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article imageCrisis claims another victim as famous Can Fabes restaurant shuts

By Anne Sewell     Jul 19, 2013 in Food
Barcelona - A restaurant close to Barcelona, famed for elevating Catalan cuisine to new heights, will be closing down, two years after losing the founding chef and a coveted third Michelin star.
El Racó de Can Fabes is a restaurant located in Sant Celoni in the Montseny hills north of Barcelona, Spain, founded by chef Santi Santamaria.
Rooted in local tradition, Santamaria's gastronomic offerings elevated Catalan cuisine to the pinnacle of gastronomy and it was one of the first Spanish restaurants to be awarded a Michelin star.
The restaurant has been rated with three Michelin stars each year since 1994. However one star was lost in November 2011, just nine months after the death of the founder, Santamaria of a heart attack at the age of 53 in the kitchen of a restaurant he had just opened in Singapore.
Regina Santamaria, the founder's daughter, took over the restaurant and hired a new chef, Xavier Pellicer, who made changes to the menu and at the beginning of 2013, Pellicer left the restaurant.
Now it seems the restaurant has to give up and close down. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Santamaria family, who founded Can Fabes in 1981, said the restaurant is the latest victim of Spain's stinging economic crisis.
"In these difficult times for restaurants in our country, Can Fabes does not have the necessary economic viability to pursue a project based on excellence," the statement read.
"We have decided to put an end to one of the brightest chapters in Catalan and European cuisine of the past 25 years," it added.
According to Miss Santamaria, the decision to close the restaurant was "very hard and very sad".
"We cannot carry on, we have tried to save it by every means possible, but it hasn't worked. Now our goal is to end this chapter with our head held high."
The restaurant will serve its last meals on August 31, 2013.
At present, there are seven Michelin three-star restaurants and 19 two-star eateries in Spain, including Can Fabes. The top spot was taken this year by another Catalan restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, recently voted the best restaurant in the world in the 2013 World's 50 Best list, released by Restaurant magazine.
Video: Santi Santamaria speaks about his cuisine:
(Catalan with English sub-titles)
More about Spain, Catalonia, catalunya, Restaurant, michelin starred
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