– “We stole the heart of Mugaritz and subjected it to Cádiz, to fatten the neurons of Gloria Bendita”, reads the special menu that was delivered on 14 September to the privileged attendees of the special lunch held between the chefs Ángel León and Andoni Luis Aduriz at the Aponiente restaurant.
– A meeting that brought together two very personal styles of cuisine, that of Mugaritz and Aponiente, and which brought together, for the first and only time, two ways of looking at and feeling the sea and gastronomy.
– With different interpretations and trajectories, one in the South and the other in the North, inhabiting different worlds, both chefs strengthened their creative outlooks by devising the 17-step No Sé menu that alternated dishes from each restaurant.
– “We wanted to share our ‘No Sé’ with the people of Aponiente and with those who came to enjoy our dishes today,” said Andoni Luis Aduriz, adding, “I have adored Ángel from the moment I met him: transparent, noble, with a generous heart. Each one of us inhabiting a different world, we have maintained a relationship of respect, cordiality, of always loving each other very much”.
– “I don’t know how to explain to you that this ship is fulfilling a dream today. No Sé, they were two of the most beautiful and healthy words that my friend Andoni taught me. Before I was anguished, and now I like it. Because it humanises us and takes us to our place. That’s why we took them as inspiration to name this meeting”, reflected Ángel León.
Puerto de Santa María, September 14, 2023. “We stole the heart of Mugaritz and subjected it to Cádiz, to fatten the neurons of Gloria Bendita” reads the special menu that was delivered on September 14 to the privileged attendees at the special lunch held between chefs Ángel León and Andoni Luis Aduriz at the Aponiente restaurant.
An encounter that intertwined two very personal styles of cuisine, that of Mugaritz and Aponiente, and that brought together, for the first and only time, two ways of looking at and feeling the sea and gastronomy.
With different interpretations and trajectories, one in the South and the other in the North, inhabiting different worlds, both chefs enhanced their creative perspectives by devising the “No Sé” 17-course menu that alternated dishes from each restaurant, including: Frozen Kiss (oyster granita inside an ice sphere), Product (featuring caviar and mayonnaise), Symbiosis (a fusion of dehesa and coast: nori leaves soaked in Iberian pork broth), Lisa Roe, Del Revés (octopus with delicate skin), Gaditano Cuttlefish, Plankton (a marinade harmonizing this product with fig leaf), Texture (an iconic Mugaritz dish, combining spider crab strands with a macadamia sauce), Marinera-style Muergos (a type of clam), Tranquility (steamed red bream with almond praline and croutons made from the fish itself), Sea Bass Swim Bladders, Tradition (Red Mullet in “colorá” style with its spines), Origin (Squid “a lo pelaio”), Oxymoron (urchin and honey contortions), Mochi with brown eel skin, and a closing with Sea Mignardises (conceived for this year’s Aponiente menu, with the aim of further reducing seafood waste).
“The No Sé came out of the tastings we had before launching each season’s menu. Sketch tastings, where I often wrote down those two words: I don’t know. I knew a dish was limping or had spelling mistakes, but intuition told us there was something interesting there. And there was a moment when we accumulated so many don’t knows that then we didn’t know anything anymore…. And that’s why we wanted to share our ‘I don’t know’ with the people at Aponiente and with those who came to enjoy our dishes today”, said Andoni Luis Aduriz.
“I don’t know how to explain to them that this boat is fulfilling a dream today. I don’t know were two of the most beautiful and healthy words that my friend Andoni taught me. Before I was anguished, and now I like it. Because it humanises us and takes us to our place. That’s why we took them as inspiration to name this meeting. For me it has been an honour to welcome Andoni with his iconic cuisine, with his tremendous trajectory, demonstrating the relationship he has with my vision of the sea, generating a unique symbiosis between our gastronomies and philosophies of life”, said the sea chef Ángel León with emotion.
With his dishes, Mugaritz has wanted to bring to Aponiente some of his milestones from a marine vision and which in turn reflect the attributes that are most present in his proposal, such as the importance of textures, the counter-intuitive, the game at the table or the value of temperature.
“I have adored Ángel from the moment I met him: transparent, noble, with a generous heart. Each of us inhabiting a different world, we have maintained a relationship of respect, cordiality, of always loving each other very much. Every time I spend time with Ángel, beyond learning, what happens to me is that I feel good. He is a person who represents light, an abyssal light. In our universes there is a lot of freedom, a lot of horizons to walk towards. And there is also, of course, a lot of effort. Although the differences also weave a rope, demonstrating that diversity is the common thread of our relationship, uniting our styles and our human and geographical cardinal points”, said Andoni Luis Aduriz.
The gastronomic proposal, as well as bringing together these two influential Spanish chefs who have won awards all over the world, was accompanied by a pairing that included the TXODO label, an oloroso en rama that belongs to the YODO collection of sherry wines selected by Bodegas Lustau and the Aponiente Restaurant, produced in symbiosis with the prestigious Basque chef. A generous wine in the broadest sense of the word that represents the union of the mastery of the south and the north.
About Mugaritz and Andoni Luis Aduriz
Andoni Luis Aduriz (San Sebastián, 1971) has led Mugaritz since 1998, a project that he defends as a creative ecosystem where cuisine is just the pretext for a deep interdisciplinary experimentation for which he has earned 2 Michelin stars and has been the only place considered for 14 consecutive years, one of the 10 best restaurants in the world according to the renowned list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In 2023 Andoni Luis Aduriz has been awarded the Icon Award of this same prestigious list for his contribution and inspiration to the world gastronomy sector.
Andoni is an active disseminator (of knowledge associated with connections between food, neuroscience, health, nutrition and culture) and communicator (author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with scientists and thinkers). Founding trustee of the Basque Culinary Center, his lectures at forums such as Harvard University and MIT, his membership of the Board of Trustees of the Basque Culinary Center Foundation and the Innobasque Board of Directors, and his position as an innovation and creativity mentor at the Madrid Culinary Campus (MACC) are a reflection of Mugaritz’s vocation to disseminate the knowledge acquired in the field of creativity in organisations, health, perceptions and the food of the future.
About Aponiente and Ángel León
*** Michelin Stars, Michelin Green Star for Sustainability, Sustainable Restaurant 2022 The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and #64 The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023.
The Aponiente restaurant is located in a former 19th century tidal mill. In the heart of the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park in El Puerto de Santa María, the area is inhabited by marine life that is subject to constant change, given the local climatic conditions and the rhythm of the tides.
Led by chef Ángel León, Aponiente is carrying out the recovery of the environment in which it is located, creating an ecosystem for future generations. A benchmark in sustainability, it promotes the defense of the environment through gastronomy. Sustainable fishing and the use of species that have historically been considered discarded products are the hallmarks of the gastronomic proposal of the “chef of the sea”, together with innovation, creativity and honesty. A revolutionary genius whose commitment to nature has led him to discover, use and reinvent foods from the great larder of the sea.
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