Mario Sandoval, with his cuisine certainly focused on flavors and innovation, and with his constant commitment to offering a world-class gastronomic experience that appeals to all the senses, presented a master class on the third day of the Region Gastronomic Murcia (RMG). Chef Coquet, Madrid (2*) began his love of cooking and its secrets at the age of 10 in the family restaurant, as part of his third generation of chefs. He knows well the relationships between traditional and avant-garde cuisine because he has experienced this process firsthand.
He came to tell us about how Coque works to be able to support all this creative work while keeping it a sustainable business. “It all starts with my grandmother, who had the keys to an old diner.” He recalls how “within what my father left us, my brothers and I dedicated ourselves to the pursuit of excellence, not only in the kitchen, but also in the dining room.” Curiosity, determination, connection with other disciplines, and travel to inspire you are key aspects of chef training.”
“In the end we organized creative methodologies that allow us to offer our best,” one of which is fermented products. “We can make miso with chickpeas and other legumes, not just soybeans,” he explained. Another technique is sauerkraut: a special preparation of cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower… – searching for “those mineral, salty flavors that accompany our dishes”. Kombucha, a Japanese fungus that converts sugar into alcohol, is also used to make a drink with a fizzy twist.
“In short, we have to look for the origin of fungi, and where we come from,” he explained. And it all comes from the solar dust from which the Earth was created… bacteria – the first living organisms to appear – and lichens… and a long way to microbes, our second brain, the intestine. Sandoval also talked about the “hidden ingredient”: fiber. It helps prevent many diseases. “Now we are able to extract the fiber to incorporate it into fine cuisine.”
“Creativity is more than just being different; “It makes simple surprisingly simple,” he said. Unbelievable, strange and new materials… “All thanks to our cooperation with CSIC.”
But this research continued with yeasts, with the aim of obtaining a large wardrobe for his creations. Thanks to yeast, it is now possible to cook food without fire. Inspired by winemaking, they use new tools in the kitchen. In the end, “Knowledge gives you power, the ability to do things that others do not do, and to move forward…” From this knowledge we came up with a unique product, Wovo: drinks and soft drinks made with egg whites, lactose-free, gluten-free, and with no added sugars.
Sandoval is inexhaustible: from a restaurant with extreme creativity, struggling to recover forgotten vegetable varieties, preserve animal species in danger of extinction, and which have practically lost their ancient flavors and aromas…