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Friendship And Food Beyond Borders: An Evening With Moto And Mugaritz

By Lisa White in Food on Mar 19, 2014 8:00PM

You have to have to be a little bit crazy and have good sense of humor if you devote your life to studying the art and science of food. To see the beauty in something so humble and simple, to dedicate so much time to the the trial and error of creation takes a very strong (and usually obsessive) will. So it isn’t any surprise the kinship and bond that chefs around the world share is just as important sometimes as the food they present on your plate.

Chef Homaro Cantu found that strong sense of kinship while in Spain earlier this year with Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. Chef Aduriz is the driving force behind Mugaritz, located in the San Sebasti├ín region, currently the number four restaurant in the world and one of the most important figures in modern molecular gastronomy. Both chefs share a passion of thinking of food outside of just taste, bringing elements of science and technology to the plate and letting their diners question and experience food in a new light. Their friendship brought to life a partnership and led to Chef Aduriz traveling to Chicago earlier this week to not only speak at iNG but also present a dinner Monday night showcasing both Mugaritz and moto’s cuisines intertwined.

The dinner consisted of 10 courses, five from each restaurant along with wine pairings. The first course was brought out and we were told to consume it immediately, not sure what the table was eating. Textures and flavors were hard to pick out and right after, upon stopping by our table, Chef Aduriz quipped that he didn’t tell us what the dish was because he poisoned one of them. Such is the dark humor you can get away when you are taking conceptions of food and turning it upside down. Mugaritz’s Oswaldo Oliva translated as Chef Aduriz explained the philosophy behind his dishes, restaurant and the team he so diligently works with to create their vision. One of our favorite moments was when Chef Aduriz pointed out that part of finding something attractive isn’t always just basic beauty but also appreciating the flaws, a thoughtful note to meditate on during the evening. It’s clear, not only from his passion but his food, that Chef Aduriz, much like Chef Cantu, are prime examples of chefs thinking about cuisine on a deeper level, moving food into a brave new imaginative frontier.