Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Foodjects: design and the new cuisine of Spain, and molecular gastronomy in a box

Tonight, in Manila living a Travelife, I attended the reception for the opening of a small but very interesting exhibit called Foodjects, showcasing the best of Spanish design as used in food and as used in some of the best restaurants in Spain.

The exhibit and accompanying workshops on Spanish food and drink are a project of the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

Scroll down to


Of course, all the stalwarts of Spanish food and drink in the Philippines were present in full force, including Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry Selection, Jordi Martinez of Barcino, and Oscar Garcia of Bodegas Hidalgo.

These three authorities will also be giving master classes over the next five weeks, by the way, so scroll down to the end of this entry for more information on this.


Kitchen stuff produced by Ferran Adria

For someone like me who's so interested in food as part of living and of the travel experience, the Foodjects exhibit was extremely fascinating. It's basically two tables of stuff on the second floor of Enderun, so don't expect a massive retrospective; but, as they say, the beauty is in the small details.

The two tables held dining and kitchen items that were each individually beautiful and full of stories, especially as almost all of them were and are still being used in some of Spain's top restaurants.

Dinnerware used at Mugaritz

So, of course, it was so nice to see the tableware from famous restaurants like Mugaritz and El Bulli, or from excellent Spanish specialty shops like Cacao Sampaca.

Plates from El Bulli


But the exhibit I liked best was a stack of colorful cylindrical boxes that looked more like a small installation piece of pop art.

When I took a closer look, it turned out that these were basically do-it-yourself kits to create foam, jelly, and all kinds of other textures and sensations from regular food and ingredients. Yes, these were little kits to enable you to bring El Bulli or Fat Duck right into your home, and serve a molecular gastronomy dinner of your own to friends.

"OMG," I couldn't help saying. I just couldn't imagine myself turning something like bangus, tomatoes and bagoong into a whiff of foam to serve to my friends gathered around my dining table.

But apparently, this is exactly what these kits are designed to do: to nurture your inner Ferran Adria.

Scroll down to


The kits come in cylinders with labels that says foam or gelee, for example, and each contains everything you need to create your own molecular gastronomy dish except for the ingredients themselves.

I looked at these kits intensely, not knowing what to think, and trying to imagine whether any of my friends would actually appreciate the efforts to create nothing out of something.

Then the young designer who had flown all the way from Barcelona for this event came up to me and said: "It's not as hard as it seems. I haven't tried any of these myself, but I've been told that the kits are quite easy to use."

So, yes. Next time I invite some of you over to my house for a wagyu rib-eye steak, don't be surprised if this arrives merely as a scent of steak enclosed in a gelee.

Then, just think that it's just another unexpected evening in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

FOODJECTS Master Classes
at Enderun Colleges

The Making of Sherry
by Oscar Garcia of Bodegas Hidalgo
January 22 at 6 PM

The History of the Tapa
by Jordi Martinez of Barcino
February 26 at 6 PM

Cured Ham along the Centuries
by Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry Selection
February 27 at 6 PM

To register:


No comments:

Post a Comment