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docsconz

Madrid Fusión 2008

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From L to R covering every other person, I can identify Juan Marie Arzak, Juli Soler and Quique Dacosta.

.....

Between Juli and Quique there's Xavier Agulló, food writer based in Catalonia which has covered with great detail and passion the progress of hypermodern cuisine in Spain. He writes weekly in Metrópoli, El Mundo's leisure supplement.

Thank you Pedro. Clearly, the greatest number of culinary journalists present were from Spain with essentially all the heavy hitters from that country's culinary journalist pool represented at least at some point during the conference if not the entire conference. Journalists were there from around the world, although the US contingent appeared to be relatively small. While quantity from the US may have been lacking, the quality was great including such lights as Jeffrey Steingarten, Gerry Dawes and Anya von Bremzen. It was a thrill getting to know Steingarten and von Bremzen better but I owe a great debt of gratitude to Gerry Dawes who really opened many doors to me and introduced me to a lot of people as well as just having been great company.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Ferran Adria went on to describe how various dishes from the 2007 season were made.

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Peanut Snack

Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside with flavors containing the essence of the peanut. Unfortunately, as with a few of these, I was unable to catch the techniques used.

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Blackberry Risotto

The technique for this dish involved plunging the berries into liquid nitrogen to separate the individual clusters.

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Parmesan Soufflé

The secret technique as with others presented was use of the microwave. This was the year that Adria and elBulli utilized the culinary armamentarium of the home cook, albeit in ways the home cook never imagined before now.

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Empty Beetroot meeringues

I had this dish last spring at elBulli. The flavor was deep and perfect with a wonderful airy texture.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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A view from the audience


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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More photos from Ferran Adria's Presentation:

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John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Well Done! I am truly envious of your oppourtunity to be present at this event. Ferran Adria is my hero and i wish to visit El Buli when i travel abroad next summer. Again, job well done.

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Well Done!  I am truly envious of your oppourtunity to be present at this event.  Ferran Adria is my hero and i wish to visit El Buli when i travel abroad next summer.  Again, job well done.

Thank you. If anyone couldn't tell, I am a great admirer of Ferran Adria as well, LOL. He is an amazing person with an incredible intensity and aura about him. His creativity speaks for itself.

One last note. Adria used the microwave for more than one dish in his presentation. While he was not the first great chef to utilize this device in his cooking (apparently Paul Bocuse used it in the 60's), but what he has done with it is particularly unique and creative.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Doc you can't leave us hanging; what did he do with the Microwave?

Any snaps of what guys from Noma did too?


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Doc you can't leave us hanging; what did he do with the Microwave?

Any snaps of what guys from Noma did too?

Regarding Rene Redzepi and Noma, patience my friend :wink::biggrin:.

Adria used the microwave for a number of dishes. The one he described most clearly was the black sesame and miso cake from 2007. Unfortunately, I did not get any good photos of this from his presentation, but here is a photo of the finished product taken at my dinner there this past May.

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The preparation of this dish is to form a sesame paste by roasting black sesame seeds in a skillet, blending it with egg whites, yolks, sugar and flour until smooth and transferring the mixture after straining to a siphon. This is then used to fill beakers that have had spaces pre-cut in their bases before placing in the microwave at full power for 40 seconds. The cakes are then removed and set aside in an airtight container. What comes out are very light, airy and spongy cakes with intense sesame flavor.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Immediately following Adria's presentation the Madrid Fusión organizers held a special Tribute to Television Chefs from various countries. No, Rachel Ray did not represent the US.

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His Excellency, the mayor of madrid D. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Ferran Adria and Juan Marie Arzak

With Adria, Arzak and the mayor on stage with the Capels and others to welcome the recipients, each was called up one by one to accept their awards. The recipients included Emeril Lagasse (US), Tim Mälzer (Germany), Yukio Hattori (Japan), Claus Meyer (Denmark), Joël Robuchon (France) and, from Spain, Karlos Arguiñano.

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Arguiñano had a particularly warm reception from his countrymen and the largely Spanish audience.

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Adria and Arzak appeared to admire Joel Robuchon's sartorial taste in addition to his culinary abilities.

to be continued...


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Heston Blumenthal bounded up from the front of the stage to accept his award from the mayor.

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Arguiñano gave a brief thank you speech.

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Blumenthal, Robuchon and Yukio Hattori from the original Japanese Iron Chef

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Arzak and Adria look on as...

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...Mayor Ruiz-Gallardón gives a welcoming speech formally opening the Conference.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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From L to R: Arzak, Tim Mälzer, Arguiñano, Claus Meyer, Blumenthal, Adria, Robuchon and Hattori. Missing from the photo is the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre, who accepted the award on behalf of Emeril Lagasse.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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It was interesting to observe the immediate post-award dynamics as the auditorium was breaking up for lunch.

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Blumenthal and Adria exchange ideas...

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...as do Adria and Hattori.

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Arzak and Arguiñano have a laugh.

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Everyone mingles

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...and pose for photos - Blumenthal and Hattori

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Blumenthal, Adria, Robuchon and Hattori

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Robuchon gave some autographs and greeted familiar faces in the crowd.

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Johnny Iuzzini watches as Elena Arzak greets Jeffrey Steingarten,

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Andoni Luis Aduriz chats with Oriol Castro from elBulli.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Wow. Graduate school on steroids (without congressional investigators). Thanks so much for the posts. I'm amazed you could get so many great photos of the dishes in such a big room. Looking forward to the rest of the posts, and I'm already adjusting the eventual next trip to Spain.

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Wow. Graduate school on steroids (without congressional investigators). Thanks so much for the posts. I'm amazed you could get so many great photos of the dishes in such a big room. Looking forward to the rest of the posts, and I'm already adjusting the eventual next trip to Spain.

I can't wait to return, myself!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I took a few photos at the lunch sponsored by the Comunidad Foral de Navarra. Unfortunately my recollection does not extend back to the specifics of the dishes I photographed. They were tasty, however.

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Elena Arzak enjoying a bite while chatting with Quique Dacosta and others.

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Gerry Dawes with José "Pitu" Perramón, former Handball goalkeeper for FC Barcelona, Maria José San Roman and Javier de las Muelas, noted mixologist from Barcelona.

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John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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There were a variety of sponsored cooking contests throughout the conference. I caught part of one "Creative Cuisine Using Italian Ingredients" sponsored by Gusti Negrini.

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Amongst the judges were Ignacio Medina, Nicoletta Negrini, Juanma Bellver, Elena Arzak and Alfredo Russo. I am not sure who the two female judges are on the far end.

The winner of the contest was Enrique Martinez López, chef of the restaurant Gingko in Murcia for his recipe called "Parmigiano Cloud."

Other contest winners included Juan Antonio Villamor, chef of the restaurant Fundición in Burgos, in the V Designer Sandwichs Contest sponsored by Berlys Alimentación for his sandwich of "farm raised chicken tostada, goat cheese aioli, crispy rice, an apple and foie gras salad and Julio Barbé Cucó of Medems Catering in Madrid, in the IV Designer Tapas Contest sponsored by Cervezas Mahou - San Miguel for his "Ox tataki with padrón peppers stock and white wasabi";


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Because there ws so much going on and so many people to meet and talked to, I missed what likely would have been a very interesting presentation from Marcos Moran of Casa Gerardo in Asturias on marine Trash-cooking: using the left-overs of fish. I remember Marcos' high energy level from the Spain and the World Table Conference in California. It would not be the last presentation that I would have preferred not to miss but did. As I said, there was simply way too much going on to be able to get to everything and I did want to experience s much of the different parts of this conference as I could.

I did make it to the presentation of Fulvio Pierangelini of Gambero Rosso in San Vincenzo, Italy. He spoke and showed a video on his culinary aesthetic philosophy entitled, "The Aesthetics of Gastronomic Creativity."

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Fulvio Pierangelini

Pierangelini stressed simplicity as the end result, albeit a deceptive simplicity.

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An interesting aspect of his presentation was a discussion on making and using chickpea flour for pasta so that people with celiac disease could eat it.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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One point about Pierangelini's presentation is that it was essentially a video presentation with nothing prepared onstage.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Mathias Dahlgren

The second of Scandinavia's rising culinary stars ascended to the stage for his demonstration of "Natural Cuisine." Mathias Dahlgren, formerly of the restaurant Bon Lloc, which just by virtue of its Catalan name showed a strong influence of his experience with and fascination of things Catalan, but now with an eponymous restaurant in Stockholm considered by many to be the best restaurant in that city and indeed now one of the finest in the world was that man. Dahlgren's new restaurant, Mathias Dahlgren, is located in The Grand Hotel in Stockholm.

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His focus was on using fresh, daily ingredients from local purveyors to forge a new identity for Swedish cooking. Like all the Scandinavian chefs, Dahlgren spoke and presented in English and elucidated his gastronomic philosophy:

There is a gastronomic philosophy behind this project (Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren).

Where we see it from both a local and global perspective. The local side of it wants to be proud of its heritage, environment, people and of course its products. The global side of it wants to be open

to new experiences, new meetings between people, new ideas and foreign products. Traditionally, the Swedish people have been longing to be so international. This, however, has made our own Swedish food identity a bit forgotten. We would like to be a part of creating the new Swedish identity.

He too showed video, but he was the first to offer samples of specific ingredients and dishes to members of the audience.

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Passing around samples to the audience

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Samples of crisps, cheese and butter on bread were passed around for audience members to sample. I had butter on rye, which was very good, though in this context not profound.

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Additional samples. The individual items are labeled in the photos.

I had a chance to taste both the cucumber and the herring. They were not very much like any other examples of these items that I have ever had. The textures were not dissimilar from previous items, but the flavors were much more complex and delicious.

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He also provided a dish he made to a member of the audience to sample, in this case, the audience member was Michael Ritter, a German journalist.

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Dahlgren prepared wild white salmon with caviar, sour cream, fresh and pickled cucumber, oyster and dill.

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Dahlgren's bread service.

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Smoked salmon mayonnaise, pickled yellow beet, fermented cucumber water meringue and salmon roe

Based on accounts I've read of his food as well as his presentation, Dahlgren appears to be well on his way to achieving his goals.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I had the smoked salmon dish, the bread service and the chicken truffle sabayonne (if that is what the creme colored "soup" with toast is) last Saturday. All was delicious.

The bread is served with cold pressed "virgin" rape seed oil, whipped bacon fat and artisan butter.

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I had the smoked salmon dish, the bread service and the chicken truffle sabayonne (if that is what the creme colored "soup" with toast is) last Saturday. All was delicious.

The bread is served with cold pressed "virgin" rape seed oil, whipped bacon fat and artisan butter.

Thank you for adding the details that I could not remember. I am envious of your meal. I will get there sometime in the not too distant future (I hope). Scandinavia, Sweden and Denmark in particular, have bounded to the top of my list for culinary destinations I hope to visit. Unfortunately, the earliest I can possibly get there won't be until the summer of 2009 if then. :sad:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Sébastien Gaudard

Sébastien Gaudard of Delicar at the Bon Marché in Paris is perhaps most well known for his monochromatic dishes that blend sweet and savory. Delicabar was one of the first restaurants to advance the addition of savory items to what is essentially a dessert oriented restaurant, much like Espai Sucre in Barcelona and Tailor and P*ong in NYC.

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I enjoyed the lunch at Delicabar in 2005 that I had with my family, P'tipois and her son. Although the food was monochromatic, the flavors were balanced and good. Unfortunately, the program in the main auditorium was running late and there was a roundtable discussion that I needed to get to. With that in mind, plus the fact that I have experienced some of Chef Gaudard's fine cooking, I departed for the other discussion.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The Conference that I left Gaudard's presentation for, "The Genome of Nouvelle Cuisine in the West" was quite interesting. I will be covering it more extensively elsewhere, but wanted to include it in this topic with a simple mention. Of note, eGullet Society member, VSerna, was a member of the distinguished panel collected to discuss the topic, a project outlining the recent culinary history of of Europe, the Americas and other predominantly western cultures as put forth by the Catalan journalist, Pau Arenós. I finally was able to meet Victor at the end of this session (this opportunity was one of the reasons I particularly wished to attend), but unfortunately I was unable to meet up with him again before the end of the week.

This effectively finished my day at the conference as I had to get back to my hotel to freshen up before dinner.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The dinner I had to freshen up for was the gala Press diner of Madrid Fusion held at La Terrazza at The Incredibly beautiful and elegant Casino de Madrid. I managed to make it there without missing all of the cocktail hour. This was Paco Roncero doing a barrage of snacks and cocktails from elBulli. Unfortunately, I did not get to try or photograph all of them, but I did get to quite a few.

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Melon Caviar - the apparatus for the spherification is visible in the second photo

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Nitro Pistachio Nuts

More to come...


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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John, If I am good in this life, do I get to come as you in the next one?


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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    • By Virbonus
      We've just come from 4 days in Madrid and an evening in Toledo. In Madrid we ate at Casa Salvador where my wife's oxtails were superb but I can only rate the flavor of my tripe as good, though it was cooked perfectly. I thought Barbara was going to swoon over the roasted marrow bone and beef at Sacha. She started with a fresh tomato salad in a very light balsamic vinaigrette that was perfection. I had the fried artichokes - paper thin slices of baby artichokes fried in olive oil that had the texture of potato chips but were pure artichoke flavor. I followed that with brains that were superb - lightly battered and fried, slightly crunchy on the outside, milky soft inside. Barbara had a chocolate thing for desert and she flipped. I had something akin to creme caramel, but I have no idea what it was, other than outrageously good. I think it had cielo in the name, but since I asked the maitre d' to just pick out deserts for us I'm not sure what we had.
      Then on Tuesday we went to David Muñoz's Diverxo. Extraordinary. And that's saying something because we got off to a really bad start. Twenty minutes to get a glass of wine ordered from the time we were seated. Then, when asked if I'd like chopsticks to which I replied in the affirmative, none ever arrived, but the food transcended all. An amuse bouche of edamame seasoned, perhaps with sumac and something else with a buttermilk-like garlic dipping sauce. Then we both had the seven course tasting menu (the other choice being the thirteen course menu). The seven courses were actually around eleven since a course would often be divided into two halves served sequentially, like the poached prawn (it was called something else) that arrived followed by the grilled, seasoned, head and body with the juices from the body drizzled over the poached tail. Somewhere in the middle were white asparagus wrapped in the skin of red mullet - actually the meal involved parts of red mullet in several of the dishes, such as a pate of red mullet liver on a thin crisp. The courses that I sort of remember include the soup served in a young coconut shell where eating the coconut meat was a desired part of the experience, a steamed roll with a quail's egg yolk barely poached on top, an extraordinary piece of tuna cheek that tasted like a sous-vide cooked short rib, and a piece of ox cheek that had been slow roasted for 112 hours, a small piece of hake served sauced accompanied by a horseradish cream and spherified lime, and a desert which I no longer remember. Very, very highly recommended.
      Yesterday, we made our way to Toledo, where completely by chance we went for lunch to Adolfo. It turns out that the chef, Adolfo Muñoz, is David Muñoz's uncle. And he cooks like it. Not modernist, but brilliantly. Barbara had a simple "small" salad ordered off the menu which was beautiful and then a scallops and artichokes starter with fresh baby artichokes and incredibly dense scallops barely accented with maldon salt flakes that were perfect. I had a risotto of black rice cooked with squid ink and baby calamari and manchego cheese that was off the charts followed by red partridge that was excellent, but paled in comparison to the risotto. Excellent.
      Now we're off to Lisbon.
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