Cristina Figueira*

Chef Cristina Figueira: fresh vision of Alicante’s traditional recipes


  • Spanish 1 Star chef
  • Mediterranean cuisine
  • Best chef in the province of Alicante 2015

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Cristina Figueira learned her base as a cook 25 years ago from the hand of Esperanza (her mother-in-law) and her know-how, transmitting to her the philosophy of traditional cuisine prepared with love and time. Given her interest in gastronomy she studied cooking at the CDT in Benidorm, training there for several years, taking courses of different types of cuisines from all over the world. Everything she was slowly learning was introduced to her house, El Xato. A restaurant that has 104 years of history

Around the year 2000 the Ferrán Adriá movement begins to enter Spain, and Cristina Figueira found this cuisine exciting, many congress of cooks and gastronomic fairs, in which she could absorb all the knowledge of products, techniques that was presented there.

In the fall of 2006, while doing a major remodel in the restaurant, both room and kitchen, Cristina Figueira performed an internship at the Celler  Can Roca, where she learnt not only new culinary techniques, but also spread the way of working and understanding the kitchen of one of the world’s great chefs, Joan Roca. In addition, taking advantage of the proximity to Barcelona she took several courses in cooking schools.

Meanwhile, the cuisine of El Xato evolves together with its cook, of course without forgetting its roots of more than a hundred years, maintaining the rice and traditional recipes that was teach by her mother-in-law, but providing that new fresh vision of what is today the kitchen of Xato.

Gradually the seeds began to bear fruit, at the Gala of the Plato Awards 2015 the chef Cristina Figueira was awarded the recognition of the best chef in the province of Alicante. In this way, the work carried out in the kitchens of the Restaurant “El Xato” by this creative and hardworking woman is recognized. An award that comes to join the celebration of the restaurant century celebrations.

Cristina Figueira received many awards until 2018, the year in which the Michelin gave her the first star for El Xato, in the city of Lisbon.



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