The Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition delivered the 2021 National Gastronomy Awards last night at the Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona
Barcelona, July 21st, 2021.- The Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition has delivered tonight the National Gastronomy Awards 2021. Rafel Muria, who leads the restaurant Quatre Molins with a Michelin Star and 6th generation of the Muria family of beekeepers, has received the Revelation Award 2021.
The Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona has been the setting chosen by the entity for the awards ceremony, which has been attended by the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès.
The renowned chef Carme Ruscalleda, seven Michelin Stars and vice president of the Catalan Agency for Gastronomy and Nutrition, and the Regional Minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat de Catalunya Teresa Jordà, have presented the award to the young chef Rafel Muria.
Known in Haute Cuisine as the Honey Chef, Rafel Muria Franch was born in El Perelló (Tarragona) into a family with a long beekeeping tradition. Born between flowers and swarms, it is precisely honey that defines his most intimate culinary imagination.
Graduated in 2012 at the Hofmann School in Barcelona, Rafel Muria began his professional career at the Xerta’s Restaurant Villa Retiro (Tarragona), with a Michelin Star, and worked in restaurants of high international prestige such as the Michel Bras Restaurant in Laguiole (France) with three Michelin Stars, or the Villa Maiella Restaurant in Pescara (Italy), with one Michelin Star.
This trajectory culminated when he became the sous chef at the exclusive Parisian restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Saint Germain, with two Michelin Stars, and in 2018 he won the demanding Balfegó Red Tuna National Gastronomy Contest. His ‘Dark meat bluefin tuna royal’ received 100 points from chef Martín Berasategui, who confessed that he had never given this maximum score.
That same year, at just 23 years old, he led the new stage of the Quatre Molins Restaurant in Cornudella de Montsant (Tarragona), led by winegrower Jaume Giral, owner of Celler Ronadelles, who had started this project to position gastronomy at the height of the wines of the region.
Rafel Muria is a simple, humble, apparently shy chef with the restlessness of someone who wants to learn every day.
This humility did not prevent him from continuing to collect successes such as the candidacy for Revelation Chef Madrid Fusión 2019, a nomination that made him jump definitively to the forefront of the National Haute Cuisine. Last year his project earned the mention “el Plato” in the Michelin Guide, and he received his first Michelin Star.
Security, tenacity, courage and balance, together with a great knowledge of the product and cooking techniques are, despite his youth, the strengths that stand out in chef Rafel Muria.
On receiving the award, Rafel Muria indicated that “for me, this recognition is one more step towards excellence in my work. A great motivation to continue giving the best of myself every day and to continue innovating and adding value to a profession that I am passionate about”.
The other winners this year were Jordi Vilà, National Gastronomy Award, Javier Oliveira from Via Veneto Restaurant, Sala Award, and the Mercabarna Association of Wholesale Companies Special Academy Award.
The Muria family, beekeepers since 1810, is dedicated, in addition to extracting, bottling and marketing top quality honey, to disseminating centuries of experience on bees at the Muria Beekeeping Interpretation Center. There you can see the facilities from which honey is extracted, do bee tourism and become aware of the need to care for bees to prevent their extinction.