Cabaña Buenavista’s chef shows how he uses the cinema to lead diners down a disturbing path to desserts
The second day of San Sebastián Gastronomika had a notable Murcian presence. In addition to the frenetic program of ‘showcookings’ and tastings at the stand -one of the two largest spaces in this edition-, the majestic main auditorium of El Kursaal -more than 1,800 seats- hosted the spectacular presentation by the chef from Cabaña Buenavista (2 stars Michelin and three Repsol Suns). Pablo González Conejero presented an authentic show designed to show how he continues to captivate the customers of his restaurant also in the chapter on desserts, until the end. And he did it by going to a fantasy based on the famous movie ‘The Matrix’, in which the protagonist is given a choice between a red or a blue pill. His decision would determine his destiny: to live in analog reality, or a parallel virtual universe. But which is the one or the other? “We are convinced that we have to be generators of experiences, beyond the simple act of eating.” Everything that happens in a restaurant is important and affects who visits you, that is their motto. It is impressive to be in that immense space suddenly in darkness and a simple beam of light revealing four tiny pills, with a cavernous voice inciting the choice. From here, surprises, experiences … and, of course, cooking.
González Conejero explained that those four pills, in brown, green, yellow and red colors corresponded to desserts that are nothing but allegories related to other well-known films in recent film history: and thus, whoever chooses the brown pill will have a dessert linked to the movie ‘Charly and the chocolate factory; Whoever chooses the green one will have it related to the torrid scene on the kitchen table, among scrolls of flour, from ‘The postman always knocks twice’ (in the form of two diamonds); Whoever prefers yellow will receive a dairy-based dish, alluding to ‘A Clockwork Orange’, in which the violent protagonists do not stop drinking milk with LSD (the latter ingredient that is obvious, of course) and whoever decides on the Roja must face a dessert served on surgical equipment and must use a scalpel to eat it, referring to the second film of ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and the macabre scene of the live human brains stew. Provocation, entertainment, spectacle? Surely everyone will see it in a different way. In any case, a very risky bet from our double star chef and more on the canonical ‘gastronomic north’ of Spain. There is no doubt that no client will leave Cabaña Buenavista indifferent to this cinematographic proposal.
Finally, Samuel Ortiz could not win the Spanish Russian salad championship, one of the classic congress competitions. There were ten chefs from all over Spain – from Jerez, Ronda, Seville, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Salamanca, Bilbao and two from Madrid, in addition to Murcia. The owner of Café Bar Verónicas brought a very creative version, dressed with a saffron and anchovy mayonnaise with citrus and spicy touches that finally failed to reach first place, which went to the Tragatá restaurant in Ronda. For the third consecutive year he has gone to Malaga.