Restaurateur and entrepreneur Marcos Granda has had rip-roaring success in his ventures. Let’s delve into what it is about the celebrated businessman and chef that gives his restaurants the golden touch.
With four stellar restaurants and five Michelin stars under his belt, it appears that there’s no slowing down the ambitious chef from Asturias. For Marcos, it’s absolutely essential that a restaurant is run by someone who understands inside and out how a kitchen is run.
With the help of his wife, Granda opened Skina Restaurant in Marbella in December 2004, turning his dreams into reality. Basing the dining experience on exquisite food, meticulously selected wines and excellent service, they achieved their first Michelin star.
Taking his main inspiration from the typical Andalusian home pantry, Granda is an avid fan of local fish, fruits from local producers and farmers, and of course, quality meats. Using this as the staple for his menus, Granda adds his own personal touch alongside his trusted chefs.
Considering himself to be a tenacious person, it’s his sheer hard work and persistence which has taken him from being a bright-eyed boy of 15 years old full of ambition, to the established entrepreneur that he is today.
Granda is also an enthusiast and lover of sherry wines and Malaga muscatels, which always have an important place in the wine list of the Skina restaurant, with almost a thousand references of small winemakers from all over the world.
A firm believer in the importance of the tiny details, Grande owes his success to having an innate eye for what goes mostly overlooked in a restaurant.
One could say that Granda is a wine connoisseur and headwaiter in a world of chefs. His natural space is haute cuisine and he knows how to introduce the elements into the equation so that the result is pure perfection.
He strives for excellence, fulfilling his customers’ desires, and he knows how to create teams in which gastronomy and dining room work perfectly. He proves it in his successful restaurants Skina, with two Michelin stars and located in Marbella; CLOS, which has one star in Madrid; Ayalga, in the Hotel Villa Rosario in Ribadesella; and now, also in NINTAI.
Skina – Marbella
Marbella prides itself on having a two-star Michelin restaurant, in the form of Skina. In December 2004, businessman Granda launched this project in a small space for just 10 diners, as it slowly but surely took off as an extremely successful venture.
At Skina you can enjoy the impeccable work of Mario Cachinero, one of the most promising chefs, as evidenced by the “Michelin for young chefs” award that brought him to the stage at the star award gala in Valencia.
The menu is based on traditional Andalusian recipes, earning the establishment its second star at the end of 2019 and the 2020 edition. Mario Cachinero, head chef of Skina with two stars, has been recognized by the Michelin Guide Spain and Portugal 2022 with the brand new Young Chef Award.
According to Granda, Skina has managed to make a name for itself through the effort, tenacity and hard work of the whole team. After four gruelling years, it received the definitive recognition for any restaurant, its first Michelin Star in 2008.
Of course, this was a very joyous occasion for the restaurant, but the team recognises that it’s equally as difficult and strenuous to maintain its stars.
Nintai – Marbella
Only a few months old, Nintai has pulled off the extremely impressive feat of achieving a Michelin star in the form of Japanese haute-cuisine. Also situated in Marbella, it appears that Granda has certainly cracked the code for a successful restaurant.
Including his two stars for Skina, Granda can also add Nintai to the list with his Japanese dining experience consisting of only twelve exclusive seats distributed around a bar. Itamae Pablo Olivares takes centre stage, using premium seasonal products, original combinations and a sommelier’s work with sake, champagne and other drinks to match.
There are two menus that the 12 diners can taste. Both are based on the finest produce of the market, that is, fresh and seasonal products, and the result of the spontaneity of itamae. In Japanese, the word omakase means ‘to trust’, ‘to put oneself in the hands of the chef’.
Thus, the Omakase Menu consists of four hot dishes and six sushi passes, and is priced at 95 euros. The NINTAI Grand Menu features six hot passes and 10 pieces of sushi. It amounts to 130 euros. The price of both menus does not include the wine pairing customised for each customer according to their tastes and the culinary proposal of that particular dish.
The establishment is limited to twelve exclusive seats around a wooden bar where the itamae subtly cuts the fish and prepares impeccable sushi.
Ayalga – Asturias
Meaning “to find treasure on the beach” in Asturian, Granda opened Ayalga in 2019 in the Hotel Villa Rosario.
The intention was to curate a dining space where the public could come and savour the authentic taste of the region. Two years after its inception, Ayalga was also awarded its first Michelin recognition from the Spanish Guide, as well as in Portugal. This Michelin star was particularly special for Granda, as it meant he now had a Michelin star on his home turf, and it was also the year that his Japanese restaurant Nintai received its first star.
The team, both in the kitchen with chef Israel Moreno Torres, and in the dining room, led by José Miranda and Marcos Granda, is the soul of the establishment and invites those who sit at their table to be part of a global experience based on the product, on the local raw material and always seasonal.
Ayalga’s haute cuisine is a tale of the sea and the mountains and is accompanied by an impeccable selection of wines. There are two tasting menus that represent Asturian cuisine, its tradition, its recipes and its pantry, with the sophisticated and creative eye of Granda.
These are Sabores de la Tierrina and Experiencia Ayalga, each of which costs 69 euros and the pairing with six wines, 31 euros.
In the second menu, it can be extended to 8 references for 40 euros.
Clos – Madrid
CLOS opened in Madrid in December 2017 and is found on Raimundo Fernández-Villaverde street decoration of the restaurant is minimal and elegant.
Clos Madrid prepares creative Mediterranean cuisine based on high-quality products, with creative touches of avant-garde and modernism, creating an exquisite mixture of contrasts.
In addition, the kitchen and wine cellar open to the dining room, which is so fashionable now, always pleases. Apart from its terrace, they have a reserved area for about 8 people.
Again, at the helm of sommelier Marcos Granda, he proposes a selection of wines from small producers, paying tribute to the passion of their elaborations, the terroir, climate and vineyards of each area, a small tribute to the sacrifice, tender care and love from each producer.
CLOS has two menu options. One at 75€, where you choose a starter, a main course and a dessert. The other option is the tasting menu itself, which costs 85€. Within the Michelin stars, its tasting menu has one of the best price-pleasure ratios in Madrid.
Its stand-out dishes are: Consommé de pez mantequilla; Callos rebouchon y yema; Carabinero ahumado; Pichón; Arroz de Pichón; Merluza pil-pil; Natillas.