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Madrid Fusión 2008


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Andoni Luis Aduriz introduces the Scandinavian chefs being paid homage to, while José Carlos Capel looks on.

This group of chefs including Magnus Ek and Mathias Dahlgren from Sweden, Bo Bech, Rasmus Kofoed, and René Redzepi from Denmark, and Terje Ness and Arne Sörving from Norway were given tribute by Madrid Fusion for their contributions to elevating a new Scandinavian cuisine. Many of these chefs as well as others have spent time working in Spain and as a result there is a close association between the two geographic areas. In fact, Dahlgren's previous restaurant had a Catalan name, Bon Llock.

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From L to R: Rene Redzepi (brown apron), Rasmus Kofoed, Bo Bech, Mathias Dahlgren and Magnus Ek.

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Aduriz greets and congratulates Redzepi.

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Chefs with their plaques.

This presentation was the perfect segue into the next chef demonstration...

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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Rene Redzepi

Redzepi, from the Copenhagen, Denmark restaurant Noma, has been the most well known chef fronting the Scandinavian Culinary revolution. If his presentation is any indication, for good reason. His presentation was titled: "Nordic Cuisine: Antiglobalization tidbits," which was an apt description as Redzepi spent the better part of it showing and describing unique Nordic ingredients and techniques that have been incorporated into their kitchen.

It used to be in Scandinavia that for quality cuisine, the people looked outward, especially towards France. Much of the quality product available in the Nordic lands was either overlooked or felt to be subservient to that from the south. In addition, until relatively recently, the economics of the area were such as to extol foreign quality, while underestimating local possibilities. That has begun to change in a big way with the arrival of these young chefs who are pushing the boundaries and developing a new Nordic tradition of haute cuisine based around native or near native ingredients.

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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René Redzepi opened his talk with a little history of the restaurant Noma that he started along with Claus Meyer (check out his site for much more background on the philosophy behind and the approach of Noma and Nordic cuisine - it is fascinating.)

Redzepi brought a number of items to show the audience. He described them and in some cases offered tastes and smells. One can get a sense of the style of the restaurant from its

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Redzepi showed a number of smoke items, especially a variety of fish from Scandinavian waters.

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If I remember correctly, this is a smoked roe sack. If anyone knows otherwise, I will appreciate the correction.

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Samples of fresh smoked cheese were passed around the audience. Pedro Subijana tasted his.

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These are a special kind of Scandinavian pancake made on the stovetop by periodically turning the batter until it is cooked all around.

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Redzepi had Subijana try a Scandinavian fruit wine. Since grapes don't grow in Scandinavia, Redzepi is utilizing the produce that does come from those lands in new ways and expanding the pantry of local products - thus the antiglobalization aspect of his presentation.

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This is a very interesting product that Redzepi collects from wild birds in the arctic who have eaten these berries.

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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This dish used a variety of Scandinavian vegetables, including some Scandinavian truffle.

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Roasted Chestnuts and Virgin Rapeseed Oil. Raw Chestnuts and Milk Skin.

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Scandinavian pancakes

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Smoked fresh cheese with Apple Blini and Vegetable Cream

I found Redzepi's presentation to be the most fascinating of the entire conference as it was all completely new to me. I reveled in Adria and Arzak, gloried in Aduriz and Subijana, admired Piege and Susur and devoured Bhatia and Dahlgren amongst others, but Redzepi's presentation more than any other for a restaurant that I have not yet been, made me truly yearn to try his cooking as it is so unique. Noma is now at the top of my list along with Mugaritz and Etxebarri as the restaurants at which i have not yet experienced that I most desire to.

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 on the internet in the press room.

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 didn't get any photos from the lunch put on by Extremadura, however, here is the crew who prepared 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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David Muñoz

David Muñoz of the restaurant DiverXo, a tiny 20 seat restaurant in madrid featuring Muñoz' original styling of Chinese and Spanish fusion cuisine, was another fascinating presenter. This young chef who has worked in kitchens as diverse as Viridiana, Hakassan and Nobu amongst others ws all the rage at this conference. It was impossible to get a seat at his restaurant and he received numerous awards. His presentation gave some indication as to why.

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Spanish Toltilla

The toltilla is a very clever blend of the Spanish tortilla or omelette and Chinese dim sum. The dish incorporates eggs, saffron, potatoes, shaoxing wine, adzuki beans and red chiles amongst other ingredients. The top is laced with Ito tagarachi chili.

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Ray with XO Sauce "Iberian Style"

This dish is another clever blend of traditions. The XO sauce is particularly important to Muñoz as he has incorporated it into the name of his restaurant. His version replaces jinghua ham and Chinese dried fish with the Spanish Iberico ham fat and grated, dried, salted tuna.

Muñoz' is a restaurant I will be sure to make plans well in advance for next time I find myself heading to Madrid.

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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Andoni Luis Aduriz

Aduriz, whom I'd heard speak several times before, this day spoke about being "On the verge of being insipid." He talked about not overwhelming the diner with bold, deep flavors, but instead of painting the diner's palate with subtlety. This subtlety helps elevate the diner's other senses and brings each and every one into play in the dining room. It is Aduriz' aim to affect the diner emotionally.

Aduriz initially showed his Peruvian clay coated potatoes, only this time, he gave samples to the audience. The flavors were indeed subtle, though the experience was aided by the retained heat of the potato and the texture of the clay coating.

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Gerry Dawes sampling a potato.

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Ewe's milk and hay curd cheese seasoned with burnt fern leaves. Pumpkin glazed in a non-sweet syrup.

The recipe should be available through the link.

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Aduriz' beet juice bubbles

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Beef Carpaccio?

No. Although the woman and everyone else nearby who saw it closely thought that is what this was, in reality it was oven-dried watermelon! This product had the look and feel of thinly sliced carpaccio, but not the taste.

Andoni Luis Aduriz remains one of the absolutely most intellectually stimulating, provocative and thoughtful chefs in the world.

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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Bo Bech

Bo bech of the restaurant Paustian in Copenhagen continued the line of impressive Scandinavian chefs (unfortunately I would miss Rasmus Kofoed of Restaurant geranium in Copenhagen) to present at this year's Madrid Fusion. bech prepared a number of dishes. Although not every component was strictly nordic, each dish incorporated strong Nordic elements.

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Bread is important to Bech.

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Avocado is an external product that he used.

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He is enamored of the Scandinavian seafood.

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preparing a dish of vegetables and Jerusalem artichokes.

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An interesting angle.

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Goat cheeks in a mushroom broth with grated fresh chestnut

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Thinly sliced avocado, caviar and almond oil

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Puree of potatoes poached in mustard oil

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Brussel sprout leaves on radish foam

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Jerusalem artichokes with juniper and oyster leaves

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"Aesthetic shrimp" in fir needles with smoke perfume.

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The photo shoot.

I must get to Copenhagen!

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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Raul Aleixandre

Aleixandre of the Restaurant Ca Sento in valencia is another of my favorite chefs based on the amazing meal I had at his restaurant last spring. His is also the last demonstration that I will present from Madrid Fusión 2008.

Ably assisted by Rafa Morales from La Alqueria at the hacienda Benazuza in Sevilla, Aleixandre focused on his method for grilling fresh seafood. Both he and Morales simultaneously grilled various crustaceans with and without salt crusts. Without exception, the salt crusts preserved the moisture of the product and enhanced the flavor. The last view was supported by Ignacio Medina, who, lucky man that he is, got to taste everything!

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Rafa Morales

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Ignacio Medina

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I am not one to argue with Aleixandre's technique as the salt encrusted grilled langoustine that I had at Ca Sento may have been the single most delicious piece of shellfish that I have ever eaten!

This concludes my photo essay on Madrid Fusión 2008. It was an overwhelmingly wonderful experience as I got to meet many great people and reacquaint myself with a number of others, eat great food and soak up the entire experience in a fantastic city. I hope that I was able to convey a sense of that experience here.

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, great report from Madrid Fusión! Here’s some inside scoop about Redzepi:

It hasn't been widely publicized yet, except for a mention in the local paper, but René Redzepi of Noma will come to Manresa in Los Gatos to cook with David Kinch on July 12 & 13. There will be a special dinner on both evenings. It’s not posted on the website yet, and I don’t think that you can reserve through OpenTable, so you have to call Manresa at 408.354.4330.

Visit Casa Gregorio :: C A S A G R E G O R I O

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thank you John.

Greatly appreciated.

You've expand my Horizons, again.

“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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John, great report from Madrid Fusión! Here’s some inside scoop about Redzepi:

It hasn't been widely publicized yet, except for a mention in the local paper, but René Redzepi of Noma will come to Manresa in Los Gatos to cook with David Kinch on July 12 & 13. There will be a special dinner on both evenings. It’s not posted on the website yet, and I don’t think that you can reserve through OpenTable, so you have to call Manresa at 408.354.4330.

That should be a great event. Though I won't be able to make it (unfortunately), I would urge anyone who can to do so as it should be a great chance to experience two great culinary minds together. Redzepi is certainly familiar with California and its produce from his days at The French Laundry. It will be interesting to see how much of his Nordic ingredients he will bring with him or if he will rely on local California ingredients.

Thank you all for reading and the kind words. I had to speed up the end of my report as I am now doing research for my next one on something completely different!

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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These are a special kind of Scandinavian pancake made on the stovetop by periodically turning the batter until it is cooked all around.

That looks like an aebleskiver. I've never seen one so perfectly spherical.

Thanks for the report, John. The Scandinavian presence was a surprise, given the location of the conference. There's some fascinating stuff going on up there judging by the presentations.

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Thanks for an excellent report! But if I haven't stumbled into the Spanish forum by accident I wouldn't even had found it.

Surely an extensive writeup such as this should be widely advertized?

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Daniel Patterson

After the previous evening, I had now had dinner at Daniel Patterson's restaurant, Coi and with him. In addition, I try to read whatever he writes in the New York Times as he tends to be provocative and more often than not brilliant. He seems to be much like his food, not overtly fussy or overwrought on the outside, lacking in Baroque presentation and overstatement, but deep on the inside, holding much complexity, while remaining pure of purpose. Patterson does not overuse words. He chooses them carefully and sparingly, much the same way he appears to choose his ingredients. His presentation entitled, "Aromas: cooking with essential oils" provided a window into the man and his work.

I learned that the name of Patterson's restaurant, Coi (pronounced Kwa) is a medieval French word meaning "Tranquility." The name fits the restaurant.

Patterson talked about his use of essential oils in his cuisine s well as their various roles throughout history. He gave the audience a small vial of essential garlic oil to sample and using video described his technique for creating essential oils. he stressed the potency of these oils and

said that they should be used sparingly and with great care as a little goes a long way. He provided video demonstrations  with preparations of pink grapefruit, ginger black pepper and tarragon with the dish to be eaten after a spray of the essential oils on the diner's wrist  (in the same way as I experienced at his restaurant and as described and shown in my report from that meal linked to above) and another of sauteed sea bream with braised lettuce, pork belly cured orange and spice and litsea cubeba.

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Primacy of product is essential to Patterson's cooking. He prepared a dish live to reflect that, using a perfect carrot as his principle ingredient.

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Patterson, the only representative from the United States presenting this year, carried that responsibility well.

CORRECTION: From what is highlighted in red above, Daniel Patterson did not give out vials of garlic oil - that was Alfredo Russo. I confused the two given Chef Patterson's topic.

CLARIFICATION: Chef Patterson does not make his own essential oils. The production requires special, still-like machinery. He remains, however, a master of their use.

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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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Docsconz,

just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for posting all this. A fascinating read. Sorry I took so long to see this thread - I've been away a lot.... Again, congratulations! Excellent work!

I was there that year of the food poisoning, btw. I was so sick I had to stay in bed for 3 days. Horrible. And I was bummed I couldn't make it this year, since I was in Brazil. Next time...

cheers,

Alex

Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

Official Website

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Hi Docsconz,

just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for posting all this. A fascinating read. Sorry I took so long to see this thread - I've been away a lot.... Again, congratulations! Excellent work!

I was there that year of the food poisoning, btw. I was so sick I had to stay in bed for 3 days. Horrible. And I was bummed I couldn't make it this year, since I was in Brazil. Next time...

cheers,

Alex

I'm sorry that you weren't there this year. It would have been fun to meet you and get your take on the proceedings. I heard some horror stories about that food-poisonng episode including the kinds of things experienced Fusion goers would not eat. I didn't hear of anything like that happening this year.

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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