Going global from a tiny corner of Extremadura. This has been his great success. A path that many others are now exploring.
Juan Antonio Pérez (Casar de Cáceres, 1961) is the restaurateur who has best revitalised Extremaduran cuisine more than anyone else. Together with José Polo, maître d’ and sommelier, he has managed to make his restaurant one of the most important gastronomic, architectural and artistic benchmarks in Spain.
Pérez spent time in the kitchen with Juan Mari Arzak, Tomás Herranz or Ferran Adrià, but he soon took the plunge and opened Atrio with Polo in 1986, although at first he wasn’t its head chef. Now with him in charge, two Michelin stars, the National Gastronomy Award 1995 and other honours have established the chef and his restaurant, which he says is a place with “signature cuisine; frank and pleasurable.” Atrio was refurbished in 2010 and it opened its hotel, located just like the restaurant right in the middle of the historic quarter of Caceres.