The book ‘Zalacaín 50 years’ reviews the iconic history of the spanish restaurant

A work that encapsulates the past, present and future of the culinary institution.

Click here to read the Spanish version.

Zalacaín 50 Years. Escenario Gastronómico del S.XXI‘, published by the publishing house Planeta Gastro together with the Academia Iberoamericana de Gastronomía, revolves around one of the great references of Spanish haute cuisine, spread over 250 pages and six chapters that review the 50 years of Zalacaín’s history.

This restaurant, which owes its name to the novel ‘Zalacaín el Aventurero’ by Pío Baroja, has gone down in history for many things. And one of them could already be seen from its beginnings in 1973, becoming the meeting point of great personalities from all walks of life. From the aristocracy to great figures of literature, art or high society and the political class: its halls and private rooms have hosted sumptuous evenings with famous diners such as Salvador Dalí, the Rolling Stones, Adolfo Suárez or Mario Vargas Llosa. A landmark venue in which the political and socio-economic context has always merged with the gastronomic.

Although if there has been something for which this restaurant has been glorified, it is for having been the first restaurant in Spain to achieve three Michelin stars in 1987, thanks to its elevated gastronomic proposal and the value of its wine cellar, immortalised in the book through the references and the most iconic recipes of the house.

This book, structured around a prologue and epilogue written by Rafael Ansón, president of the Ibero-American Academy of Gastronomy, reviews its iconic legacy, including the rediscovery of the classics with chef Jorge Losa, as well as exclusive testimonials from the well-known ‘fantastic 4’ who marked its history. They were the main protagonists behind the success of Zalacaín.

Its content has been prepared and edited by the publishing house Planeta Gastro and the authors of the texts are the journalists Susana Gómez, Noelia Jiménez and Sibely Valle, who break down a story also told by its great protagonists such as: the legendary chef Benjamín Urdiain (who died in 2023); José Jiménez Blas and Carmelo Pérez, former head waiters; Custodio López Zamarra, former sommelier; Jorge Losa, current head chef; Roberto Jiménez and Luis Miguel Polo, current maîtres and Raúl Revilla, current sommelier, together with other collaborators and witnesses to its history, bringing this editorial creation to life. ‘

The resurgence of the new project under the management of the Urrechu Group, under the gastronomic direction of chef Iñigo Urrechu, is also part of its current era and the construction of its future.

In Zalacaín’s work, the photographs and unpublished archives emphasise the narrative with which the reader manages to capture the essence and its evolution, which ends with an ‘ode to Zalacaín’: a tribute written by Luis Suárez de Lezo, current president of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy.