Andoni Luis Aduriz appeared at the Food On The Edge symposium to talk about ecosystems and how the eco-systems we choose to create or surround ourselves in have major impacts on how we behave.
"From a sad eco-system or an angry ecosystem, you learn to be sad. From happy people, you learn to be happy. From Negative people, you learn to be negative. From corrupt people, you learn to be corrupt, but from creative people, you learn to be creative. The question is, who are you sitting beside?" Aduriz asked the audience in Galway, Ireland.
For the chef, who manages the award-winning Mugaritz restaurant in Spain, a healthy ecosystem must have sensibility, creativity, critical conscious, solidarity and sustainability - he is describing the attributes he looks to create within his own kitchen eco-system. An eco-system of 70 people who have dedicated around 16,000 hours to research alone. An eco-system of creativity that produces 6,000 pics every year with 800 new dishes every season, every single season. A critical set of eyes that have tested more than 90 new ingredients and written more than 600 reports. They are currently working on 10 new scientific projects.
Mugaritz famously close for four months every year, foregoing profit in search of creative innovation and this type of hardcore creativity, '800 new dishes a year', comes from producing a healthy eco-system that allows creativity to prosper.
Aduriz spoke about how he does this and about the cross-pollination of ideas from within his own restaurant eco-system, starting with how his own team is often inspired by existing eco-systems in nature. He explained a now famous fake-egg dish that was inspired by a plant, how it was made, researched and finished and how it eventually went on to inspire MIT to produce a new technique for engineering domes, planes and cars.
Watch the video to see how the egg is made...
Aduriz talks about the future and why we always get the predictions wrong. We always forget that food is about more than nutrition and when we talk about the future we forget about culture, habits, health… Feeding yourself is a lot more than just eating.
Perhaps there is one thing we can do, to create an ecosystem of values and hope that they are seen in the future. This is what he tries to do at Mugaritz.