The Argentinian Mauro Colagreco (Miarazur***, Menton, France) has returned to Madrid to surprise us with a presentation of the turnaround the pandemic caused in his restaurant: a commitment to the lunar calendar and biodynamics. “It is time to reconnect with the earth and take the chance. Don’t think of us as lunatics”.
Mauro Colagreco has recreated the current experience of Mirazur*** (Menton, France) on the stage at Madrid Fusión Food of Spain with a stage design of plants and fruits. “The pandemic arrived just when we were at our culminating moment, with the three stars and the title of Best Restaurant in the World by The World’s 50 Best, and it was a shock, so we decided to make a complete change and opt for biodynamic agriculture and the lunar calendar, in order to connect intrinsically with the earth even if this meant more work for my staff”.
More work, because at present Mirazur has no fixed menu, but it can change it completely up to four times in one week. And not only its menu. According to the different lunar cycles -Root, Leaf, Flower and Fruit-, it also changes the perfume or the decoration of the dining room. Colagreco was quite firm: “The moon is now our head chef”.
He was explaining his lunar vision meanwhile a person from the audience was personally enjoying the experience of sitting in the “garden” he had recreated, where the journey through the restaurant commenced. “Sit with the Mediterranean in front and the Alps behind you”, he remarked. The immersion commenced with the snacks, that the team from the restaurant hands to the diner in a picnic basket (among others, beetroot and hibiscus, pollen and fresh flowers or courgette flower with mint).
The entire auditorium was in the Mirazur universe of one day flower, with the same number of servings as the other phases -about 8 or 9, “these are enough to be able to convey what we want without tiring the diner”-, but very particular. It was time to enter into the “space”. There, “on a flower day the menu may present dishes such as the rose of the San Remo red prawns (“Quique would kill me, but just as good as the ones from Dénia”) with pickled rose petals; borage flower boiled over a flan of razor clams; a play of colours with yellow beetroot, mussels and a sauce infused with saffron, or the banana flower grown in his orchard with butter (“We are in France”) topped with trout roe”.
“In Mirazur we do not divide the sweet and salty part as they do in France, but we work on the transition, for example with a dessert of iced capuchina cream”. The final dish, is a tribute to the “sacred creatures of biodynamics”, the bees, where he uses all of the elements of the beehive: honey, propolis and pollen.
The immersion was over; the chef’s final message was missing: “The more we hone our senses the more capable we will be to build intimate relationships with our environment, to bridge the gaps between our interior and the exterior. We must share the feeling of being part of a whole”.
He underscored this call to his colleagues: “Cooking is a privilege. Food is life. Whoever takes care of it, will take care of life; whoever disregards it, will disregard life. And this is a special time to take care of it. The generations that will follow ours are already demanding it. As chefs we have the opportunity to impact our environment positively, of creating awareness”.
He ended: “In Mirazur we say that the future is today. Nature must be at the core of our kitchens. Let us not lose sight of this, even if we’re considered lunatics”.