Kiko Moya **
Kiko Moya is one of the key representatives of the gastronomic avant-garde on the south-east coast of Spain. Nearby in distance but far in spirit from the crowds of tourists on the Alicante coast is L'Escaleta. This temple between the Mariola and Aitana mountains (up-country in the province of Alicante) pays tribute to local produce from nearby market gardens and the jewels offered by the Mediterranean sea in the form of fish and shellfish.
The menu offers gourmet travelers dishes full of delicacy, skill and, above all, traditional flavors. Here we find the aromas and textures of game, of handmade sausages, of mushrooms, cocks' combs, and fish such as sea bass, cod or belly of tuna.
Kiko Moya seems to have no doubts about the path he wishes to follow. His is another example of the intangible value of a family legacy of culinary know-how, except that in his case he is not alone. But first things first. L'Escaleta is a restaurant located in Cocentaina, 80 kilometers / 50 miles from the city of Alicante, in a welcoming mansion set in gardens at the foot of the Mariola mountains. It was opened by two great friends who happened to be cousins – Ramiro Redrado and Paco Moya. They gained prestige and the affection of their regular customers but then the time came to pass the business on to the next generation.
The responsibility for keeping up the Michelin star fell to Kiko (chef), the son of Paco, and Alberto (sommelier), son of Ramiro. So history repeats itself. Once again the business is run by cousins and they have achieved their aim of not only maintaining their parents’ prestige but of renovating the menu, giving it a more modern slant. Two more details: the wine list, carefully tended by Alberto, is so extensive it can almost be defined as encyclopedic, and the cheese board, another of the virtues of this establishment. Over 30 types of cheese, with the focus on artisan Spanish cheeses , and a selection of Designation of Origin labels.