Eneko Atxa, Te It Restaurant You Need To Know ♦ It is not a time travel. It is as if in the place where Alcântara Café once existed, the time had been waiting for Eneko’s arrival. Eneko Atxa. The name already shines discreetly on the facade of the building on Rua Maria Luísa Holstein, in Lisbon. For some time, the iconic space of the 1990s, which closed in 2013, will remain in the memory of some. Then, it will be Eneko. Not simply Eneko: Eneko Lisboa. Secrets From Portugal is thrilled to call this restaurant one of the most CovetED ones in town, discover why.
“Touching the roots to dream, travel, discover, feel the environment and awaken the senses and emotions”
Basque chef Eneko Atxa arrived at the old Alcântara Café with a double concept: haute cuisine at Eneko Lisboa, and tapas at Basque. It brings 5 Michelin stars and 14th place in the list of the best restaurants in the world. Opens to the public on October 1, between symphony and jazz.
The Basque chef, 42 years old, is a friend who welcomes us with open arms in a house with little light and many workers. These are the works, with which he will give minimal touches to the old space to create his own. It arrives about a year after Martin Berasategui, the Spanish super-chef, also Basque (currently with ten stars), who installed himself at the top of the Vasco da Gama Tower, in 50 Seconds. As soon as we talk about it, he jumps up in his chair: “I just talked to him!”, He says while showing us the latest incoming calls.
The chef from Bilbao started his path in the gastronomy world at 15 years old, in the Culinary School of Leioa, Bizkaia, conciliating his studies with the job in the restaurant, where he learned about the traditional Basque cuisine. Later, he worked in several prestigious restaurants where he developed his own style. In 2005, after working as a kitchen chef in several restaurants, Eneko Atxa decided to open his own restaurant: Azurmendi ***, in Larrabetzu, close to Bilbao.
Azurmendi *** – which is, in Eneko Atxa’s own words, his home – won three Michelin stars between 2007 and 2012 and, when the Michelin Guide granted the third star, Azurmendi *** became the first and only restaurant in Bizkaia to receive such an award and Eneko Atxa, at 35, became one of the youngest Spanish chefs to even obtain such a recognition.
“If you love where you live, you must respect it” Eneko Atxa.
What makes chef Eneko Atxa unique is his concern for matters regarding the environment, sustainability and social impact.
The Azurmendi restaurant, which opened its doors in 2005, twice awarded as the most sustainable restaurant in the world, has 3 Michelin stars and occupies the 14th place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The space is able to generate its own energy through photovoltaic panels and geothermal energy or by using rainwater for the in-house vegetable gardens.