On the 29th of April Mugaritz will begin its new season in the year marked by a special milestone for Andoni Luis Aduriz’s creative project: the year of its 25th anniversary.
Every year Mugaritz closes its doors for six months to dedicate time to projects related to science, research, health and training, among others, and to give shape to the experience that in just two weeks it will share with its diners. For six months the whole team, space and time have been devoted to sketching what will form the new experience that Mugaritz will share with its guests during the season, which will last just six months, until 29 October. During these months, the R&D team spends its time conceptualising ideas, testing new ingredients, developing new techniques and visiting singular producers.
To give shape to the new proposal, the team seeks accomplices outside the borders of gastronomy through two tastings that take place during the creative period (one in February and the other in March) with the aim of allowing professionals from different disciplines and with great sensitivity to exchange opinions and feelings with the team in the midst of dialogue. Over the last few years, people from the world of culture, literature, music, dance, philosophy and others have attended; this year the team has been joined by the multifaceted DJ and artist DJ Brava, musician and composer Maite Arroitajauregi, known as Mursego, comic artist Álvaro Martínez and musician Carlos Taroncher, among others.
It is also during this period that the liquid proposal takes shape. This year, the continuity of Vis à Vis has been worked on, a project that was born in 2022 with the desire to compose a proposal of wines and other beverages together with the producers, with the singularity that the fruits of these collaborations can only be uncorked at Mugaritz. In this season we can find the following collaborations: a Port (made together with Dirk Niepoort), a Mencía from Bierzo (Verónica Ortega), a rosé (together with Jorge Monzón), a Priorat red (Álvaro Palacios) or a vintage red from the Pago de Carraovejas winery, among others.
An oxymoron as a common thread: memories of the future
Where does a memory end and where does imagination begin? Is memory static or mobile? What would become of us without the ability to daydream, or to believe at face value what happens vividly in the depths of our minds?
Each year the team establishes a common thread with which to weave the different elements of the proposal. A thought, a concept, an idea that acts as a trigger for the inspiration of the various creations that the team develops each year. In a year as special as the 25th anniversary, Andoni Luis Aduriz and his team wanted to face the passing and the weight of time with a view that is anchored in the future, in what is yet to come. Instead of being a stop in time to take a look at the steps taken, the 25 years are a springboard for drawing and dreaming about the future, what is yet to be built, and making creativity the best medium to move through this territory.
This year’s experience is made up of some 25 moments in a proposal that combines the exploration of new textures, reflection on naturalness – so present in all seasons -, the incorporation of new ingredients, experimentation with techniques and edible forms of concepts such as luxury, the passage of time, beauty or traditions. But, above all, Mugaritz aims to use food as a pretext for exploration and as an invitation to question, imagine, confront, remember and even discomfort, seeking to go beyond conventional ways of eating and understanding gastronomy.
25 years off-road, in figures
Some 1,500 people have been part of the team over the years.
There are more than 170 people who today lead or are part of world reference projects and who have been part of this creative ecosystem. 1,700 creations have been brought to the table and some 3,000 tests have been carried out. 271,233 diners have been seated in the dining room.
An invitation to participate in the general rehearsal
Like every year, Mugaritz holds a general rehearsal the day before the official opening, with a very small number of tables. A sort of première of the new season to which the team would like to invite ten people to take part in the season’s rehearsal, next 28 April. To choose the five lucky ones and their companions, a challenge will be launched through Mugaritz’s Instagram account tomorrow Thursday, 13 April, at 12:00 pm (GMT+1). From among all the people who will participate, five lucky diners will be randomly selected so that, together with their companion, they can join us on the 28th of April, one day before the official opening, for the general rehearsal for the new season, becoming the first to test this year’s culinary proposal. The winners will be announced on Sunday, 16 April, via the Mugaritz Instagram account at 12:00 pm (GMT+1).
All photos by: Jose Luis Lopezde Zubiria