by Chef Ada Valencia
The knowledge revolution has already begun, concepts and information are with us day after day without us being aware of what is actually happening. New colonies of social networks established in this world, a virtual community, where sometimes you don’t even know your friends and you lose the way for enter a different world, a world magnetic enough for you to realize you already been caught.
In this revolution of concepts, Madrid Fusion appears as an island where you can find relaxed trends, concepts and innovations in cuisine, with results traditionally talented. A place to review and discuss projects that can be productive for all. The next decade began in January and would be very premature to diagnose where the new trends will go.
We have been part for the last years of a large dining transformation due to the original proposals made by chefs like Adrià, Arzak, Bocuse and all the gastro-leaders in each region. And I think this decade began with a new model of global life.
What is a fact is that it all started with a small group and has grown to such an extent that last year was first introduced in America in central Mexico: Guanajuato Madrid Fusion.
I must admit that there are some of us that still are assimilating many new trends, new concepts and new proposals. But as leader of my area of slow food, I’d like to ensure that new trends returns to basics and I have noticed a wiser comeback, more aware and very promising where the challenge will be the union of tradition and modernity.
What I lived in Madrid Fusion was extraordinary. I had the opportunity to talk with Acurio, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, Carlo Petrini and cross two or three lines in addition to others that inspired me to make the following hypothesis: Dissection Madrid Fusion.
With the new concept of Ferran Adrià, the kitchen was polarized few years ago, when he literally turned the world over given his ways and forms of food. For him alchemy was very important, experimentation, emotions, the presentation of the dish to the diner. Now he presented his new project, leaving an uncertainty mood in the conference room. There were questions on everyone’s face while my head was acting as devil’s advocate, trying with all my culinary in nature, to understand the new proposal and not going out as several did, saying “and we lost him, he went mad and I did not come an architectural congress.” The truth is that today, I could not say if the man went crazy or he just did it again with his vision of something very, very big.
A new spirit of innovation with new approaches with the Bulli Foundation project, which started in July this year, just days after closing the doors the restaurant El Bulli.
Accompanied by architect Enric Ruiz-Geli, he made a presentation of the model of the building where this foundation will be. This reveals the importance of social commitment, research, experimentation for the next decade. And especially what they called “empathic architecture with the earth.” It was very significant that the buildings represent the corals. The children of environmentalists, we know from long ago that the first thing will die on earth due to global warming will be the corals. Which makes me think that he is very aware of many things.
Second, I found that this is big, a network of information and communication with global scope.
It is interesting to know that there are foundations dedicated specifically to analyze, develop and support initiatives cuisine, such as the Alicia Foundations.
There is a lot of modernity in its concept and like every story, the few who see things are pointed as crazy. Although tomorrow everyone will see that it was more the work of a genius.
We believe that Adria is right, and is bringing the concept of the dining experience to a higher level, a level that connects to the unit, with modernity and particularly with social commitment. It seems to make a testing center, where transcendental produce results, it becomes a great creative talent pool where you can add human talents from different disciplines, nature finally gives the products and technology to share . Simple math, where good amounts multiplied by more than good, will give you magnificence.
The big challenge will be balancing Adrià science, technology, modernity and the wisdom of tradition.
On his new bar 41* he spoke very little, but he said that in the middle there is simplicity and imagination to present the tapa-lifestyle where reaching pleasure with the fingers is one more goal.
Let’s review a little of what I saw in Acurio. For this issue he returned after 5 years of absence. He’s been a very successful businessman in Peru and billing more than 100 million per year. He was also considered one of the best chefs of the year, along with Ferran Adria, and he gave us an exclusive interview to talk about his success.
Returning to my hypothesis, there is a big issue that unites chefs and almost committed them to social work. Gaston, in his own words, thinks that life has given him great satisfaction and he understands as a need helping those who did not have the same opportunities. I think it’s great the work he has done in Peru, succeeding in promoting the cuisine at several strategic points of the planet. I’m waiting with great emotion his new book that deals with the different ecosystems of Peru and its cuisine.
Juan Mari Arzak y Elena:
If someone had told me everything was going to happen from the day I came into practice at your restaurant in San Sebastian, I would never had believe it. In 1994, yours it was a long recognized and traditional restaurant and I found it quite traditional actually until I entered the kitchen. It opened an infinite world of aromas, and especially technical products I couldn’t have ever imagined. Reading the menu, I thought of it as a very seductive way to convince diners that it was a poetic seduction that I would live that night.
Seeing you again with no rush, no run and in an interview, was to return to your kitchen. You remain a valuable culinary that is hard to compete with. For me, the best thing in the kitchen and the best memory of Basque cuisine.
In Madrid Fusion, events and presentations were relevant, but what caught my attention was that of Angel Leon, Sea Chef. Creator of micro algae filters to thicken gravies and thereby winning technical development at Madrid Fusion few years ago. On this occasion he struck with fish sausages. I would like to highlight their findings and honoring a very significant objectives seeking Madrid Fusion, the proposed concepts that contribute to the food, technology and science. Other contributions include cooking techniques with olive pits and plankton as ingredients.
This has been Madrid Fusion 2011, a reunion and a discovery at the same time, a walk through familiar streets while I assimilate the new surprises of culinary trends, which are equally face to face with the greatest master of molecular gastronomy shoulder to shoulder with the new promise of organic cooking. And Madrid left two major flavors in my mouth desired not only by those who are dedicated to this but also of those diners that every day honor us with their presence at our table: the flavor that explodes on the palate with imagination coming true and that flavor that complements with the balance of returning to origins and organics.