Masterchef S03 ep4 : Pedro Subijano, Akelarre Restaurant, [San Sebastien]

Interview with Pedro Subijano

"Akelarre [San Sebastian] 3 Michelin Stars One of the original stars of the Spanish Gastronomic scene, Pedro is part Paul Bocuse and part Pierre Gagnaire. Absolute Genius with a capital G.


1.25 "Akelarre is a house built in 1970,"
1.30 "where through food, "
1.35 I could offer people the biggest set of sensations.
1.51 "The true fact is, that when I was a student, my objective"
1.55 was to study medicine and become a doctor.
1.59 "However, in the lapse of time between the holiday season and entering university,"
2.05 someone suggested that there existed a hotel management school in Madrid
2.12 "and that due to my qualities and activities,"
2.16 "and that everyone around me knew that I liked to cook,"
2.19 that why did I not go to study hotel management.
2.22 "And this is how I ended there, "
2.24 with a big disappointment from my family.

2.41 "I started at the hotel management school of Madrid,"
2.43 "learning the basics of the international cuisine, "
2.46 which was then taught with a more Spanish connotation.
2.53 "However, I later went to the school EUROMAR in Zarauz"
2.58 "where I had a typical cuisine education,"
3.03 "from the Escoffier, traditional cuisine, French cuisine"
3.06 "during 3 years of school,"
3.09 Later is when we started the renovation and mobilization of
3.14 "the new Vasque cuisine, with the idea of changing things."
3.18 "But initially, the base was the traditional cuisine. "

3.34 It is around the years 76/78
3.41 when Paul Bocuse came to Madrid
3.43 "to present his book ""cuisine de march‚"""
3.47 where he reflected his philosophy.
3.51 "From there, Arzak and I started a friendship with him,"
3.55 and went to Lyon to spend some days with him
4.00 "It was on our return from Lyon, that we gathered the chefs from our area"
4.04 and discussed with them the idea of doing something to renovate the Vasque cuisine
4.12 because it had a good name and prestige
4.15 but it was a bit asleep
4.17 "and what we had seen in Bocuseïs philosophy ""cuisine de march‚"""
4.22 was something we already regularly practiced here
4.26 "which was the market kitchen. Kitchen and product of every season, "
4.31 "and later, dishes which were traditional in the Vasque cuisine"

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

4.54 Then a dozen chefs from the area of San Sebastian would meet
5.02 to decide how to share ideals and philosophy around the cuisine
5.09 and we ended deciding that our association principally searched for three things

5.31 "Firstly, search for all historical, past dishes and products "
5.40 "which had been famous during other times, but were not being applied or used
5.46 "Secondly, watch over the recipe book that was actually being employed,"
5.52 "so that the products used, matched those that were being preached,"
5.56 and exercise the traditional authentic techniques of the Vasque cuisine
6.01 "Thirdly, through the experience received from the history we had behind us"
6.08 "break all ties and chains, to freely innovate"
6.16 "experimenting and searching for support from technicians, scientists, physicians,
6.24 "to be able to work and know more, to evolve with no limit"
6.32 "Up to then, when I was a young apprentice,"
6.36 the question about: why is this done like this?
6.40 was always answered:
6.41 because it has always been done like this
6.43 and we were not content with that response

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

7.03 "During that point in time, if a chef"
7.06 had the concern to know more
7.13 searching through scientifical sources
7.14 was unthought of
7.17 these level of people were not at available for us

7.21 "When through time we have achieved name and prestige,"
7.25 "and the chef has been recognized socially, intellectually and professionally"
7.35 it is when these people have become available
7.38 and have supported us with knowledge

7.58 The first book dedicated to the world of cuisine done by a scientist
8.06 "that I met, and later assisted with the translation, "
8.11 "and had a strong relationship with,"
8.15 was during the 80ïs when I had the occasion to have a book from Thierry Tiss from
6.26 "A scientist with whom I still have a relationship,"
8.30 "and who has dedicated his life to explain the physical, chemical and biological
phenomena "
8.40 that occur within the cuisine

8.58 During those times we were founding an international organization
9.09 "called Eurotoques were I was a founder, a president, and were I am still a member"
9.15 were we contacted initially chefs from our country and later on from other countries
9.22 I first brought Herv‚ This to one of our meetings in Valladolid
9.26 to make a demonstration around the scientific books he was writing regarding cuisine
9..34 and which were being translated to Spanish

Jewellery Theatre Elements

9.48 I think there is no fundamental reason
9.52 "but most probably, Guipuzcoa, inside the Vasque country specifically,"
9.59 has always been a very creative region
10.02 "with plenty of sculptors, painters, people from innovation, businessmen, engineers"
10.11 it has always been a place where there was plenty of normality
10.16 surrounding creativity and nonconformism
10.20 "Apart from that, it is a transitorial place"
10.23 "between Europe, Spain, Africa, Portugal, etc."
10.27 where plenty of products and things have passed by
10.32 and some have been acquired and exploited
10.36 and then it was by chance that during a certain moment
10.38 "there were some chefs, principally Juan Mari (Arzak)and myself, "
10.44 who reacted and it all came together

11.10 There is also a factor that I think is important:
11.12 it was a critical moment in the political transition of the country
11.17 where there were too many negative things but also many hopes
11.22 "and us making an evolution in the cuisine, was very well accepted in the press"
11.30 and gave us a big push
11.33 "I also think that witnessing those young people with great enthusiasm,"
11.40 "with no plan for marketing or selfishness,"
11.46 but whom generated a revolution opened to all
11.51 also provoked a tendency for the press to support us

12.06 We also chose the most difficult path
12.10 "because during those times the easy path was to do the classical,"
12.14 "the timeless, the international"
12.16 and it was much easier to develop a business and have economic success following
that line
12.20 but we also chose a path that had many critics
12.25 because there were many people from our environment and our country
12.27 who said we were going to destroy what we already had
12.30 (our history and tradition)

12.58 "Actually, we have always been very idealistic and utopical"
13.04 "During those times, we, and me personally, struggled much because"
13.11 having studied hotel management and a bachaloriat
13.16 we missed other levels of knowledge
13.19 and we argued so there would exist a university level
13.25 inside the gastronomy
13.27 but we were rejected by all politicians and the world of education
13.34 nobody understood us
13.35 and we have kept fighting and today is the day when finally
13.37 "next September, there is going to be inaugurated "
13.40 The Vasque School Culinary Center
13.42 which is the idea we always had in our minds
13.45 and we were not capable of putting into practice
13.48 but finally together with the University of Mondragon
13.51 we have achieved a step forward

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

14.07 "To conclude, this is a bit of an appearance, but there has to be an important story
14.14 "I think that honesty is very important in everything in life, but also in the cuisine,"
14.23 and coherence. One has to have an argument for the reasons why he is doing things.
14.28 "I for example, do not think, that offering a clean product from a vegetable garden to
a client coming to my table,"
14.37 is enough to satisfy him. I think there have to be many other things
14.41 "even more so, many times the environment and the philosophy are as important "
14.48 "as giving an explanation, or otherwise the client may not comprehend"
14.52 "because a client that goes to restaurants, is not going to hear us predict "
14.58 "but to have a good time, and we have to be responsible of making him have a very
good time"
15.05 "no good, but very good"

15.14 "As we mentioned before, there has to be an argument"
15.18 But it is also a problem if I put something in front of a client
15.22 "with all that it implies, the environment, but if he really enjoys"
15.27 I can then later explain it to him
15.29 "but if put something in front of him that he eats and lets him cold,"
15.34 "I think that all the explanations I may give to him, do not compensate for that lack of
taste, passion, enthusiasm or pleasure"

15.51 I think this has a lot to do with what someone sincerely is
15.56 I do not interpret a paper in life
15.58 but what I really do is what comes from inside and what I feel
16.04 I know that for others opinions I have made many mistakes
16.08 because for others I could have probably gone through other directions
16.12 "and have chosen a better business path, more money, live a different live?"
16.16 "but no, I do what I like because that is what comes from inside"
16.19 "and that is what I try to communicate to whomever comes,"
16.22 "and for me, each one of the clients that sits at my table "
16.26 "I like to implicate, fascinate and make them lift from the floor"

16.42 "Personally, I am not convinced about "
16.47 changing the reflected flavors from the things we know
16.48 I have always been convinced regarding augmenting (because I have always been
worried about flavor and taste)
16.54 Augment the proper flavor of things
16.56 Experimenting I find fine
16.58 Looking for sources of surprise
17.03 or improvement inside the cuisine world or the product
17.05 "I find fine, but I always have to have a justification"
17.09 If there is no justification I am not interested

17.24 The strongest thing that has happened to me in my life
17.26 has been what has happened during these last years
17.29 "such as, when I go out from the kitchen, to salute everyone"
17.36 I get to a table where they all stand up
17.40 "and tell me that it has been fantastic, that it has been a marvelous moment"
17.43 not only for the eating but for all they have experienced
17.47 and they hug you and they start crying from the emotion
17.49 "That causes me to blush, and it is a great satisfaction, something I would not have
dreamed of in my life

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Pedro Subijano, Akelarre Restaurant, [San Sebastien]