When chef Ben Bensoussan, a Frenchman from Marseille, became executive chef at Madrid’s Le Cabrera, one review said, “his traditional tapas with a twist could fool any Madrileño into believing he was a native.” Of course, Bensoussan had lived in Madrid for years before leading Spanish master chef Sergi Arola’s team at Le Cabrera, but it is high praise from locals.

Having manned the stoves in France, England, and some of Spain’s finest restaurants, such as the Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, as well as Arola’s La Broche and Sergi Arola Gastro, Bensoussan came into his own at Madrid’s Le Cabrera. There he took tapas to a new level and put innovative comfort food like burgers with foie gras and mashed truffles, and crisp candied chicken wings with tomato and yogurt sauces on his menu.

In 2017, with American and Danish partners, Bensoussan brought his talents to far more eaters, launching fast-casual Honest Greens in Madrid and Barcelona. The restaurants feature food that is impeccably sourced, healthy, and delicious, at a reasonable price. “We believe in offering everyone the possibility of eating well, feeling good and living their best life,” Bensoussan says.

The rest of the world had a chance to meet Bensoussan, as he made his television debut in the 2018 Netflix series The Final Table. There he teamed up with Spanish chef Manuel Berganza to compete with chefs from around the globe who took on the creation of a raft of international dishes. And while they may not have won the competition, they demonstrated why chefs in Spain are a force to be reckoned with.