Woman Dies Hours After Dining At Acclaimed Michelin-Starred Restaurant In Spain [Updated]

Updated March 15: RiFF has reopened, according to Food Safety News, less than a month after a 46-year-old woman died following a dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that the woman died after choking on her vomit. As yet, the source of the food poisoning—in which 29 customers were sickened—has not been traced. On Twitter, chef Bernd H. Knöller said he decided to reopen RiFF after passing two health inspections and deeming the restaurant 100 percent safe.


Original Feb. 21 story: People don't usually worry about food poisoning from Michelin-starred restaurants, which makes this story from Spain all the more shocking. El Pais, a national newspaper in Spain, is reporting that an acclaimed restaurant in Valencia called RiFF is currently closed after a 46-year-old woman who dined with her family there died hours after eating there.


According to El Pais, 18 other diners—including the 46-year-old's husband and daughter—fell sick with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting after dining at RiFF on Saturday, February 17. The 46-year-old victim, who The Telegraph has identified as María Jesús Fernández Calvo, died early Sunday morning.

A number of outlets have reported that a dish featuring morel mushrooms may be to blame, but a regional health official told El Pais it could not confirm the mushrooms as a source until after an autopsy was completed.

RiFF earned one Michelin star in its latest 2019 guidebook. Michelin said the chef, a German-born Valencian named Bernd H. Knöller, "conjures up innovative cuisine."