Today, the culinary world was stunned to hear that Spanish chef Santi Santamaria passed away suddenly while in Singapore visiting one of his restaurants. At 53, Santamaria was a major force in Spanish cuisine and his restaurants had seven Michelin stars, three of which were for his Barcelona restaurant, El Raco de Can Fabes.
Spanish chef Juan Mari Arzak told El Pais Santamaria's death is "a great loss to Spanish cuisine" (article translated by Google). Fellow Spaniard and Washington, DC chef José Andrés declared him "one of the best chefs in the history of the world!" and Los Angeles chef Michael Voltaggio said "one of the best things I've ever eaten was from his hands." French food critic Francois Simon says "He may have been a bull in a China shop, but he was a very interesting bull."
Famous for his Catalan cuisine, in recent years Santamaria was on something of a quest to save it from those he thought were "legitimating forms of cooking that distance them from the traditional" (read: Ferran Adrià) and went so far as to imply certain chemicals used in molecular gastronomy could be dangerous.
Santamaria was one of six chefs who owned a restaurant in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands development; the others were Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Tetsuya Wakuda, and Guy Savoy.
Video: Santi Santamaria Prepares Saddle of Lamb
· Spanish Chef Santi Santamaria Dies in Singapore [WaPo]
· Dueling Spanish Chefs [Gourmet]
· Famed El Bulli Chef Ferran Adria Accused of 'Poisoning' His Diners [Telegraph]
· Chef Santi Santamaria Dies in Singapore [El Pais]
· Saddle of Lamb: Chef Santi Santamaria [YouTube]
Santi Santamaria. [Photo: Hola]