Years of hard work paid off for Mexican chef Santiago Lastra after his new restaurant in London, England, received its first Michelin star on Wednesday.
The restaurant, called Kol, is located in the heart of London and markets itself with the tagline, “Mexican soul, British ingredients,” which, according to the Michelin guide review, “proves a unique and exhilarating combination.” The guide also lauds the talent and creativity of the kitchen team, which uses high-quality British ingredients and Mexican techniques for dishes such as stream trout tostadas and family-style octopus.
Lastra started his career in a Cuernavaca Italian restaurant before moving to Europe at age 18 to work in high-end restaurants, including the Denmark restaurant Noma, which has been named best restaurant in the world multiple times.
Kol was originally scheduled to open in early 2020, but the start of the pandemic threw a wrench in the plan. The restaurant eventually opened at the end of 2020, but had to temporarily close several times due to Britain’s strict pandemic health protocols.
After Kol received the prestigious Michelin star, Lastra shared the news on Instagram, crediting his team and homeland for the recognition.
“I cannot express with words how proud I am of our team! This is for you,” he said. “This is also for my country, Mexico, that deserves to be a bit more recognized, and I hope this can help to shine a light on the indigenous people, traditional cooks, and family that are my constant inspiration.”
With reports from Reforma