Maria Josè San Román


calle San Fernando, 10
T. +34.965.200363

There’s more than Cataluña and Basque Country: tight between two fires, the Spanish provinces are raising their head and their toque. For instance, this happens in Alicante, with the queen of saffron. Born in 1955, María José San Román studied Law and Languages before beginning her career as an entrepreneur in the hotel and restaurant industry in 1978, together with her husband José Perramón. Year after year the career led to the acquisition of a well assorted bouquet of restaurants, including Tribeca, La Vaquería, La Taberna del Gourmet, Z-Club, Los Mejillones and most of all Monastrell, the flagship restaurant founded in 1997, where she shows her total commitment as a self-trained chef.

She expresses an original avant-garde concept, exalting the original tastes of local and seasonal ingredients through the latest technologies, following the direction of a renovated Mediterranean cuisine, full of contrasts and harmonies. «She’s Alicante’s bravest offer», is guru’s Rafael García Santos’s definition. Among her most thoroughly covered themes, the long study on saffron, in collaboration with Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, searching for innovative gastronomic possibilities for the traditional red gold, which ended up in a book. It has turned her into the biggest expert in the field, with courses at the Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco, and speeches at the most important international congresses for chefs.

«Saffron is the only spice that is equally powerful for your eyes, nose and taste », she notes. So forget the old pinch of crocus sativus: pistils need to be measured with a scale and elaborated according to a range of gastronomic possibilities that can valorise its various facets. The red gold’s Corrida has moved to the laboratory. This is a truly special chapter of her thoughtful approach towards raw materials and attention on the graphics of a plate: a Technicolor cuisine, open to the pompas y boatos de España!

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Elisa Pella