Andoni Luis Aduriz
What’s it all about? Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz has been pushing the envelope on fine dining experiences for 25 years over the course of an admirable career that earned him the Icon Award 2023. Year on year, those experiences get more experimental and more provocative – a recent dish involves diners sucking sheep’s milk from a breast-shaped mould – but he’s arguably truer to his vision than just about any other chef, serving up a thrilling, at times dark, always unexpected, culinary universe.
How does it work? The conventional rules of gastronomy are cast aside to make way for boundaryless eating: a three-hour journey into a world that might be at times uncomfortable, often emotional and sometimes outright weird, but you won’t come away unmoved by it.
On the menu: Dishes like Face to Face (an edible ‘skin’ made with psyllium and cider) and Memories of the Future (caramelised white bread with bean molasses and Port) co-exist with less abstract treats like chives and butter and Norwegian lobster. Desserts aren’t necessarily sweet, nor drinks liquid – an edible, sake-infused handkerchief, for example – but will leave you feeling you travelled into some far-off, alien place that will change the way you think about food forever.
Worth noting: Mugaritz closes every year between January and April for a creative sabbatical when Aduriz’s R&D team, plus collaborators from the worlds of art, literature and design, get to work on the coming seasons’ menus. Out of the 100 or so dishes that are created during that time, 20-25 of them will end up on your plate.