In 1981, with no culinary training or experience, Santi Santamaria and his wife, Àngels Serra, started serving everyday food at a kind of Catalanist canteen they'd set up in the 17th-century farmhouse where he was born, in the small town of Sant Celoni, about 30 miles northeast of Barcelona. By the time I started dining seriously around Catalonia in the mid-1980s, Santamaria had evolved into a talented and imaginative chef and had turned the canteen into a restaurant in, and named after, the farmhouse, Can Fabes. Today, like Adria, he has three stars—and one sometimes hears, in smart Spanish food circles, reference to "la guerra Santi-Ferran", the supposed "war" or rivalry between the two chefs. There may or may not be something to this—the men profess mutual respect for each other—but it is undeniable that Santamaria, an intense but friendly bear of a man, has stayed closer to home than Adria has, both literally and figuratively. This is partly because, says Santamaria, he doesn't think that chefs should become too "mediatique", but also because he draws so much of his culinary strength and personality from the land around him. "I'm not happy," he tells me, "when people say, 'Cuisine in Spain is better than in France now.' I don't accept the confrontation. In Europe there are many small cultures, and that's what's important. These microcultures are the richness we must maintain. If enough chefs see this, I think it will mean the renewal of grand cuisine."