Three highlights from the final day: emotion in gastronomy, secrets to making fried foods with Spanish olive oil, and the Best New Chef award.
The third day of Madrid Fusión left a wonderful taste in our mouths thanks to innovation from Spanish chefs and to the delicious role of tradition in Spanish gastronomy. At the last day of the international gastronomy conference Madrid Fusión, leading chefs and sommeliers from Spain started an interesting discussion with the public about the new paths restaurants and culinary professionals can take.
One of the most anticipated presentations by all of the professionals at the event focused on the experts in Andalusian-style frying, bringing to the main stage the heads of four restaurants specialized in this culinary technique with such close ties to Andalusian cooking: Bar FM in Granada, Recomiendo in Córdoba, and Estimar and Surtopía in Madrid. In addition to sharing their tips and experience with fried foods, they also shared scientific information. Rafael Moreno, Director of the Andalusian Gastronomy Faculty at the University of Córdoba, offered a clear explanation why extra virgin olive oil is the best technique for this type of cooking: "Less of this oil is required when frying compared with other vegetable oils, and a smaller quantity is absorbed by the fried foods. Moreover, it has anti-oxidant capacity that protects cardiovascular health."
The presentation by Andoni Luis Aduriz, from Mugaritz, is one of the most popular year after year at Madrid Fusión. And it's not because he offers a cooking demo, which he usually doesn't do, but because of his groundbreaking theoretical approaches.
The chef presented a series of dishes from his new menu, "A first time," which addresses topics that are important to his restaurant like beauty, the temperature of the dishes and the importance of texture. He said textures "have been one of our greatest obsessions as we believe they are the most important flavor." This year, the obsession took shape with a baby cuttlefish meringue shake, "a new texture." Another historic reflection: the barrier between a liquid and a solid: Milk sponge with pectin. "It aerates and ends up a bit ambiguous, with a subtle, delicate texture," very Mugaritz-style.
Josep Roca, sommelier at El Celler de Can Roca, focused his presentation on emotion, talking about “emotion as a tool to improve not only the lives of the teams at restaurants but also the experience of diners in a gastronomic setting. The future of gastronomy will lie in unique, personal experiences full of emotion. It's a future that's already present at El Celler de Can Roca."
On this last day of the conference, the documentary "Detrás" was also screened for the first time, directed by publicist Jorge Martínez, who said, "This film aims to research, analyze and pay homage to all of the teams that work behind the scenes for the best chefs."
The wine portion of the conference included the presentation of the fourth volume of Sapiens del Vino, published by elBullifoundation. Sommelier Ferran Centelles, who often collaborates with Wines from Spain in his tastings in countries around the world, said, "This book, divided into the 8 tasks that the sommelier undertakes at the restaurant, is innovative because not only does it focus an understanding of pairings but also on the rest of the vital functions required to offer good service. A book that also sheds light on the tools that the sommelier uses every day: the glasses, their composition and their use for maintaining the persistence of aromas; other tasting methods; etc. and, in short, because it's so important for the general culture of the sommelier to excite the diner."