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docsconz

Madrid Fusión 2009 - Merged topic

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The Program for Madrid Fusión 2009 is out and looks spectacular. This year a focus is on Mexico, including presenters such as Ricardo Muñoz, Patricia Quintana and Enrique Olvera amongst others. There will be a strong presence of US based chefs and culinarians including Grant Achatz, David Chang, Harold McGee, Sotohiro Kosugi and Jose Andres amongst others as well as the usual assortment of European heavy hitters. The dates are January 19-22nd.


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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And, for the 1st time, a portuguese chef.

José Avillez, who worked in the kitchen at El Bulli last year, is now the head chef at Tavares Restaurant in Lisbon. Tavares, is probably the oldest restaurant in town, where, its decadent decor, contrasts with the modern cuisine.

His presentation at Madrid Fusion, will be in the last day, with the name " renovation of the great culinary temples "

http://www.joseavillez.pt/index.asp?l=4


Edited by PauloR (log)

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Hi Doc,

will you be there this year? Any tips on lodgings?

I am very much hoping to, but it ultimately will depend on economics. Last year I stayed at a lovely small hotel called Room Mate Laura. It was reasonably priced, well situated for Madrid (less so for the conference) and nicely funky. I recommend 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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I know Doc is going. So am I. Any other egulleters?

No big Ferran ending this time, sadly. But then again, is there anything he hasn't said yet? He'll be doing a round table on molecular gastronomy (yawn) with Heston Blumenthal, Andoni Luis Aduriz and Harold McGee.

Other highlights include:

1- Angel Leon on plankton

2- Elena Arzak on color

3- David Chang and Sotohiro Kosugi on small plates

4- Gagnaire on... Gagnaire

5- Achatz on the power of gastronomic memory (and did he ever use his memory! the guy had a cancer on the tongue and couldn't taste his own creations!)

for those of you who can read in Portuguese, I wrote about it in greater detail HERE.

The link to the official site is HERE.


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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Don't forget the special focus on Mexican cooking. Last year the focus was on Scandinavia.


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'll probably be around, but don't know exactly when yet.

Curious that the round table about --against would be more accurate-- molecular gastronomy has no one which will speak in favor of the term, for the sake of debate. I'm afraid that'd be Herve This only.

Blumenthal, McGee and Adria, along with Thomas Keller, issued a statement which didn't receive much attention, which clearly positions them as opposed to the term:

From the referred joint statement:

"[...]Similarly, the disciplines of food chemistry and food technology are valuable sources of information and ideas for all cooks. Even the most straightforward traditional preparation can be strengthened by an understanding of its ingredients and methods, and chemists have been helping cooks for hundreds of years. The fashionable term “molecular gastronomy” was introduced relatively recently, in 1992, to name a particular academic workshop for scientists and chefs on the basic food chemistry of traditional dishes. That workshop did not influence our approach, and the term “molecular gastronomy” does not describe our cooking, or indeed any style of cooking."


Edited by pedro (log)

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I'll probably be around, but don't know exactly when yet.

Curious that the round table about --against would be more accurate-- molecular gastronomy has no one which will speak in favor of the term, for the sake of debate. I'm afraid that'd be Herve This only.

Blumenthal, McGee and Adria, along with Thomas Keller, issued a statement which didn't receive much attention, which clearly positions them as opposed to the term:

From the referred joint statement:

"[...]Similarly, the disciplines of food chemistry and food technology are valuable sources of information and ideas for all cooks. Even the most straightforward traditional preparation can be strengthened by an understanding of its ingredients and methods, and chemists have been helping cooks for hundreds of years. The fashionable term “molecular gastronomy” was introduced relatively recently, in 1992, to name a particular academic workshop for scientists and chefs on the basic food chemistry of traditional dishes. That workshop did not influence our approach, and the term “molecular gastronomy” does not describe our cooking, or indeed any style of cooking."

I don't think this is meant to be a discussion of the merits of the term. Instead it is more of a dialectic on why the term doesn't work or apply. They want to put the term to rest.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


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 guess I'll be around too, at least in the afternoons.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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I don't think this is meant to be a discussion of the merits of the term. Instead it is more of a dialectic on why the term doesn't work or apply. They want to put the term to rest.

Agreed, Doc. Which is why I wonder how come they're even bothering to have this "round table discussion". The term molecular gastronomy has long been dead, we all know it, so why keep repeating the reasons why it was "killed"? Is it for the benefit of those in the audience who aren't up-to-date on the issue? Wouldn't it be better to discuss something new, considering how rare it is to have these greats together on the same stage?


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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I don't think this is meant to be a discussion of the merits of the term. Instead it is more of a dialectic on why the term doesn't work or apply. They want to put the term to rest.

Agreed, Doc. Which is why I wonder how come they're even bothering to have this "round table discussion". The term molecular gastronomy has long been dead, we all know it, so why keep repeating the reasons why it was "killed"? Is it for the benefit of those in the audience who aren't up-to-date on the issue? Wouldn't it be better to discuss something new, considering how rare it is to have these greats together on the same stage?

It will be interesting to see what they actually do discuss. The thing is, they will be preaching this to the choir. It is the rest of the world that still insists on using the term "Molecular Gastronomy" as has been well documented even here in the eGullet Discussion Forums.


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 don't think the term is dead at all, I'd argue that molecular cooking and molecular gastronomy are in fact what most people use to describe that style of cuisine --you can Google both and see the results. And Hervé This still believes it's a valid term.

So, my complain is precisely that. It's not going to be a discussion or a debate, it's going to be a speech. As another prominent chef in Spain said, it's a complicated situation when you have to explain that what you're cooking is something different from what people are telling you're cooking. And no, it wasn't Santamaría who said this.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Ah, how thrilling, a whole culinary school in desperate search of a name for itself. It's even more exciting than Indiana Jones looking for the Holy Grail!

The Mexican angle is most eagerly expected by Spanish participants, as José Carlos Capel was truly impressed by what he found on his prospecting trip to Mexico. So Ricardo Muñoz, Bricio Domínguez, Enrique Olvera, Mónica Patiño, Patricia Quintana will be expected to make as much of a splash as Gastón Acurio of Peru did three years back.

There will be a tasting by our wine estates association, Grandes Pagos de España, Wednesday afternoon, BTW.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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vserna, I love how your comments always DRIP with sarcasm.

so if you want to talk wines, here it is, a list of tastings that will take place at the MF:

Sponsored by ICEX, 5 Spanish wine tastings have been planned:

(text from the official program press release):

>JANUARY 20th

From 9h30 to 11h15. INNOVATIVE SPAIN: ancient

> vineyards, new wines. A trip through the most novel and interesting wine

> labels to have appeared over the last year on the Spanish wine scene,

> paying particular attention to wines from less known Spanish wine

> producing regions that have attracted little press atention. A

> presentation of premieres, which in a way aims to open attendees eyes to

> the new offerings of an ever expanding wine industry.

>

From 17h30 to 18h45. ALBARIÑOS. Longevidad juvenil

> (Youthful long lived ALBARIÑOS), offered by the Regulatory Board of the

> Rías Baixas Designation of Origin).

> The wine tasting will focus on a selection of Albariño

> wines. These Galician whites have managed to redefine the historical

> interpretation specialists and the public at large used to have of these

> Spanish white wines - accepted as vintage wines with scant ageing

> potential - diversifying their profiles by means of the ageing on lees or

> in tanks. Rías Baixas white wines are today´s most representative sample

> of the ageing potential possessed by some Spanish vineyard white wines,

> and the Albariño variety itself represents the flagship on this new

> generation of white wines created to mellow with the years.

>

> - JANUARY 21st

From 9h30 to 11h15. RIBERA DEL DUERO, Punta de lanza

> , sponsored by the Ribera del Duero Designation of Origin.

25 years have passed since the birth of this Designation of

> Origin, a bench mark among Spanish wines, and once this wine comes of age,

> the 21st century will show us a Ribera del Duero without inhibitions and

> with a wine wealth in terms both of authors and well established national

> wineries which without doubt bestows on this region a great potential for

> international critics. This reach heritage will be the source from which

> 15 of their best wines will be selected for a presentation where classic

> and new born wines will live together.

>

From 17h30 to 18h45. GRANDES PAGOS DE ESPAÑA.

A trip through the most outstanding features endowed to the

> small wine growing regions of our country. This wine tasting sponsored by

> the association of select wineries of the same name, which will offer

> delegates the chance to fully appreciate for themselves the quality of the

> most recently produced wines achieved through respect and fidelity for the

> native soil where the wines are cultivated. The requirements to join the

> ranks of this selected group are demanding; while the urge which brings

> them together is universal. The seduction of the unique as opposed to

> globalized uniformity.

>

> - JANUARY 22nd

From 9h15 to 10h45. RIOJA, las compras más

> inteligentes (RIOJA. The smart buys). Offered by the Regulatory Board of

> the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin.

A tasting of various UEC selected wines, following

> assessment by national and international critics, will be introduced in

> terms of their excellent price/quality relationship among all the

> Qualified Designation of Origin Wines. No doubt about it, this is going to

> be a really useful tasting for all the attending professionals and will

> demonstrate once again why Rioja is still a wine making power due to its

> variety, global quality and diversity of wines.


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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Madrid Fusion has been underway for two days now. it is as busy, hectic and wonderful as ever. The Mexican contingent has shown itself well, but the talk I have heard most talk about so far was Pedro Schiaffino's from Peru, who spoke on using products from the Amazon. He showed wonderful videos and photos as well as cooking demonstration.

The biggest event so far though was the discussion today between Andoni Luis Aduriz, Harold McGee, Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria and late addition to the panel, Italian physicist and gastronome, Davide Cassi about "Molecular Gastronomy." While there wasn't any major new ground broken, they all agreed that the word "molecular" narrows the focus too much on the contributions of science to cuisine. Science has been useful in the understanding and development of technique, but in the end, they agreed, that it is all still just "cooking." Interestingly, while the term "molecular gastronomy" was rejected as expected, the only substitution fully agreed upon was simply "gastronomy," which Harold McGee suggested already encompasses the science of cooking and dining. Also of interest and a bit of a surprise to me considering how warmly Ferran appeared to accept it last year, there was no mention of the term "technoemotional."

I will be writing with more detail and photos as time allows.


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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O.K., so it's now the third day of the Madrid Fusion, which ends tomorrow night.

Here's a report on what was said at the highly anticipated debate "Does Molecular

Gastronomy Exist?"

Andoni Aduriz (chef-owner of Mugaritz) said that cooking and science have always been linked, and illustrated his point with examples of how food has been conserved in the past, in confits and compotes, for instance.

Harold McGee (author of the cult book On Food and Cooking), ever so modest, started by saying: "I'm not a scientist nor a cook, but a writer". He said anyone that cooks will easily find a million things about it that are scientific, and in that he includes not only chemistry but also physics, biology and psychology.

Heston Blumenthal (chef-owner of The Fat Duck) said that "what makes a great chef or a great restaurant is the same that makes a great work of art: sensations". He said it's very important to respect the history of gastronomy, and that it's natural that everything that is going on now in avvant-garde cooking is a bit shocking to some. Likewise, people were shocked when electricity was invented. But that it's important to realize that it shouldn't be this scary, and that using a Thermomix or an immersion circulator is no different than using a blender.

As far as the terminology goes, he favours the use of "gastronomy", plain and simple. No "molecular", no techno, no scientific this or that.

Ferran Adrià, with a loaf of bread in his hand, said “Science has always been linked to cooking. Every aspect of this bread contains science, from the search for the best flour and the best yeast to the choice of baking method and oven.". He also said that the chocolates we eat today, too, are "scientific" in their own way. Thanks to science, the way chocolate is made has progressed greatly and improved greatly. Today's chocolates are more refined and less rustic and plain better, thanks to science.

Aduriz said he studies herbs. Some herbs mostly used in cooking have medicinal properties, and vice-versa, and he wants to explore this and learn more about it. That too is science, he said. Bottany is a science.

Harold Mcgee said that the fear of science in cooking probably stems from the terminology (molecular gastronomy, for example), and that it makes little sense.

Brazilian chef Alex Atala (owner of D.O.M. and Dalva e Dito) was in the audience and afterwards said that "Mc Gee spoke brilliantly" and that he lives these times of discovery in cooking with all his soul.


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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I had the opportunity today to ask Ferran about the absence of the term "technoemotional" in yesterday's discussion. He replied that the term very much remains in vogue to him, but that the discussion was strictly about the science of cooking.

The big event today was recognition given to those who Madrid Fusion considers the 10 most influential chefs of the past decade. They included Ferran Adria, Juan Marie Arzak, Heston Blumenthal, Sebastien Bras representing his father Michel, Pierre Gagnaire, Pierre Herme, Thomas Keller, Gualtiero Marchesi, Nobu Matsuhisa, and Charlie Trotter. While it may be argued that some of these chefs' greatest influences occurred before the last ten years and that other deserving chefs should have made this list, there was no doubting the sheer amount of culinary genius together on the stage at the same time. What's more, there were quite a few chefs nearly as notable in the audience applauding them on.

This was a tough act to follow, but first David Chang and then Sotohiro Kosugi came on to do small plates. Both chefs and their assistants performed admirably, especially considering that their dishes were consumed live on stage as they were made by top Spanish critics. As a result of Soto's presentation I have found out that Ferran Adria has made a reservation to dine there.


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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And a few photos by pastry chef Marina Hamam taken today...

Ferran in grapes and oranges, looking a few years younger:

gallery_36345_6421_1820.jpg

How does one reproduce Arzak's bushy eyebrows in a fruit portrait? With pineaple tops, of course! ;)gallery_36345_6421_7217.jpg

Joan Roca and Heston

gallery_36345_6421_13771.jpg

and Heston again, in a fruitier guise:

gallery_36345_6421_16675.jpg

and... los hermanos:

gallery_36345_6421_2314.jpg


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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Doc (and others that attended the MF):

There was a lot of talk about Brazil being the featured country at the next

Madrid Fusión. I've been told that

Joan Roca and other chefs were gently nudging organizers in

that direction. Were any announcements made on stage about the next MF?

Also, I heard Grant Achatz did not discuss, as was expected,

his tragic loss of his sense of taste in 2007

due do his cancer, and how he dealt with that and managed to still put

out tasting menus full of new dishes and new flavours.

How he found a way, in other words,

to heighten his other senses to make up for the lost one.

Is it true that he did not touch on that subject?

Last but not least, how could one summarize Elena

Arzak's presentation on colour?

Did I understand correctly that in some dishes the colour of, say,

a broth can be changed tableside, as the diner watches,

without altering the flavour of

the dish? Can someone please clarify this?

thanks!


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

Official Website

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I was anxiously waiting at the exit of the Ferran-Heston debate (I had to conduct a wine tasting in an other room and couldn't attend), and then I saw docsconz and he gave me the terrible news: "They are still at a loss trying to find a name for their cuisine. But the 'techno...' word hasn't been uttered by anyone."

I was flabbergasted.

No. I was crushed.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Doc (and others that attended the MF):

There was a lot of talk about Brazil being the featured country at the next

Madrid Fusión. I've been told that

Joan Roca and other chefs were gently nudging organizers in

that direction. Were any announcements made on stage about the next MF?

I did not catch that if that was the case, though I wouldn't be surprised. Peru might be another possibility.

Also, I heard Grant Achatz did not discuss, as was expected,

his tragic loss of his sense of taste in 2007

due do his cancer, and how he dealt with that and managed to still put

out tasting menus full of new dishes and new flavours.

How he found a way, in other words,

to heighten his other senses to make up for the lost one.

Is it true that he did not touch on that subject?

This is true. He changed the presentation to one on how Alinea is an experience in which food, presentation and service are all vital components. Though the presentation was less personal than the original subject, it was quite excellent and one of the more well received of the program.

Last but not least, how could one summarize Elena

Arzak's presentation on colour?

Did I understand correctly that in some dishes the colour of, say,

a broth can be changed tableside, as the diner watches,

without altering the flavour of

the dish? Can someone please clarify this?

thanks!

I would summarize the presentation as one focusing on the value of color in enhancing a diner's response to a meal. In doing so, she presented several techniques used at Arzak to achieve color while either enhancing or not affecting flavor. I'm sorry, but I don't specifically recall what she may have said about color changing.


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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