Dabiz Muñoz

October 3, 2018

    Dabiz Muñoz (DiverXo) An omnipresent mind The HR files of the prestigious Hakkasan Hanway Place restaurant in London remember David Muñoz (Madrid, 1978) – now better known by his alias Dabiz – as ‘a very enthusiastic young chef who gained experience with our pastry-making team as well as in the kitchen; always eager to learn, interested in every aspect of food production; appreciated as a fun individual, and full of energy.’ This was written a few years before he opened a tiny restaurant in 2007– his first DiverXo – in Madrid’s neighbourhood of Tetuán, surprising food critics and diners alike with a cross-border cuisine that was compelling and connective. Today, his mother ship, moored at the NH Eurobuilding hotel, boasts three Michelin stars: There are plans to scrap it in the future, in less than six years, as he will take on another global restaurant-industry project, one requiring less of his presence. Aside from his extroverted media personality that arouses so many mixed feelings, if there is something that defines Muñoz as a professional in the kitchen, it is his prodigious taste memory, always to be found in multiple and faraway geographical flavours. The mental clarity he uses to effectively link said memories in a recipe, inventing unexpected possibilities with a whole range of universal evocations, is something that only few creative minds can achieve. From the celebrated ‘SpanishToltilla’ at his first restaurant, this cook has converted his gift for playing any flavour by ear, assimilating it into a synaesthetic symphonic orchestra, capable of delivering the most unusual contrasts. Fond of hyperbolic forms and entrenched in perpetual provocation, Muñoz has, however, subdued DiverXo’s dining area by eliminating ambient noise and not excessively distracting from the panoramic and integral culinary experience; he has included a fitting and discreet addition of vegetables, and he surprises in the way flavours are channelled, despite the limit of fat he has imposed on his new creations. For a touch of the theatrical, StreetXo in Madrid and London are now playing. By Saúl Cepeda