When Arzaka they ask why he took up molecular cooking; he answers: our world is developing at such a pace that the kitchen cannot stand still, we need to look for new ways.
He calls his kitchen author’s, research; he even came up with the word «techno-emotional.»
However, the kitchen is built Arzaka based on the culture and food of his ancestors, the Basques.
Arzak never refuses continuity.
No wonder: restaurant Arzak located in the house built by the chef’s great-grandfather in 1897. Arzak — Cook in the third generation. And the dynasty does not end there — critics are predicting a great future for his daughter Elena. “I am not Arzak,” Arzak says. — Arzak — this is my team, this is my daughter Elena, these are my friends, this is Spain with its mosaic of cultures.
Without all this, there is no Arzak. ”
Juan Maria sure: the more he knows about food, the better he cooks. To prepare a product well, you need to study what it consists of.
And this requires the help of chemists and physicists. Have Arzaka — Army assistants, many of whom are willing to work for free.
As a result, in 2006 alone, forty (!) New technologies and devices were invented in his kitchen.
Arzak says that for him at the moment the main thing is “a volcano of tastes and aromas”; from each product he tries to extract the maximum. “It’s so hard to find a really good product.
And if he got into your hands, you need to use everything in it! Bones, trimming, peel … And this is not a question of money, but self-esteem! ”For this purpose, the Arzak team recently created another wonderful device, volcano en la cocina -“ kitchen volcano ”.
Its base resembles a base for a blender, a “bag” is screwed into it, into which the desired product is put.
For example, lobster with vegetables.
For example, coriander is laid in the car, which is “evaporated”, enriching the contents of the bag with aroma. When the bag is completely inflated, it is removed and placed in the oven — to bring the lobster to the desired condition.
This method allows you to give products interesting odors — even those ingredients that in reality are completely inedible (say, shrimp with mastic).
Second favorite technology Arzaka — lyophilization (method of dehydrating the product by freezing it).
One result of the use of this technology, the majority of humanity has been using for 25 years — it is instant granulated coffee.
Arzak does not like water in the product.
Since water has no taste, it means that it needs to be removed (just water, not juice!) — and then you will get the most concentrated taste.
Arzak goes further: it adds a concentrate of taste of a product to the same product.
He takes a piece of merlan fish and freeze-dried it.
It turns out dry briketik, which is ground into powder. And when fresh merlan is being prepared, it is seasoned with this powder instead of salt.
Arzak uses little salt — Chinese cuisine has taught him to enhance the taste of the product with the help of ginger.
Sometimes Arzak acts as a magician, forcing customers to become children again.
He makes foam from strawberries: whips berries, puts them in a glass, and spreads pineapples on a grill on a plate.
When the waiter is already heading to the table, “dry ice” is thrown into the glass, and the strawberry mousse begins to foolishly, overflowing and pouring pineapples.
Arzak creates a paper of spinach and red pepper and makes confetti out of it, making a small celebration out of a portion of ordinary beef.
He makes a dish with a «veil», turning the necessary ingredients into the thinnest jelly plates — and when the dish is served, hot broth is dripped into the veil, and it dissolves into a delicate sauce.
Himself Arzak — firmly shot down, of small stature, extremely cheerful … He is already over sixty, and he constantly goes somewhere, participates in congresses, communicates with chefs (not to mention the amount of work waiting for him at home).
He speaks with enthusiasm about the culinary traditions of other countries — China, Peru, Vietnam. About Russian cuisine, she says that she should once again become one of the most important in the world: we have quite fine traditions, and now, when Russia has aroused interest in food, this will certainly affect. “After all, you even have molecular cuisine restaurants!”
“When I’m happy,” says Arzak, — I cook a hundred times better. I put all this happiness in food.
It is always like this with cooking: if you feel bad, it is better not to even begin. Why feed your friends with your tears? ”