The event, billed as a summit featuring 10 of Spain’s most prominent culinary masters, including old guard and young new talent, comprised over seven hours of demos and instruction featuring the most sophisticated cooking techniques employed in today’s cutting edge Spanish cuisine, and as well as an exhibition of Spanish food and wine products. Lunch featured a traditional Spanish tapas spread that was produced by the staff at the FCI as well as by other visiting chefs from prominent restaurants in New York City and from around the country.
Presentations at the summit combined both pre-recorded materials from DVD produced especially for the event as well as live cooking demos, which were displayed on plasma display screens in order for the audience to see them close up. Most of my photographs of the plasma video came out somewhat fuzzy but Gerald San Jose over at Foodite got some good ones with his DSLR, so I am interspersing some of his photos with mine here. Miguelina Polanco over at DaisyMartinez.com also got some nice shots as well. If you just want to look at everyone’s food porn, check out the “spains10″ tag on Flickr.
Be sure to check out my Podcast covering the event as well.
10/23/2006: New York Magazine interview with Ferran Adria (photo supplied by yours truly)
FCI Spain’s 10 Logo (Gerald San Jose)
Main entrance at Guastavino’s (Gerald San Jose)
Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for comprehensive event coverage and many photos.
A view of the crowd, approximately 1000 attendees came to see Spain’s 10 (Daisy Martinez.com).
Chef Juan Mari Arzak, of Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian. Arzak is regarded as the father of modern Spanish Basque cuisine.
Prepping ingredients that will be cooked with an espresso machine milk steamer (Gerald San Jose)
This is a video demonstration of how Shrimp can be cooked in Apple Juice using an espresso machine.
The resulting dish.
These are leeks which have been charred in order to make the foundations for a vinaigrette with blood orange.
Grilled Pineapple dessert with CO2 Sauce
CO2 Strawberry Sauce Activates/Bubbles
Chef Enrique Martinez of Restaurant Maher in Navarra. Martinez is known for his use of vegetables with his cooking techniques.
Salt Preserved Cod (Bacalao) in a multi-vitamin vegetable broth created via a condensation technique pioneered by Martinez.
Multi-vitamin vegetable condensation broths (Gerald San Jose)
Gels made from vegetable broths
Methylcellulose is used to coagulate the gels into spherical shapes.
A deconstructionist vegetable dish.
Daniel Garcia, a young chef who comes from Andalucia and is a disciple of Martin Berasategui. He cooks at the Hotel Don Pepe in Marbella, in the South of the country.
Chef Dani cooking with dry ice.
Chef Quiqe Dacosta, who cooks in the Alicante region on the east coast of the country. Chef Dacosta is also the author of a book about Spanish Rice and the various properties of the different strains and how they can be best applied to cooking.
Hen that laid a golden egg
Foie cooked sous vide at 2 different temps, pan seared, and roasted in a steam oven topped with freeze dried sweet pepper powder. Unlike traditional methods for cooking foie, a Maillard reaction is not achieved and thus the searing of the liver does not take place, leaving a more delicate and smooth texture which Dacosta prefers.
Creamy Rice with Cherry Caviar
After Dacosta’s presentation we were served a snack of Spanish Tortilla and Cold Garlic Soup.
Garlic Soup Closeup
Some of the chefs posing for fan photos during the break.
Michelin 3-Star Basque Chef Martin Berasategui resumed the demos after the break.
He began by sauteing up some cockles in Txocoli, a type of acidic dry white wine from the Basque country.
Cod cheeks releasing gelatin (Gerald San Jose)
Gelatinous Cod Cheeks with Cockles
An attractive foie gras presentation.
Octopus tentacle sous vide with fennel air
I believe this was another cod presentation.
Next up was Paco Torreblanca, who is widely considered to be the finest pastry chef and confectioner in the entire industry.
These are candy beads enclosed in sort of a “fiber optic” enclosure of sugar isomalt.
Paco demonstrates the technique onstage.
Sugar Wafer dessert
Milk Foam Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (Gerald San Jose)
Next up was the team of Paco Roncero (right) and Alberto Chicote (left).
Chicote’s restaurant, NODO, is a showcase of Spanish-Japanese fusion. Roncero, a student of both Ferran Adria and Arzak, cooks at La Terraza del Casino in Madrid.
I realize these guys are brilliant culinary practitioners but they look like they could be a comedy team.
Fun with fire.
Some of the nice products available to the chefs onstage.
Carrot noodles (gelled with Methylcellulose) in a broth of smoked tuna essence.
Manchego water emulsified with olive oil and butter, grilled in bok choy leaves and set with methylcellulose, served over grilled bread with tuna.
Smoked Tuna Belly with Ajo Blanco Gel
After Roncero/Chicote’s presentation everyone was quite happy to indulge in some tapas. These are bread puff things with a very fishy fish inside, I think it was some kind of eel.
Another type of cheese with quince paste.
I believe these are Marcona almonds.
The “10” poses for a photo op.
The makeshift tapas bar set up by the FCI.
Stuffed Piquillo Pepper
Bread with cheese spread and almonds.
Gaspatcho with Crostini.
Steak with Cabrales Cheese and Onion Confit.
Shrimp with Romesco Sauce (Photo by Daisy Martinez.com)
Shrimp with Romesco Sauce
Salmon over Rattatouille (Daisy Martinez.com)
Chef Lee Ann Wong from “Top Chef” fame was here making Fideos. Lee Ann’s full time job is with the FCI.
Fideo Pasta with Saffron and Seafood.
Coffee Mousse Dessert
After the tapas break, we entered the home stretch with Chef Joan Roca, of the famed Celler de Can Roca restaurant in Catalunya. Roca is known for his extremely sophisticated techniques that involve substantial use of techological wizardry.
This is a Vacuum Distiller machine that is used to extract an essence of dirt “perfume” from Catalonian soil, to provide an earthy essence to some of his dishes.
Whisking dirt to make a distilled essence water (Gerald San Jose)
Olive wood smoke infused with paprika. Every bite of the puree releases a whif of smoke through a small hole in the saran wrap
Dirt Essence foam over an oyster “Treasure Island” (Gerald San Jose)
El Gran Finale of course was Ferran Adria, of the famed El Bulli restaurant near Barcelona.
Adria is mesemerizing just to watch, let alone listen to.
During his presentation, Adria discussed the evolution of various techniques, such as misting/foaming and the creation of different types of gelled aspics, using Alginates, then Soya Lecithin, Methylcellulose and then finally Calcium Chloride.
Demonstration of Adria’s earliest technique for jellified aspics (Daisy Martinez.com)
Like Roca, many of Adria’s techniques involve the use of specialized and sophisticated equipment. Here we are being shown how olive oil can be made into gelatinized capsules.
These are shells of Coconut Milk which are frozen using liquid Nitrogen and then freeze dried.
Here Adria demonstrates on how to make leaves out of mango puree.