Jose Andres, the most popular Spanish chef in the United States, said that Spain's "great culinary creativity" is not reflected in the export of its products, adding that "we have to keep betting on markets like America" while "taking our chances" with emerging markets like Brazil and China.

The Spanish chef, who was born in Mieres, Asturias, in 1969 and has been based in the United States "half of my life," said in an interview with Efe that over the past two decades "the American people's perception of Spanish gastronomy has changed," but not as much as he would like.

When he crossed the Atlantic 23 years ago, it was "hard to find a wine store with a whole section made up of wines from Spain, but that's no longer true."

"So there has been an improvement. But I'm a constructive critic and I'd like to see more. We still have to keep betting on markets like America that are full of opportunities to grow, even if we have to work our heads off to do it," the chef said.

The focus should not be just on the United States, but also on "emerging markets like Brazil, China and India," Andres said.

The chef owns restaurants across the country that include Jaleo, The Bazaar, Minibar, Zaitinya, Cafe Atlantico and Oyamel.

Andres was included this year in the Time 100, the magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World - the only Spaniard - and was honored in 2011 as the Outstanding Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation.

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