Venta Moncalvillo is included in the We’re Smart Green Guide
This international guide, created by the organization We’re Smart® World, identifies the best vegetable restaurants in the world.
This restaurant located in La Rioja, owned by the brothers Ignacio and Carlos Echapresto, has been included for the first time with the distinction of 4 radishes
Daroca de Rioja, 25 October 2023. The brothers Ignacio and Carlos Echapresto are celebrating that their restaurant Venta Moncalvillo has been included for the first time in the “We’re Smart Green Guide” with 4 radishes out of the top 5 in the publication. The 2023 edition of this guide was presented yesterday at a ceremony that took place in Brussels (Belgium) where different awards that We’re Smart® World grants annually were also presented.
Venta Moncalvillo, with 1 MICHELIN Star, 1 MICHELIN Green Star and 2 Soles Repsol, has been included in this select guide that identifies the Best Vegetable and Fruit Restaurants worldwide, “recognizing the work that the chef Ignacio Echapresto does in his biodynamic vegetable garden that surrounds the restaurant, and which is a source of inspiration for his cuisine”. The guide also recognizes “the quality of the vegetables and fruit on the menu and the way in which Carlos Echapresto, sommelier and head waiter, pairs these vegetable dishes with incredible (and not always easy) harmonies”.
We’re Smart Green Guide is the most important vegetable restaurant guide and for Ignacio and Carlos, it is a great honor and, above all, a great satisfaction that their work is recognized in it. Ignacio and Carlos are very happy with their incursion into this international guide with which they share values and objectives “the customers who visit us are increasingly interested in the origin and traceability of the products they consume, and this does not only happen at home, but also when they eat out and thanks to this publication people can find addresses all over the world of places that also take care of these aspects”.
We’re Smart® was created in 1989 by Frank Fol (The Vegetable Chef®) and its main objective is to work towards a greater commitment to health and healthy living habits, also highlighting the importance of ecology and sustainability by raising awareness among restaurants, businesses, and consumers.
During the year, the We’re Smart® World team visits hundreds of restaurants around the world that are evaluated on whether their menus consist of at least two-thirds fruit and vegetables, but also on criteria based on their culinary creativity, ecological footprint, and social impact. The best plant-based restaurants receive 1 to 5 radishes in the We’re Smart Green Guide. But it also considers the establishments’ creativity in creating dishes, ecological footprint, and social impact.
This year’s edition features more than 1,200 restaurants, spread across 50 countries worldwide, which are ranked from 1 to 5 radishes, based on their creative use of seasonal ingredients, the percentage of fruit and vegetable dishes on the menu and other sustainability criteria.
Venta Moncalvillo is the only restaurant in the guide that is located in the famous “Ribera del río Ebro” garden which includes the areas of La Rioja, Navarra and Aragón, although we can also find many other destinations to enjoy vegetables and fruits in restaurants in Spain.
Since 2020, Venta Moncalvillo has a completely vegetarian menu, called “Leaves-Flowers”, made up of vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, and fruits. Vegetables have a large representation in all the restaurant’s gastronomic offer, and also in its other menus, “Roots” and “Fruits” the dishes feature products from Ignacio’s main larder, which is his own environment, mainly his vegetable garden cultivated in an eco-friendly way.
This garden, which they have been cultivating since 2010 in organic farming and since 2018 under the biodynamic principles, with the only aids obtained naturally from animals and plants, thus avoiding the use of chemicals in their cultivation processes. They create their own compost and manage their own seed bank, with more than 250 seeds, which they plant year after year, and which provide their products with demonstrable quality and traceability.
Ignacio, Ambassador of La Rioja, is a passionate defender of Riojan ingredients, especially vegetables and fruit, which he considers essential to his work, as are his own harvests, which is why his menus offer diners a tour of his own vegetable garden and the surroundings of Moncalvillo.
Venta Moncalvillo has experienced changes and transformations during its more than 27 years of history, as have its owners, Carlos, and Ignacio. During the last two years, they have carried out a deep renovation of their facilities as a result of their non-conformism and their dedication to the vital project that the restaurant is for them, to adapt them not only to the present, but also to the future. The main dining room is integrated with the garden and the surroundings through large windows, allowing the customer to feel part of the landscape and reaffirming the luxury of immediacy that is at the heart of their project. This refurbishment, in which they have been immersed and which culminated a few months ago, has allowed them, as well as achieving a “more beautiful” atmosphere, to create a sustainable space that respects the environment and the planet, bringing them even closer, if possible, to having the restaurant of their dreams. All this work has been endorsed by an exhaustive auditing process (through the AENOR certification body), obtaining the “Certificado Cocina Eficiente y Sostenible” (Efficient and Sustainable Kitchen Certificate).
Back home, after attending the gala presentation of the guide, the mission of Ignacio, Carlos, and the rest of the family and team will remain the same: to take care of every detail so that all those who come to their house enjoy a memorable experience in a unique environment where they will be guided on an exciting journey from the origin.