Chef Ángel León, from Aponiente restaurant in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), opened this year's edition of Madrid Fusión with a presentation that surprised all attendees, thanks to two delicious innovative projects:
- The marine grain, which comes from a plant called Zostera, a type of marine eelgrass. This sea rice Ángel León works with is rich in carbohydrates and contains neither salt nor gluten. A product with these properties opens up an infinite number of possibilities for global gastronomy. León and his team have domesticated eelgrass for the first time ever, growing it on three plots.
- León's tuna ham is another unique discovery. It's a product from the sea obtained from the belly of a tuna and has a texture similar to that of traditional ham. León explained its unique preparation process, which includes brine and a drying and curing process similar to that of ham.
“The ham, for which curing has been worked on extensively with a view to achieving the perfect maturation, gives us the opportunity to complete the work undertaken at Aponiente with sea sausages, “ said the chef.
The next innovative gastronomic surprise came from chefs Eduard Xatruch and Oriol Castro who, along with Mateu Casañas, are the trio responsible for Disfrutar restaurant, in Barcelona. They explained how a table is much more than a piece of furniture; it can be an essential part of the gastronomic experience. How? They offered a master class with an empty table that started to change based on the ingredients and dishes being prepared on top of it. Another novelty: at Disfrutar, they know how to make edible bubbles from different ingredients: olive oil, butter, raspberries, mushrooms, foie gras, Ibérico ham...
The two chefs from Disfrutar explained how to make bubbles from any kind of fat. They started with olive oil, which is mixed with soy lecithin, beaten, and heated to 30 degrees. “We use a bubble machine to obtain bubbles, which are then frozen in a plastic cup to achieve the desired texture. Now they have bubbles made from butter, and they showed those made with raspberries, black trumpet mushrooms, foie gras, Ibérico ham, nut oil and cocoa butter,” they said.
Spanish tapas to attract tourists, Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca) and his focus on circular gastronomy based on various projects with which El Celler de Can Roca embraced sustainability back in 2013, and vegetable innovation from chef Rodrigo de la Calle to create a version of traditional demi-glace, replacing meat with vegetables, were other highlights on the first day of Madrid Fusión.
The presentations and workshops held as part of The Wine Edition, which was sponsored by Wines from Spain, included roundtable discussions on biodynamic and natural wines, with oenologists Raúl Pérez and Peter Sisseck; Spain’s great wine lists at restaurants like Etxebarri, Quique Dacosta and Coque; Spanish wine pairings with hamburgers; a tasting of Grenaches from around the world; and a roundtable discussion on terroir as the starting point for Gran Reserva wines.