The Madrid Fusión gastronomic conference runs from Monday, January 23, until Wednesday. This is the 15th year it has taken place in the Spanish capital, growing steadily with each edition.
Argentina is the guest country this year, which should be interesting. More than 100 chefs from all over the world will be cooking, doing presentations and judging awards. The programme includes events by top Spanish chefs including Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mario Sandoval, Joan and Josep Roca, Dabiz Muñoz, Nacho and Esther Manzano, Albert Raurich, Iván Domínguez, Elena Arzak and Pepe Solla – to name but a few. Chefs from other countries include Takayuki Otani from Japan, Tomás Kalika from Argentina, Janice Wong from Singapore and Kurt Schmidt and Gustavo Saez from Chile.
Ángel León, who has two Michelin stars at his restaurant A Poniente in El Puerto de Santa María in Andalucía, will receive the European Chef of the Year award. There is always a lot of speculation about who will win the coveted Chef Revelación award for the most promising up and coming chef. Winners in previous years have all gone on to great things and include Dabiz Muñoz, Diego Gallegos, Rodrigo de La Calle and Ricard Camarena. Last year’s winner was Javier Estévez of La Tasquería in Madrid.
Nayab Aziz Siddiqui from Singapore, who won the International Young Chefs’ Competition in Valladolid in November, organised by the ICEX Training Programme and the Valladolid International Catering School, will be presenting the tapa she created for the event.
In between presentations, people mooch around the dozens of stands displaying food and wines from all over Spain and beyond. Tasting Spain – Saborea España – has a section to itself to showcase the specialities of different Spanish regions, with top chefs creating special tapas for Madrid Fusión.
I am looking forward to seeing José Carlos Capel, the founder and president of Madrid Fusión, present the 10 dishes and products that characterise the cuisine of Spain. He will be joined by Mario Sandoval, whose restaurant, Coque, has two Michelin stars. It must have been tricky to get that list down to just 10 and I wonder which things made the final cut.
There are so many interesting events packed into the programme; it looks like it is going to be a very busy few days indeed. And at the same time in the city itself, Madrid GastroFestival is going on, with special menus, tapas deals and all sorts of other foodie shenanigans at restaurants, bars, museums and cultural venues.