Circular Gastronomy is the title of this edition. It will put particular emphasis on ‘just’ cuisines (‘just’ grown and ‘just’ cooked), the short cycle of produce and the best way to use resources
The world’s most important gastronomic congress is back – in person and in situ – with all of its stages and exhibition spaces at Pavilion 14 at IFEMA from 31 May to 2 June 2021, made possible thanks to the options offered by the digital world when it comes to holding large events. This edition of Madrid Fusión is firmly committed to offering live experiences, with many participatory activities and more training spaces than ever. For the first time in its 18-year history, congress-goers can choose between going to IFEMA in person, or following the talks via an impressive digital platform that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. All the health and safety measures demanded by this new scenario caused by Covid-19 will be guaranteed.
A vital topic, circular gastronomy – a ‘just’ cuisine (‘just’ grown and ‘just’ cooked), the short cycle of produce and the best way to use resources – will be the core theme around which a number of the talks will revolve. Alongside this, we will also examine the era of the mindful diner, and the main changes in attitude that have been detected among consumers, who are ever more demanding. Customers now demand more information in order to make decisions. A new status that is conditioning the future growth of many restaurant industry businesses.
Extensive international presence
All of this is within the context of a programme that is more ambitious than ever, and with extensive international presence including numerous cooking shows. We will look at success stories – including the technological evolution of the primary sector, the role of local vegetable gardens, biodynamic crops, and the future of the new concept of Edible Cities. In short, a gastronomic movement that seeks to bring together the components of the food cycle – producers and growers, diners and lawmakers – so that together, and by joining forces, we can contribute to the creation of sustainable food systems.
For Benjamín Lana, President of Vocento Gastronomía, which organises the congress, ‘the work of Madrid Fusión has always been to offer a glimpse into the future, as well as to promote and share knowledge and the world’s best gastronomic practices. This year, that is so exceptional and during which the sector is experiencing a uniquely complicated situation, we are committed to achieving the same goals as always. We are ready with new ideas and projects to suffuse this event with hope and excitement. A very special and truly innovative Madrid Fusión awaits.’
Cooks who will attend
Among the cooks who have confirmed they will attend as speakers at Madrid Fusión 2021 are: Davide Caranchini (Materia, Italy), one of Italy’s best-known cooks. Trained by Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux and René Redzepi, his cuisine is very personal and he works with produce from his own greenhouse. Flynn McGarry (Gem, USA), a young American who set up his first restaurant at the age of 12, who has now found success in Manhattan with another eatery (called Gem), in which only he and another cook work to serve just 10 din-ers. A single sitting, and a 12-dish tasting menu for $200. Aged 21, he is a firm believer in a business model that is 100% sustainable.
A technique for ageing fish and the importance of sustainability and respect for the ocean environment has brought Josh Niland (Saint Peter, Australia) – one of the hits at the 2020 edition – back to Madrid Fusión. This time, he will give a talk so that we can see, live, how he works at his restaurant in Sydney. Juan Sebastián Pérez (Quito, Ecuador), has also confirmed he will attend Madrid Fusión 2021. In Quito, he heads the Chef to Farm movement, a project he has worked on for ten years, travelling throughout the country and its ecological reserves, working with cocoa pickers, growers and livestock farmers. Juan Luis Martínez (Mérito, Lima) will bring a cuisine rooted in a combination of Venezuelan and Peruvian cooking to Madrid. They, too, defend the idea of excellence when it comes to the traceability of produce, and this put them on the 2020 list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America.
The list of Spanish cooks who seek a better use of the planet’s resources, and who will be present at the world’s leading gastronomy congress is also extensive. Among those who have confirmed: Xavier Pellicer (Healthy Kitchen), Ignacio Echapresto (Venta Moncalvillo), Pedro Sánchez (Bagá), Ángel León (Aponiente) and Ricard Camarena (Restaurante Ricard Camarena).
Post-Covid pandemic management
‘Never have cities looked to the countryside as much as they have now, nor have the rural and urban worlds been so connected. Sci-ence and technology have also proven to be more respectful of nature. Diners, ever more mindful and critical of what they consume, demand more sustainability and transparency. They want their food to have a low impact on the environment because they are mindful that the act of eating affects health and the planet’s models of production. It is intolerable to think that we are exhausting our natural resources,’ states José Carlos Capel, President of Madrid Fusión.
For Capel, ‘our congress will highlight the importance of new courses of action that will shape the cuisines of the future, the importance of knowledge sharing and the changes in priority that cuisines have. Will tables of the future be ever more sustainable, local and organic? Exciting changes are afoot. Madrid Fusión will open its doors suffused with optimism and filled with hope.’
Support for the restaurant industry
The programme will shine a light on cooks whose hallmarks include not only respect for nature, but also intelligent management as a result of the pandemic, as well as today’s new business models. In a nutshell, it will be a mirror and a preview of today’s reality and the rapid evolution which every sphere affected by the world of cooking is experiencing.
The essence of Madrid Fusión has always been to energise the sector. So, given these current circumstances, support for the restaurant industry will be more present than ever thanks to a commitment to stimulate business recovery, and with the presence of cooks who have been successful at exploring new paths this past year.
New WCK project
The worldwide project of the NGO World Central Kitchen – headed by chef José Andrés together with Javier García – will also be presented at Madrid Fusión 2021. This charity, which helps the most vulnerable, has mobilised in over 40 cities in the United States and in many other countries around the world in the face of the threat caused by Covid-19. In Japan, it provided meals to thousands of people stranded on the cruise ship the Diamond Princess, and in Spain this social gastronomic movement began operating last spring with the support of chefs and others in the restaurant industry.
This experience in how to produce and distribute meals to those most in need in a safe and efficient way is in addition to their experience in responding to situations of food shortages in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, tsunamis, etc. At Madrid Fusión, they will reveal all the key information about their new project (Chefs Relief Training): an extensive training plan – a world first – as a strategy to help when disasters strike.
Technical and experiential workshops
True to past content, Madrid Fusión 2021 will expand its technical experiential workshops with more training spaces than ever, and which are exclusively for congress-goers. In parallel to this, it will in-augurate a brand-new congress devoted to wines of the world – an excellent opportunity to try wines that are not sold in Spain.
It will include the second edition of MIP (Madrid International Pastry), the leading international congress on pastry-making, breadmaking and chocolate-making, graced by the presence of important professionals from around the world.
As is customary, we will reveal the new values of cooking, as well as the future generation of upcoming chefs, a culinary heritage that year after year Madrid Fusión has given deserved praise to.
The organisation is putting the finishing touches to the programme that this year will share ideas and trends in two different ways. The registration period begins today. Tickets can be bought at www.madrifusion.net to attend in person or to attend virtually.
For those who register to follow the congress online, Madrid Fusión 2021 will use the same digital platform designed by Vocento, which provided the acclaimed edition of San Sebastián Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country 2020. A congress that embraced a paradigm shift and a synergy of the online and offline worlds.
Madrid Fusión 2021 will adapt to the current situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. To do so, it will offer all the health and safety guarantees demanded by this new scenario by putting in place a protocol at IFEMA to bring together all the necessary measures to organise attendees and their mobility; set limits on the number of people to be accommodated, and establish the social distancing required. Furthermore, a ventilation system that uses 100% outside air has been installed in all the IFEMA pavilions.