Aponiente wins World’s Most Sustainable Restaurant 2022 award: A dive into chef Ángel León’s marine-inspired cuisine
Andalusian restaurant Aponiente, led by renowned chef Ángel León, has scooped the prestigious World’s Most Sustainable Restaurant award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 ceremony in London. Known globally for his commitment to ocean conservation and sustainable fishing, León’s groundbreaking work champions the use of discarded marine species and the discovery of new, unknown ingredients from the ocean’s depths.
“This is an award given to us by the sea,” said chef León, adding that the accolade is dedicated to a team of more than 70 people “who are really building a better world.”
Nestled within the Cadiz marshes, Aponiente is a true testament to the transformative power of gastronomy. The restaurant’s ever-evolving menu reflects León’s lifelong commitment to sustainability and marine biodiversity, exploring the concept that “we live on a planet wrongly called Earth”. Signature dishes that showcase Aponiente’s innovative approach include Mackerel Sobrasada, Sea Bass Mortadella, Red Tuna Belly Sea Ham and the Moray Eel Skin turned into Crispy Pork Skin.
Science is at the heart of Aponiente’s culinary philosophy, officially certified by the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities for its dedication to scientific and technical research. In 2009, León became the first Spaniard to gain EU approval for human consumption of food and ingredients derived from marine microalgae. His pioneering research has led to the creation of fish protein sausages, marine-origin honey, and the world’s first “marine cereal” derived from the domestication of Zostera marina.
León and the Aponiente Crew also work tirelessly to rebuild the social and economic fabric of Cadiz. Collaborating with international NGOs, the restaurant is more than just an eatery – it’s an ambitious project aimed at reactivating and recovering the surrounding environment. With a focus on restoring the socio-ecosystem and re-establishing natural balance, Aponiente has already reclaimed over 70 hectares of marine-terrestrial ecosystem in the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park.
Aponiente’s international presence is growing, and every two years, the team organises a global chefs’ gathering called Despesques, which fosters discussion around sustainability and the role of food in the future. This prestigious award underlines the crucial link between cuisine and nature and celebrates León’s unique vision for a gastronomic revolution, centred on the infinite and mysterious riches of the sea.
For further information visit Aponiente’s website here.