Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mixing the Unmixable- Lecture 7- Nandu Jubany- Carles Gaig


Speaker: Nandu Jubany (Can Jubany) and Carles Gaig (Fonda Gaig)

This public lecture series discusses concepts from the physical sciences that underpin both everyday cooking and haute cuisine. Each lecture features a world-class chef who visited and presented their remarkable culinary designs: Ferran Adria presented spherification; Jose Andres discussed both the basic components of food and gelation; Joan Roca demonstrated sous vide; Enric Rovira showed his chocolate delicacies; Wylie Dufresne presented inventions with transglutaminase. The lectures then use these culinary creations as inspiration to delve into understanding how and why cooking techniques and recipes work, focusing on the physical transformations of foods and material properties.

Watch Next VideoProteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase- Lecture 8- Wylie Dufresne

Who is Nandu Jubany?

Who is Carles Gaig?

Carles Gaig is one of the Spanish chefs who have been able to maintain a perfect balance between traditional cuisine from which they have learnt so much, and avant-garde cuisine, which they have explored and from which they have earned international recognition.

This chef's career has centered above all on Catalonian cuisine. But a visit to the Basque Country back in 1975 opened his eyes and led him to discover new horizons beyond his family's restaurant in Barcelona. As an adolescent, his plan was to become a mechanic but, after his military service, he met Juan Mari Arzak and heard about Bocuse and Girardet, just when Nouvelle Cuisine was making its mark.

Gaig's family background pointed him in the right direction. Since 1869, his family had run an eating house in Barcelona, and both his grandmother and his mother had taught him the essentials of Catalonian culinary tradition. Then, his blossoming friendship with Arzak gave him new ideas, fresh from New Basque Cuisine (Nueva Cocina Vasca ) and its source of inspiration, French Nouvelle Cuisine.

Eventually, Carles took over the family business in the Hortes district of Barcelona and, after a number of changes, it received its first Michelin star in 1993. Later on, in 2004, he received an offer to move his restaurant to the central Eixample district, in the Hotel Cram. This was the start of a new period of greater visibility, with the arrival of both a new local clientele and tourists in search of Catalonian haute cuisine.

Gaig claims to keep a watch over all the ingredients coming into his restaurant's kitchen. Though he has plenty of reliable sources, Gaig goes every morning to the Boquería market to purchase fresh goods for his restaurant, where the menu is forward-looking but does not lose sight of tradition.

In 2008, Gaig opened up a new establishment in Barcelona, which he runs in addition to the small Gaig (a mere 16 tables as well as a private dining-room). It is called Fonda Gaig. Tradition rules, and the star dishes are meatballs with cuttlefish, and Catalan-style cannelloni - old-fashioned recipes but prepared and presented in modern ways. Restaurante Gaig and Fonda Gaig represent two complementary ways of seeing Catalonian cuisine but watched over by a single chef, Carles Gaig.

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