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ANDONI LUIS ADÚRIZ

HIS RESTAURANT, MUGARITZ, HAS JUST BEEN CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE THREE BEST IN THE WORLD AND IN IT HE SHOWS THAT HIS CREATIVE POTENTIAL IS LIMITLESS EVERY DAY. VANGUARD, PRODUCT, CONTRASTS AND EMOTIONS; these are concepts that can be

Despite his youth, 40, Andoni Luis Adúriz is already one of the most beloved culinary creators worldwide.

repeatedly found in their spectacular sweet proposals, ever daring, suggestive, full of discourse. This last year has been for him a year of change, of deep thought. For starters, after a tragic fire in early 2010, Adúriz was forced to redo the entire kitchen, a problem that eventually became the opportunity to design new and spectacular facilities. Furthermore, aware of the need to constantly renew its gastronomic proposals, Andoni and his team decided to keep the restaurant closed for 3 months to develop a new menu.

ANDONI HIMSELF EXPLAINS THE DETAILS OF THIS PROCESS OF REBIRTH AND WHAT ROLE DESSERTS PLAY IN HIS MUGARITZ. Photos: Jose Luis López de Zubiria / www.mugaritz.com

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THE CONSTRUCTOR OF EXPERIENCES


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Andoni Luis Adúriz

Why this reflection period of three months? Mugaritz is a restaurant that is 13 years old. Last year (actual data) 94% of the customers came from outside the Basque Country, and of that 94% half even came from outside of Spain. And this percentage is accentuated even more. Our customer prepares the trip well in advance; they make reservations with plenty of time. Given all this evidence you wonder, do people who come from afar really come to eat? And you realize that what they are actually looking for is an experience that justifies the effort made to come. And what we have sought is to build that moment. We generated a kind of ideas accelerator. Instead of doing things in three years we have tried to do it in three months. In the end, we have invested 7,200 hours in creativity for about 40 new dishes. At the time of creating these dishes, what have you focused on? We decided to deal with what we know, which is an element of competitiveness.We must be creative and, again, at a global level. I do not compete with my immediate setting. I'm trying to seduce those who come from around the world.

In short, we have tried to internalize that we are the diner’s guides.They trust us and we take them by the hand and we take them and point out what we think is worth being noted. This would be a bit of a sketch of what we want it to be like when coming to Mugaritz. It’s what we call "Mugaritz experience”. What conclusions have you drawn from this period of reflection? We have worked to build that Mugaritz experience. To begin with, we thought a lot about the vital importance of time. In preparing a dish, ten seconds after you finish it until you take it out are keys so that this dish can really be expressed. Sometimes in a few seconds at a temperature (for me the temperature is as important as salt) keeps you from getting what you want.These latter are essential for this dish to be at its best.This, that may seem obvious, is not so much if you look at the real day to day of a restaurant. We worked on the importance of time on fractal level.That is, if those 20 seconds are critical, so is the duration of the experience of eating at Mugaritz, or the three months of reflection we had. We have worked hard this year to offer 16 or 17 things in two hours or two and a half hours at most (it also depends on the diner). We have also worked the concept of what the menu has to be. We have made menus where there are new techniques, new concepts, fusions of things known or unknown. And of course there are also new products. In addition, we want the room to interact more than ever, aware of the importance of the playful, the game. In fact, we once again had an impact on unpredictability, which is the engine of hope, of constructive provocation. What has been accomplished out of all of these reflections?

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A new menu. More than menu, I would call it a sequence of dishes (we give each client a minimum of 16, also depending on each client), in perfect harmony with the room, working on a range of about 30 dishes and customizing many tables. And how do you personalize them? We work hard with the market. This year more than ever we are very aware of the market, because we want people to live an experience very close to the territory. For example, we go to the fish market in Ondarroa, but before, directly from the boat, the captain calls out to us and tells us what they have. At 6 in the morning, the fish is picked up and based on that we know what we have, how we have it and who we're going to give it to. In fact, the menus are done almost the day before and we are splitting hairs trying to put in every menu what we feel is going to be the best to get that sequence. As I said, it's all divided in terms of concepts, techniques and products. And the products used are the ones out there: if we have tearshaped peas for 15 people, 15 people will eat it, not the whole room. Others will eat some else, also exceptional, but it will be different. In general, we try to adapt to all the singularities that each diner can express. Focusing on the topic of dessert, what path have you followed? How have you evolved in this aspect? As the restaurant’s own kitchen did.The dessert menu also expresses the nature of influences that are occurring in the restaurant. If we are in a time of greater simplicity and naturalness, or if we are in a time when the product appears to be more available, all this is reflected in the desserts.

You do not have a head pastry chef. Not classically trained. We have a person in charge, who is actually a chef. And since here we are quite flexible and dynamic here, we change people around the different stations. Anyway, we try to get people to educate themselves, whether in Alain Ducasse’s school or sending restaurant professionals to learn from the greats in patisserie such as Paco Torreblanca or Pierre Hermé. Isn’t it more difficult to create a dessert without the classical pastry training? We are only chefs who make desserts. And this has its advantages. As the Basque master pastry chef Jose Mari Gorrotxategui says, in the kitchen everything is designed to be eaten freshly made.This fact has drawn quite different possibilities in terms of techniques, concepts and possibilities. It is true that we lack classical pastry training, that we have big gaps to be filled with imagination. In fact, one of the advantages of not knowing something is that you have to find an alternative, and so things can come out really innovative, creative. For example? One of the new desserts this year, for example, is a cone of flowers and nails, for which we had to develop four new techniques. For starters, the cone is crystal clear and what we had to invent using starch because we wanted to greatly reduce the amount of sugar (up to only 20%). This dessert also has merin-

We want the room to interact more than ever, aware of the importance of the playful, the game. In fact, we once again had an impact on

unpredictability, which is the engine of hope, of constructive provocation.

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so good..


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Andoni Luis Adúriz

The senses and the absorptive capacity of the diner diminish as the sequence of dishes progresses. So as the last dishes come in we try to be less ambiguous and abstract.

gue, but made with flax instead of eggs. A third innovation was the nails, crispy and prepared in a mold with scented chocolate with cocoa butter with cloves*. Aesthetically they look like rusty nails. Finally, the dessert has flowers that we dry in lactose, a technique that allows us to get flowers that seem almost decorative, because they are completely dry and maintain color. As you see, to give life to this dessert we had to develop our own tools. That is the good thing about having those gaps. A very provocative dessert. In general what grabs your attention when creating a dessert?

We are always in a bit of a problematic situation with the desserts. And it’s that the senses and the absorptive capacity of the diner diminish as the sequence of dishes progresses. So as the last dishes come in we try to be less ambiguous and abstract. We show dishes with new products, new concepts and new techniques, but we try that the dish itself is closest to what the guest already knows. When the desserts come out, the customer is already pretty full and expects to find what he imagines to be a dessert. If at first we play around more with contrasts interwoven with some harmony, in the end we are looking for more harmony and less contrast. But we always try make that final powerful shot and for people to have a good time. How many desserts does Mugaritz’s menu currently include? Of the 30 dishes we are currently playing around with, there are five or six desserts. In addition, we have no problems in retrieving past creations.

* Translator's note: In the original Spanish text, the author plays with the word 'clavo', which in English can be translated both as 'clove' (the spice) and 'nail' (metal spike).

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Andoni Luis Adúriz CHOPPED, ROASTED AND SALTED WALNUTS, MILK ICE CREAM AND ARMAGNAC JELLY In Mugaritz, we like to work abstraction and ambiguity, and we make a large number of dishes in which you don’t know what you are eating. On this occasion, we wanted to do something quite realistic: replicate some walnuts that resembled walnuts but that you could eat entire. One of the greatest technical achievements of the dish was reached thanks to the salted walnuts, which we leave in brine and then dry in oven, thus enhancing their aroma in a spectacular way. It is also important for us to obtain creamy, balanced ice creams.

filled walnuts 70 40 20 20

g g g g

goat’s milk ice cream white chocolate gianduja caolin cocoa butter

Chop the white chocolate, butter and gianduja on a board. Place in a bowl and melt in a bain marie, ensuring that the temperature does not exceed 45ºC. When the mixture is melted and homogeneous, add the caolin. Mix well. Keep this mixture at a temperature of 40ºC to be able to work with it properly. Fill a silicone mold (with the shape of an entire walnut) with 5 g of the chocolate mixtures with the help of a small spatula. Slightly press on the mold so that the chocolate is properly spread. Seal the mold and freeze until serving time.

walnut filling 200 25 2 0.2

g g g g

Comte de Louviac Bas Armagnac sugar iota granulated xanthan gum

609 166 40 90 100 5 6

g g g g g g g

fresh goat’s milk cream milk powder dextrose sucrose fine salt cremodan emulsifier

When receiving the milk, it has to be kept in refrigerator at a temperature of 4ºC to 10ºC for 4 days so that the pre-maturing process is completed.This will help the flavors and aromas concentrate in a natural way. In a wide saucepan, combine the goat’s milk, cream, salt, milk powder and dextrose. Mix with a wire whisk. Heat the milk up to 40ºC over a gentle heat and add the sucrose mixed with the emulsifier. Heat to 85ºC while constantly stirring and immediately cool down. Vacuum-pack and let mature the ice cream mix in refrigerator for at least 12 hours before use.The ice cream must be at a temperature lower than 4ºC before being processed in the ice cream machine so that the best overrun is guaranteed (volume which the ice cream gains due to the air addition).

Combine all the ingredients and vacuum-pack. Store in refrigerator for at least 6 hours before use. Pour the content of the bag into a saucepan, making sure all of it is used, and heat to a boil, then remove from the heat. Before it cools down completely, fill syringes with 10 ml of this mixture. Keep the syringes in the refrigerator. 15 minutes before serving, take the walnuts out of the freezer and with the help of a hot punch make a small hole in the base of the walnut. Fill the chocolate walnuts with the Armagnac mixture straight from the syringe and store in refrigerator. SERVING BEFORE SERVING, PLATES MUST BE KEPT IN THE FREEZER.

salted walnuts

IN A FROZEN BOWL, PLACE APPROXIMATELY 80 G OF GOAT’S CHEE-

4 1 50

SE ICE CREAM AND COMBINE WITH SOME SMALL SALTED WALNUTS.

u l g

walnuts water fine salt

Carefully remove the shells, trying not to break the walnuts so that the pieces are big and eye-catching when serving them. Make a brine with the water and salt and put the unshelled walnuts in it. Leave for 30 minutes.Then drain and dry in an oven at 150ºC for 20 minutes or until they are dry outside and slightly roasted inside.

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HOMOGENIZE. STORE IN THE FREEZER UNTIL SETTING UP. PLACE THE ICE CREAM ON THE FROZEN PLATE AND GENTLY PRESS DOWN WITH THE HELP OF A SPATULA TO FLAT SLIGHTLY. TOP THE ICE CREAM AND WALNUT MIXTURE WITH SOME BIGGER SALTED WALNUTS, A WALNUT FILLED WITH ARMAGNAC AND SOME CHOPPED CHOCOLATE WALNUTS.


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so good..


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THE SMASHED EGG,THE FROZEN EGG YOLK AND THE WHITE FLOWERS


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SOME SPOONFULS OF RELATED CONTRASTS: MILK, LEAVES AND SWEET AROMAS


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Andoni Luis Adúriz Seven years ago we traveled to Japan, and a friend of ours surprised us by offering some eggs in an egg case as last course in the menu. After breaking the shell with a spoon and starting eating thinking they were boiled eggs, we realized that there was no egg yolk and that, in fact, those were no eggs. It was a milk gelatin which had been inserted after emptying the egg through a hole which was later filled. We thought it was an extraordinary idea, and then the idea of making an egg whose shell could also be eaten crossed our minds. Since then, we have spent five years developing it, and to find the solution we had to make a silicone mold and contact a local artist who showed us how to work silicone.Then we had to systemize the egg, as initially we obtained 20-gram eggs. Nowadays, after polishing up the process, we are able to make 6-gram eggs. We also wanted to bit sort of transgressors when it came to the serving time. When the restaurant staff arrive at the table, they smash the egg onto the plate in front of the customer. A lot of work which finally has led us to carry out a mini-performance.

almond milk 750 250

ml g

mineral water Marcona almond

Crush the almond and water in a food processor on high speed for 30 seconds. Pass through a chinois. Pass again through a fine strainer and finally strain again using a micro-strainer.Vacuum-pack in 450g portions.This milk should not be stored in the refrigerator longer than three days.

egg isolating layer 205 100 1 q.s.

g g g

cocoa butter, melted almond salt fat-soluble white coloring

THE SMASHED EGG,THE FROZEN EGG YOLK AND THE WHITE FLOWERS

Toast the almonds with salt at 200ºC. Place in a food processor together with the cocoa butter and pulse. Leave to rest and sift. When it has cooled down, place the mixture inside the egg and help spread until creating a thin layer inside.

egg yolk ice cream

egg white

550 100 100 55 200 25 q.s.

g g g g g g

fresh milk cream dextrose milk powder fresh egg yolks sugar salt

450 g 55 g 1.5 g 1.6 g 1.2 g 0.2 g 2 drops

almond milk sugar salt iota agar-agar easy-use xanthan gum bitter almond extract

Heat the milk together with the cream in a bain marie to 40ºC. Add the powdered milk and dextrose and mix with the help of a hand blender. In a bowl, beat the egg yolk and sugar until slightly foamy. Place into a saucepan together with the first mixture and mix with the hand blender. Heat to 83ºC while constantly stirring with a spatula and remove from the heat ensuring that the mixture reaches 85ºC thanks to the waste heat. Rapidly chill in an ice bain marie. Churn the ice cream after a two-hour rest under 5ºC.

Combine the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, xanthan, iota and agar) in a small bowl. Place the 450 g almond milk in a small saucepan and mix in the dry ingredient mixture. Heat this mixture up to 85ºC. Keep at that temperature for 1 minute in order to ensure the hydration of the components. Remove from the heat and transfer to a container in which the mixture can cool down. Add the extract drops and gently stir. When the mixture is at 28ºC, start to fill the eggs.

chopped egg yolk for the egg yolk ice cream

unusual egg

1.8 200 12

kg g u

sugar fine salt egg yolks

edible egg shell egg white mixture

Combine the sugar and salt. On a gastronorm pan, place the egg yolks between layers of this mixture for 24 hours. Remove and clean off. Coarsely chop and store in refrigerator.

With the help of a 200ml squeezing bottle, fill the egg shells with the egg white mixture. Each egg should contain a 45g filling. Put the eggs in the refrigerator and keep for approximately one hour before serving.

edible egg shell

white flowers

80 2

g g

mannitol white coloring (vegetal glycerin, lactose, titanium dioxide, corn starch)

Melt the mannitol in a saucepan and add the coloring when it gets to 150ºC. Fill an egg mold with the mixture and clean off any excess. Unmold and polish if necessary.

q.s. q.s. q.s. q.s.

‘labio caliente’ sage cosmos soapwort chrysanthemum

Pick up the flowers very carefully. Store in a slightly humid, cool atmosphere.

SERVING BEAT THE EGG YOLK ICE CREAM, ADD THE EGG YOLK PIECES AND STORE IN THE FREEZER AT -12ºC. ON A PLATE, PLACE THE ICE CREAM AND WHITE FLOWERS. HAND THE UNUSUAL EGG TO THE WAITER FOR HIM TO SERVE IT.

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Andoni Luis Adúriz On several occasions, savory food in a restaurant is intended to show some exuberance, with a lot of flowers and herbs.This plate was thought to transfer that exuberance to the world of desserts, although keeping away from classic red fruits or herbs traditionally related to sweet creations. Surprisingly enough, the result is not aggressive at all, but quite the opposite, harmony prevails while playing with varied textures, so that the customer finds something similar and something different in each spoonful.This is a very rich plate.

SOME SPOONFULS OF RELATED CONTRASTS: MILK, LEAVES AND SWEET AROMAS

celeriac ice cream 2 300 90 30 50 12 1 20

l g g g g g kg g

sheep’s milk white sugar atomized glucose invert sugar milk powder stabilizer celeriac butter

Peel the celeriac and cut into approximately 2-cm cubes. Sautee with the butter until slightly golden, add the sheep’s milk and leave to sit for about 12 hours. With the help of a food processor, process this mixture on low speed so as to help extract its aroma. Strain and add the remaining ingredients. Heat to 85ºC. Immediately chill in an ice bain marie down to 4ºC.

celeriac rocks 1 1 1

kg l kg

herbs Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare) Garden Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucido) Agastache (Agastache) Bathua (Chenopodium album) Tagete Tenuifolia (Tagetes tenuifolia) New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides) Sansho (Zanthoxylum piperitum) Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Red Spinach (Amaranthus dubius) Melissa (Melissa officinalis) Lovage (Levisticum officinale) For the herbs, rinse with plenty of water with vegetable disinfectant. Drain and rinse wish regular water. Store the leaves in sealed containers, in a humid atmosphere so that they keep firm for a longer time. For the flowers, select and rinse carefully so as not to damage them. Store in a sealed container with some humidity in order to keep their liveliness.

celeriac mineral water sugar

Combine the mineral water and sugar and bring to a boil to make a syrup. Peel the celeriac and remove the softest parts. Coarsely chop into approximately 4-cm pieces. Dip the irregular celeriac pieces into the syrup and leave to crystallize slowly for 4 to 5 hours. Lift out the crystallized celeriac chunks and drain well. Finally dry them with some paper. Store the crystallized celeriac at 60ºC and leave to crystallize for 24 hours.

fenugreek powder 180 60 60 50 40

g g g g g

flour olive oil almond lactose fenugreek

Put the olive oil and fenugreek into a vacuum bag. Immerse in a bath at a controlled temperature of 55ºC for 2 hours so as to enhance their aroma. Strain and temper. Over a tin, sift the flour and place in the oven at 170ºC for 30 minutes to toast it. Constantly stir so that it toasts evenly. Crush the almond in a food processor and slowly add the flour and lactose. Dribble in the scented oil. Pass through a tamis and store in an airtight container in a dry place.

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SERVING BEAT THE ICE CREAM TO THE DESIRED TEXTURE. STORE THE ICE CREAM IN A FREEZER AT -10/-12ºC. PLACE A SPOONFUL OF FENUGREEK POWDER ON A SOUP DISH, AND THEN A CELERIAC ROCK. IN A BOWL, PLACE A SPOONFUL OF CELERIAC ICE CREAM. ADD HALF THE HERBS AND MIX. LAY THE SPOONFUL OF ICE CREAM AND HERBS ON THE POWDER. THEN SCATTER THE REMAINING HERBS AND THE FLOWER PETALS. FINISH BY SPRINKLING SOME MORE FENUGREEK POWDER.

ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ  

His restaurant, Mugaritz, has just been chosen as one of the three best in the World and in it he shows that his creative potential is limit...

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