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Michelin reveals Argentina’s first guide

Argentina now houses a nascent constellation of Michelin-star restaurants including six one-star, seven green-star, and a unicorn two-star establishment, after the gastronomy guide released its first report on the South American country.

A total of 71 establishments made the cut in the Michelin Guide Buenos Aires & Mendoza 2024, with Aramburu, located in the capital’s Recoleta district, awarded two stars for its excellent 18-course haute cuisine tasting menu experience conceived by chef Gonzalo Aramburu for the past 16 years.

Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin Guides, noted the high quality of cooks, in particular the up-and-coming generation. ‘Our inspectors were impressed to discover Argentina has a lot of talented and open-minded chefs – and many of them are quite young,’ he said.

The proof was in the pudding: of the six one-stars, two are helmed by sub-30 cooks. At the capital city’s fledgling Trescha, which opened last April, 25-year-old Tomás Treschanski’s experimental 14-course tasting menu is boosted by 740 labels and a 5,000-strong wine cellar that’s managed by head sommelier Pilar Carelli; Treschanski also won the Young Chef prize.

And in Mendoza, 30-year-old Augusto García of Zonda Cocina de Paisaje at Bodega Lagarde celebrates regional produce across four menus, cultivating many herbs and leafy vegetables in the restaurant’s own organic garden. The wine team has the luxury of dipping into the winery’s family cellar to select vintages such as the legendary 1942 Semillón, as well as magnums and double magnums: Zonda also picked up a coveted green star for its approach to sustainability.

Other restaurants headed by young sub-35 talents worth keeping an eye on include Mengano, Anafe, Reliquia, Chui, Niño Gordo, Na Num, Julia, Piedra Pasillo al Fondo, La Carnicería and Ácido in Buenos Aires – the former three given Bib Gourmand awards for good quality and good value – and Mendoza’s Quimera Bistró at Achaval Ferrer winery. Rather than cooking up elaborate tasting menus, they take a casual family-style approach, breaking away from the white-table cloth dining experiences for which Michelin’s inspectors are traditionally known to appreciate.

Mendoza

The guide’s launch proved bountiful for Argentina’s largest wine-producing province. Mendoza is now home to four one-star restaurants, three greens and 15 recommendations. At Casa Vigil, which, like Zonda, took home both red and green stars, chef Iván Azar creates a seasonal and regional menu served up in a vineyard setting, while head sommelier Joaquín Díaz and his 14-strong team browse winemaker Alejandro Vigil’s catalogue of vintages that span El Enemigo and Catena Zapata.

While Argentina is known for its delicious grilled meats, Juan Ventureyra at Riccitelli Bistró prefers to take inspiration from foraging to create a plant-led menu; his approach earned the restaurant a green star. Other winery-located restaurants tipped the Michelin wink included 2023 opening Angélica Cocina Maestra at Catena Zapata, 5 Suelos at Familia Durigutti, Osadía de Crear at Susana Balbo Wines, Fogón at Lagarde, Renacer, and Ruca Malen, all in Luján de Cuyo; Piedra Infinita at Zuccardi in Uco Valley; Espacio Trapiche in Maipú; and Abrasado at Los Toneles and 1884 Francis Mallmann at Escorihuela Gascón in Godoy Cruz.

Meanwhile, independent restaurants Azafrán and Brindillas both received stars, while just one hotel-based establishment, La VidA at SB Winemaker’s House, was recommended.

Buenos Aires

Back in the Argentine capital, 52 establishments received recommendations or stars, with many familiar faces among them. Known for its epic cellar that houses 50,000 wines spanning more than 1,500 labels, Parrilla Don Julio was awarded both green and red stars, while wine director Martín Bruno, a former national sommelier champion, won the Michelin Sommelier prize; sister establishment El Preferido de Palermo also took home a green accolade. Meanwhile, other restaurants with strong wine programmes include Roux, Sucre, Casa Cavia, Anchoíta and Crizia, the latter two green star winners.


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