El restaurador, de 53 años, formaba parte de la élite gastronómica con su restaurante El Racò de Can Fabes, con tres estrellas Michelin.- Ha muerto en el local que dirige su hija
Top Spanish chef Santamaria dies in Singapore
Spain's Michelin-starred chef Santi Santamaria died Wednesday while on a visit to Singapore, one of his restaurants said. He was 53.
A manager at his Can Fabes bistro at Sant Celoni near Barcelona said Santamaria died suddenly while in his restaurant in Singapore.
He said he was not aware of the cause of death, but Spanish media reported he had suffered a heart attack at the restaurant, Santi, which is run by his daughter.
Santamaria was a self-taught chef who was proud of his use of locally-sourced produce.
He was also a severe critic of rival Spanish chef Ferran Adria, accusing him causing harmful health effects with his "molecular gastronomy."
"Can we be proud of a cuisine ... created by Ferran Adria and his chorus of fans, which fills plates with gelling agents and laboratory emulsifiers?," he said in a newspaper column in 2008.
But although he was "conceptually and ethically divorced" from Adria he stressed he had "enormous respect" for his rival, whose restaurant elBulli is considered one of the world's best.
Adria hit back at the comments, which he termed "nonsense."
Santamaria, the author of several books on cooking, had run the Can Fabes restaurant in Sant Celoni, the town where he was born, for 30 years. It has had three Michelin stars since 1994.
He has two more Michelin stars for another eatery in Madrid, called Sant Celoni, one more star for the Evo restaurant in Barcelona, and another for Tierra, in Valdepalacios near Madrid.
In 2008, he opened the Ossiano in Dubai.
Fellow chefs lavished praise on Santamaria on hearing of his death.
"He changed gastronomy at a global level," said one, Martín Berasategui.
"He was a great chef with very strong convictions on gastronomy ... and a passion for local produce," said leading Catalan chef Jaume Tapies, a friend.
"Like all robust, stout men, he had a soft, very generous side," said Alain Dutournier of the Carre des Feuillants in Paris, who had known Santamaria for 25 years.
"He took a new look at Catalan cuisine and adapted it to the modern day, always keeping in touch with his roots, his culture."