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Marbella chef Simón Padilla. Josele
Simón Padilla, legendary chef from Puente Romano and Marbella Club dies, aged 77
Food and drink

Simón Padilla, legendary chef from Puente Romano and Marbella Club dies, aged 77

A teacher of some of the province's top chefs and Costa del Sol tourism pioneer, Padilla became known for his innovative cuisine

David Lerma

Marbella

Friday, 1 March 2024, 15:41

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Simón Padilla, celebrated chef from Jaén and director of the Shamoon group, to which the Puente Romano hotel belongs, has died.

The 77-year-old died in Marbella while receiving treatment for cancer. Friends and family said goodbye on Saturday at the old cemetery of San Bernabé after a mass at La Encarnación church.

Padilla became a part of a group of pioneers in Costa del Sol tourism when he took over the kitchen of the prestigious Marbella Club. He became known for his innovative cuisine and as one of the great gastronomic talents of the municipality. Despite never obtaining a single Michelin star, Padilla became a huge name in the industry, introducing the concept of dietetic cuisine. His creations, inspired by the simplicity of Cadiz cuisine, were tasted by the likes of Salvador Dalí, King Fahd and Sean Connery, among others.

Padilla, after his time at the Hotel Atlántico in Cadiz, was awarded a scholarship by the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona, where he completed his training as a chef at a time when the city had a more European flavour than the rest of the country. After meeting his wife, Caty, they both decided to move to Marbella in 1972, working at the former Hilton Hotel, now Don Carlos, Sofico and Incosol, and in 1978 he put on the chef's apron at Puente Romano, a group he would never leave. Padilla taught chefs such as Dani García, Álvaro Arbeloa, Diego del Río, and Juan Gálvez, among others.

Dani García took to social media to say goodbye to the man who was his first head chef outside of catering school when he was just 18 years old. "I will never forget the potato and truffle millefeuille he taught me to make," he recalled.

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