Madrid Fusion 2022: beyond the product
Debic aims to inspire. The culinary world holds many talents, from exquisite pastries to mind-blowing side and main dishes. And the possibilities are endless. But it’s not always easy to innovate. Luckily, there are many incredible chefs who share the same mindset as Debic. They want to create beautiful, innovative and unreal recipes. At Madrid Fusion 2022 - the most progressive culinary congress in the world – Debic collected stories worth sharing.
Beyond the product
After 2,5 years of fighting to stay afloat, the culinary world is back on top. And, after a time of reflection and stagnation, it’s finally time to innovate. The central theme during the 20th anniversary of Madrid Fusion was: beyond the product.
Mexican Soul, British ingredients
Chef Santiago Lastra worked at Noma, where he learned the tricks of the trade from René Redzepi. The year he opened his restaurant in London, he already collected a Michelin star.
Mexico has rich culinary traditions, but it’s difficult to translate this to Northern Europe, where typical Mexican ingredients are more difficult to obtain. It’s not sustainable and technically feasible to fly these products in. Santiago Lastra has developed a taste chart for substitute ingredients. For example: the plantain, which texture and flavour wise comes close to parsnips or buckwheat tortillas, instead of corn.
The love story
Eric Kragh Vildgaard has a restaurant with a concept based on a love story. After working at Noma as Rene Redzepi's right-hand man, Eric had the right knowledge to open his seafood restaurant Jordnær. A good choice, because in 2021 he received his second Michelin star.
In the past, Eric often made the wrong choices in life. But thanks to the restaurant world, he took a different path. To be specific: the path of love, friendship and respect for nature. Love for food, his profession, his staff and his relationship.
“If I hadn't met my wife, I would have never been here.”
2-star restaurant cooks with microwave
Chef Oriol and his team used a microwave for their presentation, displaying a technique from 16 years ago: the sponge cake. This was a reminder of microwave techniques developed during the time Oriol worked at Ferran Adria by Ell Bulli.
Oriol and his team used microwave technology to develop a range of snacks. For example: easily dryable Gouda cheese. But also, crispy espumas and tapioca-kuzu bubbles.
The experience is more than just food
The presentation of Rasmus Munk was about the concept of Holistic cuisine. At his restaurant Alchemist, they mainly use classic flavours, but with innovative and complex techniques. They work with butterflies because they contain more protein than, say, crickets. And they experiment with the silk from the cocoon of a caterpillar.
Rasmus Munk likes to tie in an element of theatre and art. He has an entire team of people supporting his creations, including designers who develop the plating. Everything has a story.
The power of pickling
Chef Mario is the ambassador of gastronomy in Madrid. He focuses on the process of pickling fish: escabeche. He preserves fish in various vinegars such as rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar and wine vinegar. This is not a new technique, but Mario puts a new spin on it. He uses the natural collagen released from the various fish heads during the process. Collagen provides ‘the ultimate taste sensation’.
Chef Mario also uses a new cooking technique. At Madrid Fusion, he prepared shabu shabu in an anaori (a cooking pot made of graphite). Thanks to the unique composition, aromas remain in the product. There’s also the opportunity to cook faster and to manufacture a final product. An investment that pays itself back quickly and can be used on induction.
Hopefully, these innovative chefs can inspire not only established names in the culinary world, but also newcomers and aspiring professionals. What will you be trying?