Star chef Alcayde makes mouths water at Starlite, Marbella

Richard Alcayde, executive chef at the eighth edition of Starlite.
Richard Alcayde, executive chef at the eighth edition of Starlite. / D. MALDONADO
  • Malaga chef Richard Alcayde took the reins of the festival restaurant with the objective of preparing all dishes in front of the diners

Starlite closed recently with a record number of visitors: more than 281,000 people attended the festival in the Nagüeles quarry in Marbella. In addition to increasing the number of concerts, this eighth edition had a new face at the front of its gastronomic section. Richard Alcayde took the reins as executive chef of Starlite.

The Starlite restaurant adopted the 'buffet' style of service, including dishes from all cultures. "The objective was to achieve a very visual buffet, which would be a trip around the world at a gastronomic level," explained Alcayde. The menu included an Italian trattoria, sushi, an artisan ice-cream parlour and a Mexican cantina, this year's great novelty. Nine chefs were in charge of preparing all the dishes live, following the main philosophy of the restaurant: to offer a very visual menu.

"We wanted diners to be able to see the meat roasting on the fire," he said, with one of the star dishes being chicken marinated with spices cooked on an open fire, a recipe from Alcayde that caused a sensation. "We renamed it Starlite Marinated Chicken because it's been an incredible success. We served 20 kilos of chicken a day," he recalls.

Another of the culinary trends of the festival was the Mexican cantina, "We created several types of tacos, with different fillings, and they were tremendously successful. Some days we would prepare more than 400 tacos," said the Malaga chef.

Sushi was also popular. "There were always two chefs: one made sushi and the other created custom trays for the diners," said the chef.

The Alcayde team also offered catering services for the VIPs with the menu based on finger food. Antonio Banderas, David Bisbal, Luis Fonsi, Bertín Osborne and Dani García were some of the more famous diners in the restaurant.

He is keen to repeat the experience next year. "The team was incredible and are the real reason for all the success we had," said the chef, who would like to experiment with ceviche and introduce the concept of a 'guest chef' in the ninth edition of Starlite.