Albert Benisty RIP
August 18, 2016
AJ Linn (45 articles)
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Albert Benisty RIP

Albert Benisty RIP

It is not easy to ascertain what qualifies as a dynasty. Originally the term was used for royal families and aristocratic bloodlines, later to be extended, somewhat presumptuously, to include anyone whose progenitor and offspring were notable in their occupation or profession. Few and far between, but when Albert Benisty died this week, the term can be employed legitimately, both in the sense of following in his father’s culinary footsteps and succeeding where another Costa del Sol gastronomic notable, Paul Schiff, whose talents have been inherited by his daughter Cati, had gone before.

Albert Benisty’s father opened a restaurant in Marbella in 1968, this later becoming Casa David. Le Soufflé in El Pilar in 1987, now with the whole family involved, was awarded a Michelin star, coming after Paul Schiff’s La Hacienda and El Corzo at Los Monteros The crisis of the 90s provoked a move to Nueva Atalaya, and finally to the present location in Nueva Alcántara.

While Albert ruled supreme for nearly 30 years in the kitchen, Simon’s expert knowledge of wines and front of house service ensured the perfect partnership. This accounted for the success of one of the few really classical French-style restaurants, Albert y Simón, on the entire Costa del Sol. Over the years awards and recognition have never been in short supply, and while Simon had his share, notably as Andalucía’s Best Sommelier, Albert’s cooking garlanded a veritable encyclopaedia of prizes. These included Diploma Les Maîtres Conceils en Gastronomie Française, the Royal Spanish Academy of Gastronomy, Cofradía de la Buena Mesa, as Spain’s Best Restaurant; Repsol Guide and Campsa Guide. Albert was recognised by the Academia Gastronómica Andaluza and Spain’s Club de Chef, and later nominated by the Chaine des Rotisseure, and just too many more than fit in this column.

Survived by his daughter Deborah, who works in the restaurant, it is to be hoped that Albert Benisty’s substantial legacy will not be frittered away.

 

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AJ Linn

AJ Linn

AJ Linn se estableció en España hace más de 40 años tras una abreviada carrera en Inglaterra vinculada entre otras cosas con la importación de vinos. Ha vivido en El Puerto de Santa María y Cádiz, ahora Marbella, y durante las ultimas décadas se ha dedicado a varios negocios, hasta que actualmente se limita a escribir sobre vino, gastronomía, flamenco y el estilo de vida español. Aparte de su columna semanal en el Diario Sur, sus artículos se publican con regularidad en medios de habla inglesa, tanto en España como en el extranjero.

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