In his commitment to continue evolving and discovering new foodstuffs in the great pantry that is the ocean, the Chef from Aponiente (3 Michelin stars) has once again amazed his audience with a presentation full of innovations, in which marine sugars played a starring role.
Ángel León, the Chef of the Sea, continues in his search for culinary innovation, and has wowed his audience yet again at this year’s edition of Madrid Fusión. His hunger to continue to grow and evolve is palpable, and he has pursued this goal by taking full advantage by presenting yet another product from the extraordinary pantry that is the ocean itself – sea honey.
This new food is fit for human consumption, and can be appreciated within the context of the research the Chef embarked on more than 18 months ago into marine sugars. Investigation continues at his restaurant, Aponiente. Ángel León is providing clear proof that the sea can be sweet as well as salty.
Sea honey comes from an aquatic plant known as Ruppia Maritima, which is harvested near the marshes of Trebujena (Cádiz), known for their brackish qualities. The process involves drying the plant for about two weeks. It is then broken down and even disintegrated before being passed through a water rinse. The sugars in the plant itself are later dissolved, in a process that includes adjusting ph levels and the use of calcium. The idea is that any leftover proteins on the aquatic plant will coagulate, temperatures will rise, and the mixture can then be cleaned off. A honey-like texture is achieved through low temperature evaporation.
The same nutritional and alimentary qualities found in honey made by bees can be found in sea honey, although the unique new product features salty notes that set it apart. In addition, the revolutionary Chef has discovered the perfect “honeycomb” to serve it in: cochayuyo kelp found in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Chef from Aponiente also presented other new culinary and alimentary products from the sea: the tita, a marine worm boasting extremely high levels of protein with infinite culinary uses, whose introduction as an ingredient will be nothing short of a challenge; and marine stew (made with marine bacon, blood sausage and chorizo, as well as sea noodles made of algae). He also discussed the discovery of marsh onions and the reinvention of traditional dishes using products derived from the sea, as part of a pioneering project taking place in school cafeterias to encourage the consumption of fish among young students. This latter initiative was launched together with the Compass group, which aims to reach more than one million children in school canteens in just over a year. To this end, the Chef of the Sea has managed to transform fish into pasta, a delicious sort of chicken wing, french fries and marinated pork loin.
Once again, Ángel León’s vision goes far beyond the expected, observing the extraordinary, discovering new products and taking on new culinary challenges. His passion and his respect for the sea continue to guide every step taken in his kitchen and in his very dreams, which are just a little sweeter as of today.