San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. First day
The first day of San Sebastián Gastronómika 2010 started strong. The heavyweights of the national gastronomy stepped on the stage of the auditorium of Donostiarra Kursaal. In the morning, Carme Ruscalleda, Massimo Bottura, and Martín Berasategui preceded Karlos Arguiñano, who received a heartfelt tribute, after which the presentation by Ferrán Adriá arrived.
We attended the evening lectures by Andoni Luis Aduriz and Juan Mari Arzak. The first one put the congressmen in his pocket as soon as he started, at which point he announced that they were going to talk about three of the best flops of the year. He argued that these congresses always talk about the successes, of those winning star dishes after which there are many others that never see the light. Aduriz is a great communicator, unlike other haute cuisine professionals, more accustomed to the stove and with fewer tables in front of the media, his speech is clear, orderly and entertaining.
For his presentation he chose a very agile and fun dynamic, showing these three failures with two videos made by the Mugaritz team. He showed us how to make his famous dessert of cracked, toasted and salted nuts, Armanac ice cream and jelly, and candied tulip bulbs on a sour background of bread soups and melted bacon, nuances of anise, a dish that gave a test the audience.
With a great sense of humor and a very funny supporting video, he confessed one of his failures: the gummy bears made with fruit juice, about which he explained that once they were prepared they did not know how to present them; we do not have the innate ability to plate everything confessed.
We also saw Aduriz as a sinister and tired flower dealer leading a command of wild thieves, in reference to another mistake: having made wild flowers and herbs the banner of Mugaritz's kitchen and the subsequent regulation that prohibited the use of this.
Juan Mari Arzak came out on stage with his daughter and right hand Elena. Arzak is another of the chefs who create a special climate with his peculiar way of speaking. He demystified the great creations of long names and complex processes with one phrase: everything is nonsense in the kitchen, the difficult thing is that you can think of. He also asserted that cooking is not a profession but a way of life, advising that whoever does not like it, better leave it.
He explained how one of his dishes is made, the crómlech de foie, a semolina carcass stuffed with a foie preparation, onion marmalade and red wine. Before an army of little plates flew towards the audience, Juan Mari Arzak ate one in front of the audience, and he told us: Ale, eat (sic) these chromelechs and a glass of wine.