I arrived in Madrid last Saturday together with three other chefs from Panama to attend the 4th version of Madrid Fusion, International Gastronomy Summit that took place during the last three days. I was very curious to see what this Spanish revolution on food technology is all about. This year´s congress was entitled USA vs Europe, and several American chefs were featured in the program: Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Ken Oringer, Homaru Cantu, Josh De Cellis, and Wylie Dufresne. The following posts will be about what happened during Madrid Fusion 2006, but I want to start with some comments about Thomas Keller´s presentation that took place this afternoon.
First of all, this is the presentation I was most impressed with. Even though Chef Keller did not cook himself in front of the audience (his Chef at Per Se and his brother Joseph did), he did speak about creativity and innovation and mainly about what his philosophy of cooking is. All my colleagues agreed that Chef Keller is special. He was around all the time, watching all the presentations that took place during the last three days, taking notes, observing everything happening around. He seems like a very humble guy. After three days of very impressive and (to me very odd) ways to work with food presented by chefs such as Ferran Adria, Joan Roca, Martin Berasategui (Spain), Sergio Herman ( Netherlands), and others, Thomas Keller came on stage to say that his way of cooking is about inspiration, interpretation, and evolution. About respect for products, technique, execution, and teamwork. He says that all this new technology being used in the kitchen nowadays (here in Spain, for example), is fine, it is perhaps a look into the future of cuisine, but that at the end, we are cooks and we must never forget that. Being a cook is about creating impact, making positive contributions, have iniative, searching for new ideas, leaving a legacy, maintaining standards, keeping consistency, collaboration, integrity, respect for your clients and for your fellow workers, responsibility, being aware, recognizing innovation, and last but not least, being modest. This last aspect in particular was my favorite one, because in my personal opinion it is something that the Spanish chefs here in this congress lack.
After three days of my brain trying to absorb all this crazy stuff that some cooks are attempting to do in their kitchen - labs, such as, printing edible paper, making peanut butter in the form of a powder, golden eggs, and other things I will tell you about in later posts, this was reassuring to hear. In my personal opinion, this movement that is going on is a little bit scary and makes me wonder, what next? Listening to Chef Keller and knowing that there still are great chefs out there with their feet on the ground was very nice, for a change.
More from Madrid Fusion coming soon!
Etiquetas: chefs, eventos, viajes