Gastronomy against ‘big data’ in Madrid Fusión | Style

Without neglecting emulsions or spherification, haute cuisine claims its attachment to reality: it wants to be urban while remaining linked to the land; global while defending the genuineness of local pantries. It seeks to capture the soul of the products, “dispense with the superficial”, says José Carlos Capel, gastronomic critic of EL PAÍS and president of Madrid Fusión, gastronomic congress held between January 13 and 15. This year, the event becomes of age – celebrates its 18th edition – in a mutant, complex and hyperconnected world.

Connections that not only encourage the merger of cookbooks and the mixing of ingredients, but also the collection of data to analyze what seduces the palate of people in each region of the world. “We are the homo digitalis”, Juan Carlos Martínez, director of i + DEA at Siro Foods, summed up in his speech,“ 95% of people use the Internet at least once a week; 85%, social networks ”.

With these data, his team has analyzed the emotions that produce dishes and flavors in people around the globe. Thus, they have concluded that Europe is concerned with sustainability – which encourages the exploration of products such as algae or hemp; that does not tolerate bugs and sees the mild spicy with good eyes. Information that could help chefs create dishes that are right in the consumer’s taste. .

Chefs Dabiz Muñoz (right) and Fernando Sáenz during one of yesterday’s presentations at Madrid Fusión Santi Burgos

“It’s a tool that brings together tastes,” said chef David Muñoz, with three Michelin stars in DiverXo. The chef associated the tool more with mass consumption than with haute cuisine. “Restaurants are linked to human talent; you can’t dehumanize the kitchen, ”Muñoz replied from the stage of the auditorium of Hall 14 of Ifema. This year, and for the second time since its foundation, Madrid Fusión has left the Congress Hall of the fairgrounds to settle inside. “We had limited space to grow,” explained sources of Vocento, owner of the appointment since 2017.

During Muñoz’s intervention, the auditorium was overflowing, a reflection of the appointment’s muscle, which expects to exceed more than 15,000 attendees (among visitors and congressmen) last year. Many are waiting to take pictures with one of the more than one hundred chefs invited to the event: Joseán Alija, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Vicky Cheng or Niko Romito, chosen chef of the year in Europe and champion of simplicity and locality. The gastronomic currently lives that duality: it is viral in social networks but at the same time, aware that it must remain attached to the earth.

A participant chooses a piece of meat in Madrid Fusión.
A participant chooses a piece of meat in Madrid Fusión. Zipi EFE

“If we take two of a fish, we will fish less, avoiding over-exploitation. It is a sustainable measure, ”said Australian Josh Niland, an expert in mature fish early in the morning. That is to say, that heals them, but “without producing mojamas”, clarified the chef who was accompanied by former triestrellado Dani García. “Currently, we lose 55% of the fish and it can’t be,” continued the revolutionary Niland, in front of the Saint Peter restaurant and the Fishbutchery (a fish delicatessen). “The eyes, mashed like a puree, become dehydrated and fried; the liver, like that of duck or chicken, we do it in foie gras, a product that we offer in our delicatessen ”, explained the processes that it applies. With nuances, share vision with Ángel León and his marine sausages. If Leon is called “the chef of the sea”; Niland is “the fish butcher.”

If haute cuisine incorporates the big data to his speech; Shows concern about the environmental crisis or takes into account allergens (lactose, gluten …) in your recipe book, you are also aware of the rise of cities. Therefore, instead of a guest country, the Congress has long chosen several cities in the world that stand out for their gastronomic effervescence and invites cooks from them. Tokyo, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Cape Town are selected this year.

Seafood products in Madrid Fusion.
Seafood products in Madrid Fusion. Zipi EFE

On the other hand, Madrid Fusión is a large container that in addition to congress, hosts several subsections. Enofusión focuses on the wine world and offers tastings, debate tables on the Madrid tavern or a talk on the icewine (ice wines, made at freezing temperatures). Savor Spain programs workshops, showcockings and activities while The Drinks Show focuses on the combined and the new Madrid International Pastry (MIP) does the same with bread, chocolate and sweet. A recognition to bakers and confectioners who have been crying for the return of traditional bread and good sourdough for years. Madrid Fusión 2020 also proposes a return: “To the essence”, says Capel, “to meet again with the product”.

The best bars and cocktail bars on the Peninsula

For three years, The Drinks Show has been held within Madrid Fusión, which claims the role of cocktails in gastronomy. “Be liquid, my friend” is the motto of the event that invites you to try combined as well as meet cocktail shakers and cocktail shakers from around the world.

On January 13, the selection of the best cocktail bars in Spain and Portugal was presented, made by a group of 16 experts. The list is made up of 36 places – three in Portugal, 16 in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​and the rest in other locations in Spain. Among the places chosen, the Salmon Guru, from Diego Cabrera, stands out; the Lisbon Red Frog; the Paradiso of Barcelona; or Umalass of Zaragoza.

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