Country : Spain
Restaurant : L´Escaleta
Address : Pujada Estació Nord 204, 03820 Cocentaina, Alicante
Website : http://lescaleta.com/
Francisco Moya Redrado was born in Cocentaina, Alicante in 1976. His family opened a little hotel in the inland town of Onteniente, after which they opened a small restaurant in Cocentaina called L’Escaleta, referring to the narrow staircase that descended into the premises. At this time, Basque- Navarre dishes were relatively unknown in the area and L’Escaleta immediately featured recipes from the cuisine.
The restaurant was a family affair. At 14, Moya would work in the kitchen on the weekends, grumbling when he had to peel garlic because he couldn’t stand the smell. At the time, it didn’t seem that kitchen work was for him; as soon as he turned 16 he started working as a waiter.
However, in 1998 Moya had a chance to apprentice at Ferrán Adrìa's legendary El Bulli. After that initial experience, he shifted towards kitchen work, doing apprenticeships in several Navarre and Catalan restaurants, among which he has a very vivid memory of the restaurant Talaia in Barcelona and of his stage with the Roca brothers in El Celler de Can Roca. There he realized that their work in the kitchen, wine cellar, and dessert sectors made the perfect trinity for any respectable restaurant. During this time he also had the chance to study under the late Santi Santamaría, the Manchegan Manolo de la Ossa, and Antonio Velasco, among other master chefs.
At the onset of the new millennium, L’Escaleta moved into a country house on the skirts of the Montcabrer Mountain, which one can see from the large windows in the restaurant. Moya was impatient to bring his newly acquired knowledge to the menu, but his Uncle Ramiro, who had always been cautious about embarking on new gastronomic adventures and skeptical about his desire to innovate immediately, convinced him that the time would come for that, and it was better to forge ahead slowly and without shortcuts. So, under his uncle, Moya positioned himself in all the kitchen stations and imbibed their own philosophy in which raw ingredients were of primary importance. Their obligation was to avoid false appearances aesthetically and to eschew fancy sauces that could overshadow the purity of their flavors.
L’Escaleta was always a symbiosis within the family. With the coming of the second generation, Moya became in charge of the kitchen. His cousin, Alberto Redrado, who was chosen the best wine steward of 2009 by the Real Academia de la Gastronomía and the Cofradía de la Buena Mesa, became the restaurant manager. Both work together and consult each other continuously on each dish presented. A Michelin star since 2001 and numerous awards confirm that L’Escaleta is one of the best restaurants in Valencia.