My name is Antonio Bellés and I'm going to tell you the story of my dream.
Everything goes back to the origins, those sensations, smells, flavors that were at first primary and simple like the smell of butchering a chicken to prepare the Sunday paella. It was that almost religious act of helping my grandmother, Amparo, to prepare paella or participating in family life with different agricultural tasks.
In short, the union of earth and sky, planting and harvesting, hunting and eating your prey, walking through the mountains covered by aromatic plants, rosemary, thyme, chess and so many more.
The need to look at the horizon led me to study cooking first in Castellón and then in Madrid. I learned how to mix, prepare, combine and cook all those smells and tastes and at the age of 19 I was ready to experience a year of military service in Badajoz. The great pasture, more ham, cheese, and peace.
Going through the great kitchens of the time like Arzak, Subijana, Bulli, Dorado Petit or Via Veneto prepared me to professionalize my years as a student. But the big jump that marked my life was accepting the position of Sous Chef at the opening of the Hotel Arts in Barcelona in 1993 and meeting Cristina.
Everything added up, everything was exciting, everything was immense with Ritz Carlton until they took me to San Francisco, Washington, and New York. From then on the world was much more exciting, people were eating new things, new products, new combinations, new horizons were opening up.
The big day came, February 1998, when Melia offered me the position of executive chef in Los Cabos, Mexico. It was an intense three years with wonderful people and the arrival of my second son Pol. With the attacks in New York, tourism in Mexico calmed down and we had to make decisions again.
We moved to London with Melia, for the opening of the Melia White House Hotel as Executive Chef. It was 5 years of hard work clearly rewarded by living in a city where people recognized good work and good cuisine.
We decided to take the leap as a family and open our own dream, the restaurant. First, it was Lola Rojo, where we proved that tapas and rice dishes were a good formula. Our special thanks to Gordon Ramsey who chose us as finalists for "best Spanish restaurant in England". Also to Time Out magazine that awarded us as "best newly opened local restaurant in London" and the following year "best Spanish restaurant", a professional dream became true.
After 10 years and also opening Rosita and the Sherry Bar, we were overloaded with work until Antoni, my eldest son arrived to work with us and share all our accumulated knowledge.
Now, after an obligatory rest in our lives, we have decided to enjoy again the primary smells and tastes, to return to the beginnings, to enjoy cooking again and to open Marimer, with the special contribution of our children Pol in the kitchen and Antoni leading the service.
With Marimer, the third girl after Lola and Rosita, we wanted to introduce the concept of a beach bar. Although it is nothing new, we enjoyed it as an almost native experience when we got out of the water before approaching the restaurant.
In the restaurant, the casual atmosphere at noon combines perfectly with dinners under the fans that stir the salty flavors by the proximity of the sea.
We count stars every clear Mediterranean night while having a drink and we realize that the most beautiful and exciting thing about this story is to build it day by day and to deliver the happines that has made us arrive here.
Thank you for visiting us and being able to share this dream with our great family, our hard-working children and ourselves.