Anlässlich der Serienpremiere von “The Worlds Best Chefs” in Barcelona (hier zu Lande zu sehen auf Nat Geo People, auf der Website finden sich alle Sendetermine) hatte ich die gleichermaßen einmalige und fantastische Gelegenheit, ein Interview mit Andoni Luis Aduriz zu führen – dem Küchenchef des Mugaritz. Die Ausschnitte, die ich bisher von der Serie sehen konnte, versprechen Eindrücke, die man am liebsten in einer Dauerschleife über den Bildschirm flimmern sehen möchte. Ich weiß, dass ich nicht die einzige mit einer Küchen-Doku-Sucht bin. Katie Button (mit der noch ein weiteres Interview folgt) begleitet durch 13 Episoden, die sich je ganz einem Koch und dem Blick in dessen Töpfe widmen. Neben Andoni Luis Aduriz sind neben anderen auch Massimo Bottura, Daniel Humm und Alex Atala eine Episode gewidmet. (Unter dem Interview ist ein kurzer Trailer zu sehen)

Ferran Adrià, Katie Button, Massimo Bottura, Andoni Luis Aduriz (v.l.) bei der Premiere von Worlds Best Chefs in Barcelona

Ferran Adrià, Katie Button, Massimo Bottura, Andoni Luis Aduriz (v.l.) bei der Premiere von Worlds Best Chefs in Barcelona

Interview mit Andoni Luis Aduriz

Was der Küchenchef des Mugaritz erzählt ist Balsam für jede Seele, die mit Leidenschaft angetrieben wird. Die pure Passion, Überzeugung und unbedingte Hingabe für seinen Beruf – den man in diesem Fall sicher ohne Umschweife Berufung nennen darf – spricht aus dem ruhigen Koch, der vor einigen Jahren durch ein Feuer sein ganzes Lebenswerk verlor, nur um es danach in noch größerer Perfektion wieder aufzubauen. Seine Augen glänzen, wenn er vom kulinarischen Lernen, von ursprünglichen Geschmäckern und gastronomischen Visionen spricht und ich habe vielleicht nie jemanden philosophischer über das Essen sprechen hören. Gepaart mit ganz offensichtlicher Bescheidenheit und einem herzlichen Blitzen in den Augen – mehr als inspirierend.

Das Gruppen-Interview ist von der Originalsprache Spanisch bereits einmal ins Englische simultanübersetzt und dann von mir transkribiert worden. Ich habe deswegen davon abgesehen, es mit einer Übersetzung ins Deutsche noch weiter zu verfremden.

Andoni, how does it feel to be a „star chef“ – as the „the worlds best chefs“ series is indicating?
“Normally I try to keep a distance from these things. I’m aware that many people see us as stars and it’s still surprising that people stop in the street and like to take photographs and things like that.
I know where I come from and I also know that I’m living a reality that can expire at any point. What I have to do is to keep my feet on the ground and basically every day keep on doing an effort to keep everything like it is.
I won’t mind so much if all the people going crazy would be girls in their 20s or 30s but apparently at the moment it’s more the TV stations presidents who go crazy.”

Do you feel like chefs are the new movie stars of this time?
“What I actually do is I hold a dream in my hands. What I do is I spend 80% of my time thinking about this dream and the rest of the time I spend explaining it to the rest of the world.
You have to take into account that 90% of the clients that go to my restaurant come from outside Spain. So I need to convince the rest of the world to come to the little green hill where my restaurant is. My job is to communicate my dream to them.
This is the reason why I do appear so much on TV. The truth is, if I was every very very rich it’s the last you would see of me.”

You already achieved very much – is there anything left to dream?
“First of all I’m a born dreamer. I’ll always be dreaming.
I think that gastronomy has a way, has a capacity of changing the world. And it has a capacity of changing people. I think that the world still has a long way to go to improve and I think that dreaming about making it better is a good thing. For example when I was 16, if you would have asked me what I dreamt of, I didn’t dream of anything. I didn’t have any money, I didn’t even imagine that at some day I would have a restaurant.
Of course this is about opportunities but there also is a lot of talent involved and a lot of work involved. There are many chefs who have a lot of talent and have worked very hard but unfortunately didn’t have to luck and hasn’t worked out.
So for me the dream is to keep on dreaming and to be able to make sure to have an effect from what happens.”

Do you think everyone can make exceptional food?
“People are made up of memory. So, if you have in your house for example an encyclopedia with 20 books just about swimming, you could still not have swum in your live and then you could be in a pool and still didn’t know how to swim. And then you can have a 4 year old who can’t even speak properly but is already swimming. Cooking is like that. Because there’s a big difference between knowing something and actually practice, actually doing it.
Comparison works like this. People say „why is this better than this thing“ and it will be: „I just know, because I tried it lots of times.“
So the best advice is train, and train and train. Taste a lot, eat a lot. People may ask you „why do you know so much about food?“ – „because I eat a lot“; „why do you know so much about wine“ – „because I taste a lot“.”

Are the dishes art and which effect do they have on people?
“The kitchen is a mixture of expression, communication and memory. So my cooking for example is a mixture of my memory. The food my mother cooked, all the food I have eaten as a gourmet, my creativity, my thoughts and my way of seeing the world. And that’s what I serve the people.
People who come to my restaurant do know that they want something to happen, they just don’t know what. So I realized that I have to establish a kind of dialogue with my clients through the food. Once, we were visited by one of the most famous Neurosurgeons and he said „what you do is fantastic and creative but the most incredible thing is that you actually make the people more creative by eating the food.“ That was a very important point for us to discover.”

After the fire in your restaurant you had to build it up from scratch. Did you use the chance to change something completely to how it was before?
“Yes definitely. Before the fire I had a lot of complexes. Mainly I was very afraid that people were going to misinterpret the things I did. Like for example the fact that we were taking away the menu all together. And I thought people would interpret that as me being full of myself and etc. When in reality it’s madness because we have to do twice as much work, I have to tell you what to eat, I have to choose for you which means that I have all the responsibility and we all work twice as much. Some people could interpret that as being suburb thinking that you know better. But actually what I want to do is giving you the best of what I have. And when I found myself in the situation that everything was gone I thought „this is a second chance“, and you don’t often get second chances. And so I decided to get rid of my complexes completely and I became much more radical and stopped worrying and I used my second chance to do the things the way I wanted to.”