Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España: Recipes to be a cook: vocation, sacrifice and education


The speakers share their impressions during a moment of the interview. / nacho gomez

The world of gastronomy is increasingly holistic and requires a big effort to keep up with the elite

domenico chiappe

Eduard Xatruch decided to be a cook 28 years ago. At 16, he began to do internships at the mythical El Bulli. He became a chef. Then he stayed three more years with Ferran Adrià to do the Bullipedia. At the crossroads of his destiny, at the age of 31, he decided to create his own restaurant with two other chefs from the same house, in the same vital situation. “We are three friends from working-class families, who know that to earn a living, you have to work. We are passionate about cooking. El Bulli has gone as far as possible and reinvented itself. We had the spine of being entrepreneurs. We had never paid a bill. Professionally, we had this need for the project itself”, recalls Fusión Alimentos de España in Madrid, during an interview with Benjamín Lana, general manager of Vocento Gastronómica; Pablo Márquez, teacher and gourmet, and Antonio Obregón, from the Pontifical University of Comillas. But there was something else. When he decided to be a cook, Xatruch’s parents had some resentment. “I had to be good, I wanted to be the best.” Now times have changed, agree the speakers. “Cooking is the evolution of knowledge, and it is growth. Not just physico-chemical, but in the broad sense of the term”, specifies the head of Disfrutar. “The more the person is educated, the better he will cook and the better he will know the product”.

“You have to be hungry for knowledge,” adds Márquez. “Go the extra mile and work and invest the money to go out to eat. You can’t eat it all through social media. Good leaders have given their lives to a vital project. The vocation must be born in you to transform a world like gastronomy. There is a great job for teachers, who must tell the truth, speak of the sacrifices but also of the great rewards that this profession has”.

With thousands of culinary students, few manage to own a restaurant, let alone reach the elite, Lana recalls. Talent and inspiration are not enough in such a competitive and creative world. Cooking has now entered the university, which provides an “enriching experience that completely transforms the person. It provides tools, values ​​and attitudes,” explains Obregón.

Does a multidisciplinary and holistic training enrich future chefs, sommeliers, room managers, pastry chefs? Is she able to strengthen these vocations?, wonders Lana, summarizing what it takes to stay in the long run that is cooking and the world that revolves around it: dedication, effort, vocation and education . “Personal and professional life gives lifelong changes, and the more experience and values ​​there are, the more opportunity there is to grow positively. The larger the formation, the better the development. College experience is essential. In addition, gastronomy goes well with the company. The cooks are surely thinking of starting their own business”.

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