History

When we talk about La Criolla in Valladolid we talk about Francisco Martínez, Paco for all customers and friends in the hotel business. It may sound a cliché if we define him as a man born between the furnaces and self-made with tenacity, effort, by gathering the teachings of his mother and with a vision of future that has always provided him unquestioned success in spite of his many risky proposals, uniting cuisine with the world of art and culture.

Starting from a family-run tavern, where he learnt his job, in 1983 he decided to take charge of La Criolla, a languidly dying old tavern situated in a typical pub crawl area. There, in a six-table dining room dedicated to a dancer from Valladolid named Mariemna, he began building a well-assorted bar and a cuisine based on first-quality products cooked on the grill. This is how his now famous assorted meat and fish plates were born. It was the first step in a route that would take him to settle down in the business that would lead him further on the road. Three years later he already had two more dining rooms, this time dedicated to the writer Miguel Delibes and to the ethnographer and folklorist Joaquin Diaz. His recognition to the men and women of the land was going to continue when he discovered the origins of the house –dated back in 1873- with the dining rooms dedicated to the bullfighter Roberto Domínguez, the writer Rosa Chacel and the actress Lola Herrera.

After the very successful invention of the mixed plates, Paco gradually began to endow La Criolla with everything he was seeing in his many visits to kitchens in Spain and around the world.

An event that undoubtedly marked his professional life was his experience in the Olympic Games of Atlanta in 1996 as a cook for the Spanish Olympic Committee. He was in charge of the meals and official receptions for the Spanish delegation. He repeated this experience in Sydney in the year 2000,  four years later in Athens and Pekin the year 2008.

All the awards, acknowledgements and mentions given by gastronomes and specialized press are a recognition for Paco and his team of professionals who all through the years have succeeded in making La Criolla a classic in the restaurant industry.

Fifteen professional cooks, eighteen waiters... and Francisco Martínez, Paco, work together to keep on surprising every customer who visits La Criolla, to innovate in gastronomic pleasures and to become an unavoidable part in the life of the whole city.

La Criolla is, without doubt, going through a stellar moment, and has become one of the best restaurants in Valladolid. It is a meeting point for businessmen, artists, politicians, writers and all kinds of people. The reason for such remarkable success is the excellence of its products.