It has been 105 years since the Confitería del Molino was inaugurated, that local back room of politics, art and entertainment of the 20th century. This Friday at noon it will reopen its doors in a virtual, so the public can see how it is restored. But the festivities began a day earlier, on Thursday, with the re-opening rehearsal in front of the media.
Chocolate bombs, millefeuille and mini versions of the classics created in the very confectionery: postre Leguisamo, Joan of Arc and Russian Imperial. All this could be tasted this Thursday as a preview for the press. All this can be requested when the sector is enabled, in 2022. Because this renovation project not only rescues the building: also its recipes and stories.
Base of millefeuille, dulce de leche, meringue, glazed brown -glazed chestnuts-, almond cream, sponge cake and fondant: this is Leguisamo, a drier and sweeter dessert than what current pastry shops have us used to. He was born in El Molino at the request of Carlos Gardel, who asked for a culinary tribute to his favorite jockey.
On Thursday afternoon it was served in six-by-six-centimeter portions. At his side was a worthy opponent, Joan of Arc, whose original recipe includes peach, Russian imperial, pastry cream and glazed chestnuts. A sweet bomb, but wetter and kinder.
Light blue and white on the façade of the Confitería del Molino, which is turning 105 years old. The screening will be repeated this Friday from 7:00 p.m. PHOTO JUAN MANUEL FOGLIA
These formulas are part of the “intangible” content recovered by urban historians and archaeologists. Part was replaced with the cookbooks and letters found in the place, another with the story of those who cooked there or learned from those who did.
Like the Catalan pastry chef Antonio Sanchís Cañadel, who worked there for almost 40 years. Or Héctor Brignole, owner of the Confectionery El Progreso, who prepared the dessert tasting this Thursday. He is the grandson of Juan Bautista Brignole, one of the first pastry chefs at the Mill, who was there until 1919.
“If the Mill was what it was, it is not only because of what happened on the surface, but also because of what happened in the subsoils “, summarizes the specialist in cultural studies Mónica Capano, advisor to the Bicameral Administrative Commission of the Edificio del Molino, which is in charge of the enhancement.
The main door of the Confitería del Molino and the progress of the restoration. Photo: Juan Manuel Foglia.
Refers to the ovens under the ground floor, “An inhospitable place, with a lot of heat and hardly a fan”, whose pace of work left no time for encounters with celebrities who ate a few meters above. In the middle of the 20th century, 10 millefeuille, more than 20 Joan of Arc and 20 Ruby jelly with fruit came out every weekend from the dessert section of the first basement.
Without that frenetic pace but with the same spirit it will be the new kitchen of the Mill, which is being set up in the rear sector of the ground floor, behind the table and chair sector. If the pandemic allows it, all that floor will be ready by the end of the year, and in operation in 2022.
The plan is that at the same time open a rooftop bar, with a privileged view of the dome, the Congress and the square. It will be accessible by stairs and also by a large elevator, which will be specially built. In the meantime, the rest of the building will continue to be renovated.
The stained glass windows of the Confitería del Molino were also restored for the reopening, scheduled for 2022. Photo: Juan Manuel Foglia
This Friday’s agenda
Those who pass by the corner of Callao and Rivadavia this afternoon will be able to see the building painted by blue and white lights, 205 years after Argentine Independence. Those who are further away and want to join the celebration, will be able to share their stories of the confectionery on networks with the hashtag #LaVueltaDelMolino.
Earlier, at 12, there is virtual tour of the mill works, with the guidance of Daniel Gómez Rinaldi, who will interview Nazarena Aparicio, coordinator of the restoration team; Guillermo García, architect who advises on the patrimonial level; and Sandra Guillermo, coordinator of the urban archeology team that works in the building. It is seen through the Instagram and Twitter accounts @DelMolinoOk.
Later there will be talks with stained glass windows, architects and specialists who advise the Administrative Commission in different fields. They will be broadcast live on Youtube: at 2:00 pm it will discuss the enhancement of the building, and at 3:30 pm about the intangible heritage of the property.
The main chandelier of the Confitería del Molino was also restored with the reopening in mind, scheduled for the first months of 2022. Photo: Juan Manuel Foglia
Everything will be broadcast on the Fecobaarg YouTube channel, one of the entities that calls the talks, together with the Professional Council of Architecture and Urbanism (CPAU) and the Central Society of Architects, among others.
A tour to spy
In the tour of Clarion and other means could be trampled on how the work is going in much of the building. But the highlights were seen at their extremes: the sidewalk and the window finished after 25 years, the dome with stained glass windows and rotating blades, the fully restored chandelier that crowns the confectionery, a sector that is in the process of recovery.
There, a part of the floors, ceilings, moldings and ornaments were restored. Another is still in process. The difference did not bother: on the contrary, it allowed us to observe the work that this enhancement carries. One level up, the main living room and smokehouse look completely renovated, except for the floors, which need cleaning and polishing.
He also stole glances the marquee of the ochava, which displayed its stained glass windows restored by a workshop coordinated by Paula Farina Ruiz, a member of the stained glass team of the Chamber of Deputies. They were temporarily placed under a translucent polycarbonate cover. They will be permanently mounted in a few days, behind laminated glass that will protect them from hail.
In the preview of July 9, when the Confitería del Molino turns 105 years old, a dress rehearsal was held that included classic desserts, such as Joan of Arc. Photo: Juan Manuel Foglia
There were even official samples: one of the restoration workshops and the other of objects recovered by the urban archeology team led by Sandra Guillermo. In that meticulous search work, thousands of elements appeared: venecitas, kitchen utensils, pipes, taps, bottles, tools. They will be seen in the virtual tour this Friday.
Among the last studs on the to-do list are the discovery of the facade after years of scaffolding, and the structural verification of the sidewalk slab and all the building’s balconies.
Now progress is being made with the provision of electricity to place transformers and thus install ventilation and heating equipment. Also with the tender to restore two elevators made in Milan by the Stigler company, “the first to manufacture elevators in Italy”, highlights García. As in the rest of the building, the idea is to preserve its original look but with current technology.