Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona, famous for traditional cuisine, to close doors after owners declare it no longer viable.
El Racó de Can Fabes, one of the first Spanish restaurants to be awarded a Michelin star, is to close at the end of next month after 32 years. The owners said the business was no longer viable.
Can Fabes, which is located in Sant Celoni in the Montseny hills north of Barcelona, opened as a modest establishment in 1981 in what had been the family home of its chef, Santi Santamaria, for 200 years. It acquired its first Michelin star in 1988, the second in 1991 and maintained the coveted three stars from 1994 until shortly after Santamaria died of a heart attack in Singapore in 2011. It currently holds two stars.
In common with his fellow three-star Catalan chefs Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and the Roca brothers, Santamaria's cuisine was rooted in local tradition. However, he spurned and at times ridiculed Adrià's experiments with foam, nitrogen and deconstructed omelettes. He dismissed Adrià as "a media spectacle" with his "laboratory dishes full of gelling agents and emulsifiers". He described the so-called Spanish vanguard chefs as "a gang of frauds". However, many of them, Adrià included, attended his funeral.
Since his death the kitchen has been run by his daughter Regina and the chef Xavier Pellicer. In an open letter, the owners said Can Fabes was closing "after 32 years of a marvellous culinary and gastronomic adventure ... in which we have sought the best products and perfect cooking and a commitment to our culinary roots". The message added that the restaurant "lacked the economic viability necessary to continue as a project based on excellence".
The demise of Can Fabes comes two years after Adrià closed El Bulli, but Catalans still have two other three-star establishments to choose from: Ruscalleda's Restaurant Sant Pau and the Roca brothers' El Celler de Can Roca, recently voted the best restaurant in the world.
Can Fabes opened as a modest establishment in 1981 in what had been the family home of its chef, Santi Santamaria, for 200 years. Photograph: Wilfredo Garcia/EPA