Andoni Luis Aduriz says he doesn’t expect the guests to love his cooking. He wants his cooking to be thought provoking and to involve all the senses. Some dishes arrive to the table without cutlery and instructions, there are no desserts as we know them, unless you call a dessert a beautiful noble rotten apple … Andoni is creating one of most challenging eating experiences and for me one of the most satisfying. If you are looking for dining within the usual standards, you may be disappointed, but if you open yourself to the adventure and approach this dining experience like a curious child, you will love Andoni’s dishes. Just look at his cheeky smile! That’s what dining at Mugaritz is about!
In the chat that we had before lunch, Andoni was talking about people he surrounds himself with – happy creative people from all walks of life who inspire him with their knowledge and creativity, who widen his views and challenge him to learn. His dishes of incredible beauty are a wonderful playful journey inspired by tradition, science and art. If you open yourself they will satisfy you on all the levels – sensually and intellectually – with flavour and intelligence.
His “cultured molecule” dish enriched with the noble grains of caviar was playing with the TDN found in the aged Rieslings, and was served with an exceptional 1988 vintage of J.J. Prüm’s Riesling selection. Also the last dish of the menu – the noble rot – had it roots in the world of wine. The botrytis affected apple was created through infusion of two types of penicillinum and was let to mature six days before serving. The result was a beautifully “rotten”, delicious apple which kept below the noble fungus a beautiful freshness. It was paired with four fantastic botrytis-affected wines – from Germany, Austria, France and Hungary. There’s a lot of thought provoking statements within the menu, lots of physical interaction (to eliminate the barier quite some dishes get served without any cutlery) and humour. The minestrone was a journey to the roots. Pardon, to the seeds, which gave to the dish an incredible freshness and intensity. The sprouted chia, which was served with lamb (a puffed mochi), was wonderfully fresh and earthy at the same time. We licked the bone, broke the ice (Pinenut Kagamiâ embedded in ice shavings) to get to the core (the deliciousness of pinenuts) and enjoyed the poor and rich man’s food (with chorizo oil dipped lettuce and Japanese Black Cecina). There is so much poetry in every step of the meal! The journey ends with “In dubiis, abstine” which gives you a chance to lick the plate if you enjoyed it. I did. Every single drop!
This incredible dining experience included really exceptional wines. Some of them were not only accompanying the dishes but actually inspiring their creation: