Chef Dani García of Manzanilla - Biography

New York, NY

July 2013

Dani García was born in the coastal town of Marbella, Spain, where his award-winning Restaurante Calima now attracts national and international attention. Indeed, as much as he is now known an innovator, García is still primarily a chef with pride in his native land, a pride he’s carried with him throughout his career in Spain, and beyond.

A graduate of La Consula Hospitality School in Málaga, García was among the several apprentices of iconic Spanish Chef Martín Berasategui, who, in turn, became leaders in modern Spanish cuisine. As his career progressed, García found himself combining local Andalusian flavors with his own imagination and cutting-edge technique. He began to develop his own voice when he took over the kitchen at the Tragabuches in the mountain town of Ronda. And in 2004, when he was tapped by the Meliá hotel group to helm the kitchen of Calima in Marbella, García dove fully into experimentation.

It was in the kitchen of Calima that García, along with Professor Raimundo García del Moral of the University of Granada, first developed culinary applications for liquid nitrogen, now a modernist culinary staple. In addition to experiments with other beloved Andalusian ingredients—such as Ibérico pork and olive oil—García is also credited for discovering that certain marine species “blow up” when submerged in a certain temperature of olive oil, their skin cooking crisply while the flesh inside steams. A frequent headliner at Madrid Fusión, García has advanced his avant-garde technique within an expanding empire, including Uno by Dani García in Madrid, Calima Palacio de Isora in the Canary Islands, and his original Calima. And in 2012, he brought his homegrown passion to New York, with the opening of hyper-modern Spanish tapas bar Manzanilla.