García & associates

Few chefs succeed in getting their images recognised internationally. Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay are identifiable on any continent, but other great chefs, like Spain's Arzak, don't always turn heads outside their immediate environments.

Dani García, Marbella's favourite kitchen character, is known on a national level, and not because of Michelin stars. Dani's secret, if he has one, is knowing how to promote himself, although he also has a personal PR and a Malaga PR agency, La Madre de Los Beatles.

An essential part of the Dani García publicity plan is to tell everyone how difficult it was getting to the top. He had a tough time and once had to sell his car (wow! really?) As it happens, Dani, a highly talented innovative cook, must of necessity depend on financial backers to develop his career. And one problem is that his professional record is full of holes. When he left Tragabuches in Ronda after it had, thanks to Dani, achieved a Michelin star, he embarked on a series of adventures locally that started at the Hotel Meliá Don Pepe: a disaster, as were subsequent attempts, such as La Moraga.

Dani is not of course the type who can see himself working in a particular restaurant for ever. As he begins a new project he is already thinking about the next one. The only thing wrong with that is that it may dilute concentration levels for the job in hand.

Two days after closing his Marbella 3-star establishment at Puente Romano, with the intention of re-opening it in May as a steak and hamburger joint, Dani was at a San Sebastian seminar telling a large audience that New York beckoned. And not just New York, but the entire world, with hundreds of Dani restaurants across the globe, or at least this is what he envisages. Obviously, his present financial backers have backed his projects to date, but his plans for world domination may be harder to handle. Although, to be fair, Dani has revealed himself to be proficient at attracting money whenever he needed it, a surefire sign of a good chef.