The programme includes twenty new speakers who will reveal the latest trends in cooking from around the world.
The congress, titled ‘Circular Gastronomy’, has a strong international presence thanks to eminent names: Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur***, France), recipient of the 2019 Best Restaurant in the World award from The World’s Best 50 Restaurants; Aníbal Criollo (Naturalia, Colombia), Colombian cook and emissary of one of the most sustainable age-old cultures; Japanese chef Yoko Hasei (LeClab, Spain) – now settled in Madrid – is one of the few women in the world devoted to Kaiseki cuisine; and Chinese cook DeAille Tam, executive chef at Obscura*, one of Shanghai’s most popular restaurants and who has just been named Asia’s Best Female Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Rhythm of lunar cycles
At his restaurant Mirazur, on the Côte d’Azur, Mauro Colagreco feels more at one with nature than ever. Rudolf Steiner’s theories on biodynamic agriculture, the rhythm of the cycles of the moon and the mercurial behaviour of the seasons are part and parcel of all his recipes. Nature, mindfulness and evolution in sync with each other. Truly a primus inter pares. This Argentinian chef has used this year – affected by the pandemic – to reverse his business equation: his restaurant is now part of the vegetable garden, unlike before when it was the other way around.
Colombian Aníbal Criollo, a descendant of the indigenous Quillasinga people of southwest Colombia, will explain his evocative cooking inspired by chagra farming; an interconnection with the land still sustains them – sacred lands where, aside from growing crops, the soul is also nourished.
Cook DeAille Tam, the first woman in mainland China to be awarded a Michelin star (in 2018), is at the helm of the restaurant Obscura* in Shanghai. Together with her partner, Simon Wong, she delves into the essence of traditional Chinese cuisine. Innovation without rules or protocols, in a magical ambience: the restaurant seats eleven on the first floor, and has a ten-seat banquet table on the upper floor. Heartfelt cooking with clear ideas and the freedom to design.
Japanese chef, Yoko Hasei (LeClab), is one of the few women in the world who is devoted to Kaiseki, a centuries-old cuisine. Suffused with hidden messages and formal restraints, this style of cooking dates back to the 13th century and is linked to the seasons and fresh ingredients.
Also joining Madrid Fusion this year is Björn Swanson (Felt*, Germany), a German chef born in Berlin but with American roots, who opened his new 18-seat restaurant in the middle of the pandemic in October. Just six months later he was awarded a Michelin star, although he was only been able to stay open for four weeks. His work can be summed up by two philosophies; extreme minimalism when it comes to recipes, and a total belief in sustainability. His cooking – ecological, responsible and creative – draws from natural sources and is linked to his German-American roots and his childhood memories. Radical and modern at the same time, two indispensable qualities.
Among other international chefs who have confirmed their attendance are: the Italian Diego Rossi (Trippa), who is reviving the forgotten side of Italian cuisine at his Milan trattoria; and the only Lebanese chef to have a Michelin star, Alan Geaam (Restaurant Alan Geaam*), who, although now based in Paris, fled two civil wars, arriving in France with just a seven-day visa but has succeeded in championing a cuisine that builds bridges between his two countries by combining the culinary wealth of Lebanon with the delicacy of French cuisine – an example of which, using lamb and pistachios, he will show at Madrid Fusión.
This nineteenth edition will pay special attention to the global paradigm shift to a way of cooking that is committed to the planet, that defends the entire food chain from production to table, that makes maximum use of ingredients, and that believes in the philosophy of ‘freshness’ (freshly harvested and freshly cooked). The programme thus revolves around chefs whose work is linked to concepts such as recovering plant species, respect for the environment and integrated cultivation: They include Maria Solivellas (Ca Na Toneta); Rodrigo de la Calle and Diana Díaz (El Invernadero*); Juanjo Losada (Restaurante Pablo); and Luiti Callealta (Ciclo) from Cádiz, who works with Rafa Monge, an agricultural designer in Sanlúcar growing extraordinary vegetables using the Navazo farming system – together they bring ‘shunned vegetables’ to haute cuisine by making the most of resources with ingredients that markets normally overlook despite their gastronomic qualities.
Ecological and social awareness
Madrid Fusión will also host big names in Spanish cuisine whose paths never cease to explore the close link between produce and the environment, biodiversity and the land: Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca***), Eneko Atxa (Azurmendi***), Andoni L. Aduriz (Mugaritz**), Javier Olleros (Culler de Pau**), Pablo González Conejero (Cabaña Buenavista**) and Fina Puigdevall (Les Cols**). The chef from Olot will be present with her three daughters: Martina, Clara and Carlota Puigvert. On the list of those who have confirmed their attendance at Madrid Fusión are: Pitu Roca (El Celler de Can Roca***), and Dani Lasa, Llorenç Segarra and Miguel Caño (Imago). They will give an insight into the work they do in disadvantaged areas in different countries to which they have exported the technical, conceptual and gastronomic evolution of Spanish cuisine from the past 30 years. Ecological and social awareness will be highlighted by Javier Antequera and Felipe Turell (Mo de Movimiento). The duo will explain their sustainability project and support for small-scale farmers and producers, as well as their ideas for integrating and professionally developing people finding it hard to enter the job market.
Chefs already announced
These names are added to the list of those already confirmed and announced last February. Davide Caranchini (Materia, Italy), one of the most promising Italian chefs who works with products he grows in his personal greenhouse, or the Australian Josh Niland (Saint Peter), one of the winners of the 2020 edition with his way of maturing fish and sense of sustainability and respect for the marine environment he brings back to Madrid Fusión. This time, Niland come back to Madrid Fusión with a presentation in which you will be able to learn live how he works in his restaurant in Sydney.
Juan Sebastián Pérez (Restaurante Quitu, Ecuador) -who leads a project in Quito in which he has spent ten years travelling around the country, its ecological reserves, and working with cocoa pickers, farmers and ranchers- also announced his presence at Madrid Fusión 2021 a few weeks ago. Another known speaker is Juan Luis Martínez (Mérito, Lima), who will bring to Madrid a cuisine with a mixture of Venezuelan and Peruvian roots that also defends these concepts of excellence in product traceability. Moreover, the Spanish chefs already announced as speakers at the first global gastronomy congress are Ángel León (Aponiente), Ricard Camarena (Ricard Camarena Restaurant), Xavier Pellicer (Healthy Kitchen), Ignacio Echapresto (Venta Moncalvillo) and Pedro Sánchez (Bagá).
New WCK project
Madrid Fusión 2021 will also see the presentation of Chefs Relief Training, the global chef training project to be launched by World Central Kitchen, the NGO headed by chef José Andrés and Javier García, as an aid strategy in the event of disasters and crises caused by climate change. This project will have its headquarters in Madrid for the whole of Europe.
Madrid Fusión 2021 will be held in person at Ifema but can also be followed via its digital platform that can be accessed from anywhere in the world www.madridfusion.net. The congress will also examine the era of the ‘mindful diner’, and the main changes in attitude that have been pinpointed among consumers, who are ever more demanding. In addition to the sessions in the Main Auditorium, various activities will be offered in the Multi-Purpose Room where a number of competitions, live cooking demonstrations, presentations and talks will be held over the three days of Madrid Fusión. Independently, this great annual gastronomy congress brings together other events. MIP (Madrid International Pastry), the international congress on pastry-making, breadmaking and chocolate-making, will return for a second time after its success in 2020, and The Drinks Show will include talks, master classes, and cocktail and spirits tastings centred on avant-garde beverages.
This year, Madrid Fusión will place particular focus on the restaurant industry, giving more visibility to all those who work in it, offering more knowledge sharing, networking and commitment than ever before. The registration period for purchasing tickets at special prices to attend the most important gastronomic congress in the world, in person or live via internet, is now open at www.madrifusion.net.