Will Spanish avant-garde cuisine stand the test of time?

What to eat. What not to eat.
March 26 2008 8:07 AM

Fish Foam and Spherified Mango Juice

Will Spanish avant-garde cuisine stand the test of time?

(Continued from Page 2)

The same, I would hold, is true of modern Spanish cuisine. What lies at its heart is not a particular dish—not even the emblematic foam. Rather, it's a spirit—a vigorous, often intellectual search for new flavors that takes place not just in gardens and pantries but in landscapes and art exhibitions, and, yes, in the laboratory. And that isn't going away. As Arenós told me in an interview, Spain's top chefs have plenty of staying power. "Ferran [Adrià] is the most influential chef in the world, and he was born only in 1962. ... All the other guys, Andoni [Aduriz], Quique [Dacosta], they're in their 30s. We can't talk about decadence when they're all so young."

Advertisement

They're not just young; they're motivated. Andoni Luis Aduriz, the chef of two-starred Mugaritz, is often hailed as Adrià's more serene but equally talented dauphin. For the past two years, he has been working on using ultrasound to achieve more precise cooking times and, in collaboration with Aponiente chef Ángel León, is developing a cooking fuel made from olive pits. "There are people who say, 'this is over, let's put it behind us,' but that's just marketing. I can tell you from my own experience that there is more research going on, more energy, than ever before."

That's the thing. The pressure to innovate (and among Spanish chefs, that pressure is largely self-imposed) means that Spanish techno-emotional cooking, if that's what we're calling it now, is going to keep changing, producing new and ever-wackier techniques and ingredients. Some of them, like Dacosta's platinum-coated oyster, will perhaps, mercifully, not withstand the test of time. But others, like that now-ubiquitous foam, will seep into the culinary vernacular, forever augmenting the range of possibilities chefs have at their disposal.

Lisa Abend is a freelance writer based in Madrid, Spain.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.