Another standout alum of star Madrid chef Sergi Arola’s orbit, chef Manuel Berganza has made a mission of bringing his own brand of Spanish cooking to the world. After several years with Arola, at the Michelin two-star La Broche and as executive chef at Sergi Arola Gastro, Berganza took on New York. In 2012 he opened a restaurant of his own, Andanada, on the city’s Upper West Side, winning over New Yorkers with tapas like huevos de corral (slow-cooked free-range eggs with mushrooms, Idiazabal cheese, and crispy Iberian ham) and presa Iberica (pan-seared Iberian pork with pearl onions in vermouth, chickpea purée, and piquillo peppers). Andanada was soon awarded a Michelin star.
Born in the Asturias region of northwest Spain, Berganza learned to cook from his mother and grandmother, spent time in Catalonia, and studied the foodways of the Basque region while attending the School of Catering, in Leioa. He staged at chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea, in Chicago, before returning to Spain to join Arola.
Having succeeded in New York, Berganza was ready to move on to new ventures. He closed Andanada in 2017, and, with partners in Singapore, launched the Tapas Club Project. Serving classic small plates like beef cheeks with piquillo peppers, jamón croquettes, and mussels with Vizcaína sauce, along with classic paellas, the Tapas Club was a hit, and has since opened outposts in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Netflix chose Berganza to be one of the 24 chefs from around the world to star in its original series The Final Table, in which the cooks compete in teams (he was paired with chef Ben Bensoussan) to present their takes on international dishes.