Enough of gastronomic snobbery
When did we start to care more about crossing out the restaurants on the list of the best in the world than eating in them? When exactly we began to be more aware of Instagram and Twitter than what we had on the plate? We reflect on these and other issues and ask ourselves the million dollar question: What is really important when it comes to eating?
The party got screwed sometime in that distant July 1999. The last century. Calatrava built castles in the air, we collected convertibles with balance mortgages and the face of a cook (of a cook!) Was the cover of El País Semanal with the headline: "Ferran Adrià, the best chef in the world".
Until then there were gourmets (my father, without going any further) but they were, how to explain it, 'something else'. Of course they traveled in search of the great tables of the world (Bocusse, Troisgros or Arzak) but also of the small ones. They were hunters without medals, and it made no sense to presume "I've been to Bras" because absolutely nobody knew who Bras was noses. It was, therefore, an obsession (three steps beyond the hobby) intimate. Private. Shared, at most, with friends from the same cove, road compadres and pushpins. Yours it was love to the pleasure of eating, in the broadest sense of the expression (love of food, cooking, culture, service and talent) without more elitisms than the shift tie when a big door was crossed.
THE ARTISTIC. THE ARTISTIC?
There was no place for the "artistic" debate. Not at least until Pandora's box of siphon foams and techno-emotional cuisine opened. And another date, April 2006: a Spanish restaurant (Oh là là) is chosen for the first time the best restaurant in the world, or so said an Anglo-Saxon magazine (The Restaurant Magazine) that nobody knew. ElBullí, that is. The madness broke out between the new batch of chefs and that stupid race began for being the next media figure; his 'Who has it longer' moved to that strange yardstick called 'influence' and at some point we all begin to normalize the 'importance' of chefs in society (overnight, they were important); And they were no longer chefs but chefs. Chefs making the route of congresses, conventions, awards and medallions.
And journalists gave them the pill because they sold magazines and 'the gourmet' was erected as one of the great Sunday themes, on the verge of Haneke's movie and the penultimate debate about whether Galliano is a mequetrefe or a genius. Pure “gastrolatía” that (much better than me) Fernando Savater narrated: “The chef's is a false art that justifies the waste, the cursilería, and that does not require reflection, quite the opposite of the true arts that always have a side difficult, sharp. ”
GIVE WAX, POLISH WAX
No trace of a sharp side in the gastronomic scene of the beginning of the century. Only praise, awards, interviews and patting on the back that no longer fit in the white jacket of bed, how swollen ego they were. And from that crop -ay- was born the most repellent character that the history of modern gastronomy has known: the foodiethe lameculos the snob. The cheesy who wants the star chef's signed menu on duty but does not know (peels) what noses he is eating (the land: agriculture, animals and land). The 'amateur' most outstanding of Instagram and replies on Twitter than what you have on the plate. The elitism misunderstood, the typical blowsman who releases a speech about restaurants he has not been to (this they do so much ...) but not half a word of the tortilla at Casa Paco.
It was Santi Santamaría (How happy I was at home) who in that mythical fifth edition of Madrid Fusión shouted loudly: "The truth of cooking is cooking, cooking and cooking," he said. I do not believe in the scientific kitchen or the intellectualization of the culinary fact. I don't mind knowing what happens to an egg when it's cold, I just want it to be good. ” Then they stoned him, but after provocative speech (which was) underlies a more important question: What is really important about all this?
He crossed the Rubicon with a critique of all the chefs that still resonates on the walls of the Municipal Congress Center, "We are a gang of fakers who work for money to feed the rich and snobs." He said it in 2007, in the middle of the vanguard party and the Audis at the door of the Three Stars. He was wrong.
Was he wrong?
I, six years after stepping on his house for the last time, can't help wondering: What is really important about all this?