Gaytan seems to be a surprise, something you do not expect and suddenly comes to make you feel good. A concept of getting together and culinary demand, where Chef Javier Aranda does not want to miss the opportunity to offer a differentiated gastronomic experience, with table side preparation, under the close supervision of the guest. A room with a large oval kitchen delights his clients, being able to enjoy the whole set of tasks being performed by the cook live and free of barriers.
Chef Javier Aranda adds seasonal products -mushrooms, autumn vegetables and wild catch, such as turtledoves, teal, duck, capercaillie and hare- to Gaytán’s tasting menus, the dining room where he holds a Michelin star since 2016 were he develops his most essential and creative cuisine.
Aged 32, Aranda manages three well-known businesses: Gaytán and La Cabra gastrobar in the capital city and La Caminera Club de Campo hotel and its restaurant Retama, in Ciudad Real, where he reinterprets the Manchego cuisine.
He began his professional career at age 16; He won Madrid Fusión revelation chef award when 25; He was one of the youngest chefs in Spain to get his first Michelin star and at the age of 27, and with 29, the youngest in the world to hold a star in two restaurants simultaneously.
“Opened in June 2016 and awarded a Michelin star in November of that same year, Gaytán owes its name to the town of Javier’s grandfather.”
Part of what Javier Aranda’s kitchen is today is due to his years of experience in dining rooms such as El Bohío, Ars Vivendi, Urrechu, Santceloni and Piñera (where he was appointed as Cook Revelation as head chef). He became meticulous, motivated and set up his own interpretation of what haute cuisine should: the balance between respecting our history, our culture and the product of our land and the permanent need to learn, investigate new techniques and ingredients to satisfy the curiosity of the guest.
Along those lines, Javier keeps innovating at Gaytan at a controlled pace, from the quality of the raw materials to which he praises “never more than three or four ingredients” adding something of an international touch. “We are fans of EVOO, saffron and spoon dishes, and we make pickles, brine solution and tomato sauce from my mother’s cookbook -Javier says- although we also seek to surprise and make the client travel”, bringing products that the chef discovers in his trips around the world and techniques to which he dedicates weeks to months of study. Presently, as an example, he is working on a type of fermentation process that allows the food texture to be modified, saving and even intensifying its flavor and essence to give it a more contemporary extra touch. As a result of this philosophy, we can pinpoint the roasted, dehydrated and lacquered Almagro eggplant with hoisin sauce from last menu.
There is an elegant dining room where Aranda’s team «talks» with the guest through a completely open oval kitchen, a short menu and two tasting menus are provided: the so-called ‘Javier Aranda’ (made of 16 productions) and a shorter version (13 servings). This last one, called ‘Inaurem’, means “jewelry” in Latin, is a letter of intent, since both options are designed around the jewels of each season. There are always four sections in said menus: Snacks, including a tea based on celeri in autumn (time of tubers) (turnip root or celeriac) with orange and vermouth, a bite of cider pumpkin (typical of Castilla-La Mancha) and a chicken poultry bikini made of crispy skin of the bird and stuffed with mouse and chicken meat. Some vegetables: fennel, salsify, seasonal mushrooms and boletus edulis in autumn; another. ‘Saltwater’, including during these months some rock mullets, baby squid, stripe fin, crayfish and, when the market permits, crayfish. Meat, apart from veal, there will be offal and hunting (starting with turtledove, teal, duck, grouse and hare). Dessert to finish.
All this can be harmonized with a carefully created wine cellar of about 100 references made of great Riojan reserves, historical vintages of the best Ribera del Duero houses, excellent champagnes, or emerging designations, international references, small productions and interesting wines of Castilla-La Mancha including the chef’s own wine. La Fueentezuela, an Airén red wine left in his skin, from the vineyards that his family owns in Villacañas (Toledo).
“The young Toledo chef Javier Aranda already has two restaurants in the city. Gaytan, with a Michelin star, and La Cabra. The latter is already a reference restaurant and a gastronomic whim of the town. Gaytán has agreed the target Javier advanced at his inauguration: To amaze”