Andoni Luis Aduriz: “Inspiration comes from my travels around the world”
In this interview for Tour Magazine, the chef from San Sebastian shows his admiration for the cuisines of Peru, Mexico and Japan and reveals a lesser-known but fascinating cuisine, Korean. As a curiosity, he always travels with a notebook where he writes down what he finds most interesting or inspiring.
How do your travels, your experiences, influence your gastronomy?
Human beings are enormously porous and everything we experience and see has an impact on us, often without us even realising it. When you travel, this porosity is multiplied, not so much by the places or landscapes you visit, but by the people you meet and the new cultures you get to know, which in some way have an impact on you.
Which world cuisines have impressed/influenced you the most and why?
On the one hand, I would mention the cuisines of Peru or Mexico because they are countries with an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems and communities, and when you mix these two things together, what you end up with is an extraordinary and very rich amount of options. The truth is that their gastronomies continue to surprise every time you visit them, with versions or elaborations that are similar to things you have already seen, but that always have their point of difference. Apart from the fact that both Peru and Mexico are the product of an evolution that is, dare I say it, thousands of years old.
On the other hand, I would highlight Japan, which for me is the most sophisticated version of cuisine I know. It is a very different approach to cooking than what I have known. Basically because although it may seem very simple for someone to present a piece of fruit or a cut of tuna, it hides a level of knowledge and satisfaction that certainly teaches a lot of lessons. It is another of the great cuisines that never ceases to teach you and in my opinion it is the cuisine that has reached the highest levels of demand.
What is the great unknown among the world's cuisines?
I dare say that nowadays there is no great unknown, but it is true that there is a very interesting cuisine that is not usually talked about, and that is Korean cuisine.
Korea has the particularity that it is a very mountainous country, and because of this, it does not have large areas of cultivated land. As there are so many mountains, the relationship they have with agriculture and livestock is more limited than, for example, if we compare it with Spain, but there is an extraordinary culture of wild vegetables. This would be unthinkable in other cultures where there is more of a tradition of cultivation.
Korea has a lot of wild vegetables that are also used in its gastronomy and it is fascinating. Add to that the fact that it has a history in the world of ferments that is mind-blowing.
All this, in the end, creates a style of cooking that is not only very good and tasty, but also very healthy. Precisely because of this, it is one of the cuisines, in my opinion, with the best future or projection.
What have you learned from travelling?
That human beings are extraordinary and that fortunately the cultural and gastronomic diversity that exists in the world is very rich and is something that we must safeguard.
¿Cuál es la gran desconocida de las cocinas del mundo?
Me atrevo a decir que hoy en día no hay ninguna gran desconocida, pero es verdad que hay una cocina muy interesante y que normalmente no se habla de ella, y es la cocina coreana.
Corea tiene la particularidad de que es un país muy montañoso, y por ello, no tiene grandes extensiones de cultivo. Al haber tantas montañas, la relación que tienen con la agricultura y ganadería es más limitada que por ejemplo si lo comparamos con España, pero hay una cultura extraordinaria de las verduras silvestres. Cosa que sería impensable en otras culturas donde hay más tradición de lo que serían los cultivos.
Corea tiene mucho silvestre que además lo utiliza en su gastronomía y es fascinante. Añadiendo también el hecho de que tiene una trayectoria en el mundo de los fermentos que es alucinante.
Todo esto, al final, dibuja un estilo de cocina que además de estar muy bueno y ser muy sabroso, es muy saludable. Precisamente por eso, es una de las cocinas, en mi opinión, con más futuro o proyección.
¿Qué ha aprendido viajando?
Que el ser humano es extraordinario y que afortunadamente la diversidad cultural y gastronómica que existe en el mundo es muy rica y que es algo que debemos salvaguardar.
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