Quique Dacosta Restaurante
Chef: Quique Dacosta
Country: España
City: 03700 Dénia (Alicante)
Address: Las Marinas, km. 3
(+34) 965784179

How many cooked dishes are capable of surpassing the natural magnificence of caviar in its pure form? After having eaten hundreds and hundreds, maybe over a thousand, I only remember one, fifteen years ago, at Alain Passard’s “Arpège”. It was the main ingredient in that particular dish. I also remember a brilliant dish of marrow with caviar, the latter only taking 50% of the stardom in the best of all possible cases for sturgeon eggs.
The same question can be asked about another universal delicacy: barnacles; probably the shellfish most preferred by the Spanish. The answer is similar. Martín Berasategui’s version of barnacles with peas comes to mind, or the sautéed barnacles of Josean Martínez Alija (Guggenheim), though this latter must be categorized as a much more profound homage to the percebeiros (the people who collect the barnacles). Infinitely oceanic, packing all the punch of the sea, with a natural purity and flavor… Barnacles in haute cuisine. Artistic barnacles that respect their intrinsic qualities 100%. Many years will pass before anything comes along to surpass this work of art, dedicated to barnacles and the Bay of Biscay by a Mediterranean born in Extremadura: Quique Dacosta. Paradoxes of life…
Let’s move on to the dish description: beautiful barnacles, seaweed (codium, cochayuyo and oysterleaf), barnacle air and jelly all under a frozen dome of shellfish adorned with tosaka seaweed and chondracanthus acicularis.

The Recipe


For the barnacles:

With fresh barnacles, choose them by size, if there is a large difference among the selection.
For each kilo of barnacles add 5 liters of seawater to a wide pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the barnacles and leave for a minute without allowing them to boil. Remove quickly and pass to a bath of ice and seawater.

For the thickened barnacle water:

  • 100 g barnacle water
  • 0.2 g xanthan gum

Peel the barnacles very carefully and, without damaging them, try to catch all the water they give off. Strain this water and thicken with 0.2 g of xanthan gum for each 100 g of barnacle water. Cover the barnacles with this water and keep them in a sous-vide bag. Set aside part of the water, without thickening it, for the barnacle air.


For the mussel water:

  • 500 g mussels
  • 200 g mineral water

Place the mussels in a plastic container and add water. Cover with several rounds of plastic wrap and cook on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Leave to sit for a few minutes and strain the water through a kitchen towel.


For the barnacle water air:

  • 400 g mussel water
  • 100 g barnacle water
  • 4 g Sucroester

Mix both the waters together and blend with the Sucroester. Heat the mixture a little in the microwave and leave well covered in the walk-in until just before service. We use an aquarium pump to obtain an aerated emulsion.

For the herb américaine juice:

  • 25 g oil
  • 15 g garlic cloves
  • 1/2 g fresh cayenne pepper
  • 200 g onions
  • 300 g carrots
  • 300 g leeks (white part only)
  • 300 g Mantis shrimp heads
  • 1 g sweet paprika from Jarandilla de la Vera
  • 200 g ripe Cuarentenos tomatoes
  • 150 g tomato sauce
  • 10 g cognac
  • 2 l shellfish broth (El Poblet base)
  • 1 l mineral water

Herbs at the end of cooking:

  • 25 g chives
  • 25 g fresh chervil
  • 25 g fresh tarragon
  • 12 g wild sorrel
  • 20 g Oxalis (wood sorrel)
  • 150 g chard leaves
  • 100 g wild spinach leaves

Sautee all the vegetables except the tomatoes until they are cooked but not overly browned. Add the Mantis shrimp heads and sweat. Follow by adding the paprika, chopped tomato and tomato sauce. Flambé with cognac and cover with the shellfish stock and water, pre-heated. Bring to a gentle boil and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch all the herbs in an abundant amount of boiling water, cool quickly in ice water.
Next, move the américaine sauce to the Thermomix along with the chopped herbs and blend. Strain, adjust salt and set aside.

For the liquefied codium:

  • 300 g fresh codium
  • 300 g mineral water
  • 1 g xanthan gum
  • A few drops of food-grade green coloring liquid.

Place the fresh codium in a Thermomix glass and cover with mineral water. Blend on high for 2 minutes and strain through a fine sieve and towel. Blend this with the xanthan gum and coloring, salt to taste and set aside.


For the frozen rock:

  • 325 g herb américaine juice
  • 200 g cream
  • 10 g squid ink extracted from the actually squid being used
  • 0.8 g xanthan gum
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Steel bowl 8 cm in diameter

Blend the hot juice with the cream, ink and xanthan gum and pour into a small bowl with high enough sides to allow room for the ladle. Leave to cool and set. Place the base of the ladle in liquid nitrogen until it stops bubbling. Remove and let sit for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, make bubbles in the américaine mixture using a small beater, place the base of the ladle in this mixture without going all the way to the top. Remove by draining the excess first then pass it through the liquid nitrogen again, wait a few seconds, detach the frozen rock from the ladle using a small spatula and keep frozen at –30ºC/-22ºF. Each time we repeat this operation the ladle must be washed in warm water and dried with absorbent paper.

For the cochayuyo:

  • 200 g cochayuyo
  • 200 g seawater (to add salt and recuperate the iodide in the dry seaweed)
  • 6 l mineral water

Rehydrate the cochayuyo in an abundant amount of water for an entire day at room temperature. Next, cook in an abundant amount of boiling water over medium heat for 3 hours, adjust the salt in the last half hour of cooking with the seawater, cool in an abundant amount of ice water adjusted with seawater for the salt again. Set aside with a small amount of the water used for cooling.

For the codium stalks:

Make small stalks with the fresh codium and set aside to arrange on top of the rock at service time.

Other elements:

  • Borage sprouts, green and red tosaka seaweed, chondracanthus acicularis
  • Oysterleaf
  • Tosaka seaweed
  • Chondracanthus acicularis seaweed
  • Acicularis seaweed

Finishing and presentation:

On a frozen plate, start with two spoonfuls of liquefied codium, top with 5 barnacles, 4 codium stalks, 3 pieces of cochayuyo and 3 sprouts of oysterleaf. Using an aquarium pump, whip the barnacle air and cover the ensemble giving it as much height as possible. Top with the frozen rock making sure that its interior is completely filled with this air, place the different pieces of tosaka and chondracanthus acicularis on top and around the rock. Serve immediately.