Extremadura as a Frame of Reference
Text: Rodrigo García Fernández /©ICEX
Translation: Jenny McDonald /©ICEX
Photographer: Spanish chef Ramón Caso
Observative, meticulous and a perfectionist. Three words that serve to describe Ramón Caso, a young chef from Extremadura (Cáceres, 1971) who is at the helm of one of this region’s best-known restaurants, Altair. In the administrative capital of Mérida, it is located close to the city's most famous landmark, the magnificent and well-preserved Roman theater and amphitheater.
Ramón Caso took his first steps in gastronomy in a pastry kitchen then decided to move on and explore the world of cooking. His first course showed him where his vocation lay and, after working in a number of hotels and restaurants, he entered the region’s best restaurant, Atrio, under Toño Pérez and sommelier José Polo. When the decision was taken to open up a new restaurant in Mérida, this young member of the Atrio team was singled out and offered the job of manager.
And that was how Ramón Caso went to Mérida, to take charge of Altair. Atrio’s culinary heritage is present in Altair, but Caso has given the restaurant a personality of its own, offering product-based cuisine with its roots in the seasonal offerings of the Extremaduran soil, but with a sparkle of originality and surprise. In 2011 he went back to the new Atrio hotel & restaurant in Cáceres where he worked some months until he took a new challnege at the ned of the year: his own restuarant in Plasencia, a beautiful and historic town in Cáceres province.