Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
In 2015, the distinction awarded by FEHR (Hospitality and Catering Federation) and FEPET (Spanish Federation of Tourism Journalists and Writers) went to the city of Cáceres, in Extremadura.
It competed with Cartagena, Huesca, Lugo and Valencia for the fourth edition of this award.
Logroño, Burgos, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and now Cáceres. The city is home to a rich cultural heritage, and its outstanding state of preservation led it to be declared a National Monument in 1949 and a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986. Over the years it has become a leading tourist destination that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
Cáceres produces a wonderful, rich variety of products which add an exceptional touch to its dishes. Dehesas (woodlands), irrigated fields, wheat fields, rivers, gorges, olive groves, fruit trees and forests are the ingredients required for nutritious and delicious cuisine. The food is further enriched by the influence of the people who once settled in the area—Romans, Arabs and Jews—and by Portuguese cooking.
For that reason, there so many DOs and PGIs in Cáceres alone. The area—which is experiencing a boom in tourism—has some very famous products, including pimentón (a type of paprika) from La Vera, Dehesa de Extremadura ham, cherries from Jerte, Ibores and Torta del Casar cheese, lamb and veal from Extremadura, Villuercas-Ibores honey, and Ribera del Guadiana wine.
The region welcomed a record 5.9 million tourists in 2014. The government aims to surpass that figure in 2015, when the region is set to be a leading culinary tourism destination, by increasing the General Tourism Department's budget this year to 35.5 million euros. The bulk of those funds will be earmarked for new tourism infrastructure and national and international promotional efforts.
It's also worth noting that traditional Extremaduran cuisine is currently reinventing itself, with the result that younger people are becoming interested in haute cuisine which, though prepared with the same quality ingredients as always, is given a modern twist.
Atrio restaurant, a standard-bearer for modernity in Cáceres
Atrio, the only restaurant in Extremadura with two Michelin stars and three Repsol suns, is a true standout on the dining scene in Cáceres. It's considered one of the best restaurants in Spain due to its cutting-edge culinary creations and quality food, which has been recognized internationally.
Atrio, in the city of Cáceres, is an exceptional restaurant and its magnificent architecture aligns perfectly with its sophisticated and well-defined cuisine.
It offers 3,400 wines, and probably has the most complete and impressive collection of Château d'Yquem bottles in the world.
Extremadura's most famous ingredients can be found throughout the menu, which perfectly reflects the project created by Toño and José (the owners) 30 years ago.