The foodie wires were buzzing last week with the news that Marbella's very own Dani García plans to hang up his star-studded kitchen knives.
But why should 35-year-old Dani, with three restaurants in Marbella apparently doing good business, decide the world of the Michelin stratosphere is no longer tempting?
At the end of 2019 his 3-star 'Dani García', in Puente Romano is scheduled to become a steak and hamburger joint. Those who criticise his 'betrayal' consider that he should not abandon his ambassadorial role for Marbella, the Costa del Sol, Spanish haute cuisine, etc...
Others cannot blame him for turning his back on the peculiar world of the little red guide. Dani will have come to the conclusion that he has no desire to spend the remainder of his professional life cooking for a certain type of customer, with the little fat tyre man looking over his shoulder.
What is referred to as the three-star system should be called the three-stress syndrome, and many chefs who work 18-hour days preserving, or attempting to attain, stars, must be envious of Dani's resolve. As he says, "I am not ready to give up my dreams for Michelin, nor for what my customers may think, nor even the Tourism Board or the Mayor of Marbella."
The restaurant earned its third star in November, so is this the moment to consider converting it into a steak house? Perhaps here is a top chef whose priorities are not just fame and fortune. Dani needs to make up for lost time. When he was a child wonder after earning a Michelin star for Ronda's Tragabuches restaurant, he was just 25. Subsequently he was enticed into a series of schemes by investors that did not enhance his reputation as either chef or businessman. His New York restaurant closed and never reopened, but his partners did not inform Dani. When he arrived for work he found the doors shut.
It has not been until the more recent Marbella ventures that has he found his clogs, so let's hope his latest decision is right for him and his 50 employees.