Two projects. Two realities. Two truths. Because gastronomy doesn’t just work in one direction. Deo gratias. We know what we want and through Apicius we know how we want to tell you about it. No rush. Savouring every moment as if it were the last. Delighting in every image etched into our retinas. Taking our time to relish each creation. Studying each process at length. Step by step. Why shouldn’t we dedicate the 224 pages of the journal to two projects we’re fascinated by? In the knowledge that we’ll never do it again this way. Or maybe we will. (…) Edorta Lamo. We squint and wrinkle our brows to frame an impish grin. We knew that what Arrea! had in store for us would be unforgettable. It’s been much more than that. Because if one goes back, the experiences can no longer be qualified using adjectives that signify a visit has ended for ever. Going there means going back. Going back to the childhood that each of us keeps stored away inside ourselves. Going means wanting our olfactory memory to flourish again at a given moment. Going means calling to mind once again our past life. The life which never really went away but which we’ve hidden away in some special place. Arrea! has forever left its mark on our hearts. Because when you encounter the perfect host, the only thing left to do is to bow as you leave without ever turning your back as a sign of the greatest respect. Thank you for re-awakening in us that childhood which, at times, is threatened by what people will say. (…) The non-Bulli. So much has been said about Enigma. Or rather, how little. What mysteries are to be found in the restaurant opened by Albert Adrià, the coordinator, with Oliver Peña presiding over the pass. What we aim to do in the pages of Apicius is to break the code. Because things aren’t the way they are just for the sake of it. Everything is there for a reason. Even when you know there are looks that are always scrutinising. Enigma decided to open it doors without a basic premise. It would create a new experiential code without excessively visible displays of technique in order to bring the language of flavour down to earth, so that everybody can understand it.
Edorta Lamo (Arrea!, Santa Cruz de Campezo, Basque Country, Spain)
Apicius travels to a locality that almost appears to be a whim of geography. The borders of the Spanish regions of La Rioja, Navarre and the Basque Country seem to wander, arbitrarily picking and choosing towns and villages to include inside them. Santa Cruz de Campezo decided to become a part of the Basque province of Alava. Or was it the other way round? After our report on the Quintonil restaurant in Mexico City, we’ve set a new record. In the 16-year history of this publication, Arrea! is the newest restaurant to be visited and featured in the journal only a few months later. Arrea! only opened its doors for the first time on 20 December, and here it is. On its own merits.
Albert Adrià and Oliver Peña (Enigma*, Barcelona, Spain)
The first thing the staff felt when Albert Adrià announced the closure of 41º – the cocktail bar next door to Tickets – was sadness. ‘It will still be there when we watch the documentary1, says Oliver Peña, head chef at Enigma. The next thing they were told was that the restaurant Albert Adrià had been dreaming of would become a reality.