Museum has been committed since its inauguration in 1997", affirms Juan Ignacio Vidarte, director of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, after learning of the award.
The artist Jeff Koons, creator of one of the signature pieces of work in the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, as Puppy is, refers to art as something that is not an object, but rather in the mind of the observer.
This same line of thought is what the restaurant Nerua wishes to convey, getting visitors to create their own dining experience, making the means to do so accessible to the diner.
Our language originates in reflection, coupled with innovation, and is transferred to all aspects of the restaurant, integrating the senses.