Where Chef David Muñoz's Cooking Inspiration Hailed From

Condé Nast Traveler's review of Madrid's wildly creative DiverXO interior refers to spaceships, psychedelia, and flying pigs — and that's just the decor. Chef David Muñoz has gained fame for his boundary-pushing yet playful approach to cooking, garnering awards like three Michelin Stars, and the world's best chef, via El País. His 4-hour-long, Asian-influenced menu employs customized eating utensils and sensory-bending presentations. Backed by superbly sourced, expensive ingredients, Muñoz's restaurant initially eschewed profitability in favor of fame, an approach that succeeded, reports New York Times.

Chef Muñoz's success established him as the new generation amongst the Spanish culinary greats. Receiving his first star at only age 30, he's now compared to Ferran Adrià of El Bulli and noted for becoming one of the youngest acclaimed chefs, via "Modern Spain" by Enrique Ávila López. His path to fame, like his cooking, is unorthodox and rests upon childhood influences. Let's uncover his cooking inspirations.

Chef David Muñoz was inspired by Abraham García's creative restaurant Viridiana in Madrid

From an early age, Muñoz aspired to open a popular restaurant, but his father wasn't sold on his ambitions, according to The World's 50 Best Restaurants. Most prominently, such an impulse came from frequent family visits to Abraham García's Viridiana in Madrid, where he would later work, along with Nobu in London, via Food and Wines from Spain. García's idiosyncratic ethos — allusions to film, unorthodox flavor combinations, funky decor, and interweaving of personal memories appealed to young Muñoz, also per FWS

The influence of such personality-driven cooking is clear in Diver XO; However, it was in London that Muñoz took on the global cuisine of his restaurant. Now, his cooking is rooted in Spanish tradition, with an Asian palette, but utilizes techniques from all around Europe, says The Best Chef. When preparing trending cuisine hailed as the new frontier, it's easy to fade away, but Muñoz continues to push boundaries. Whether serving a playful rendition of fridge leftovers or a multi-course feast from Goa, his acclaim isn't lessening, via Hungry For More.