Thumbnail image for Santi Santamaria The late Santi Santamaria’s Singapore restaurant Santi is to close next month.

The family of the iconic three-Michelin-starred Spanish chef, who died of a heart attack aged 53 last year, announced the restaurant at the luxury Marina Bay Sands resort would shut on 11 March.

Santi died in February last year after collapsing in the restaurant’s kitchen while serving guests gathered to mark the official opening of Marina Bay Sands.

The closure of Santi, which opened in April 2010, comes as the Santamaria family aims to focus on its business in Spain.

“We want to build on my father’s strengths and passion to create a success of the projects that he unfortunately had to leave halfway, many of which are happening in Spain,” said his daughter Regina Santamaria, who runs Santi.

“We’re sad to leave Singapore but we appreciate very much the support that diners have given to us.”

An as-yet-unnamed Asian restaurant will replace Santi in the next few months, according Marina Bay Sands, with staff set to be redeployed across the casino complex where celebrity chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy and Wolfgang Puck, also operate restaurants.

Santamaria’s food philosophy was founded on tradition and authenticity, seasonality and provenance. In an interview with Caterer in 2009, when Roux Scholar Daniel Cox was conducting his three-month stage at Can Fabes, Santamaria said: “Visual aesthetics are no use unless a dish delivers taste. All ingredients must be excellent, from the stock onwards.”

Santamaria hit the news in recent years when he publicly described Spain’s more avant-garde chefs, such as Ferran Adria, as “a gang of frauds whose work is to distract snobs”.