Da Dong's Artistic Chinese Cuisine, Madrid Fusion 2015

The Madrid Fusion saw a collection of stalwart chefs from Spain and elsewhere too.

Many of them held workshops on cooking techniques and developments in the field which were of interest for those interested in the art and science of cooking. Bakshsish Dean, a chef from Delhi at the meet, told me he found a lot to learn from these. This is his 6th Madrid Fusion conference.

I was interested in the stories behind the work of the chefs. I had earlier written about the Roca brothers from Spain who headed South seeking inspiration and new ideas after doing quite a bit of culinary developmental work back home.

Then there was Da Dong, or big man Dong (a reference to his big build), from China who looked for inspiration at home in the ancient Chinese culture.

He cooks traditional Chinese dishes and presents them in a manner inspired by ancient Chinese art. He looks at the form and substance of ancient Chinese paintings to design the presentation of his food.

His coffee table book 'Artistic conception of Chinese Cooking' has many photographs showing the poetic presentation of his food. Each dish indeed looks like a painting.

We got a live feel of this in a tasting menu that Da Dong had put together in a dinner he hosted for the Madrid Fusion. This was at the Red Zen restaurant in the Real Madrid stadium.

Each dish looked as pretty as a poem. The wagyu beef with fermented Chinese greens tasted pretty memorable. Another dish that fascinated me was the lobster noodles served with a strong bacon and bean paste.

While chefs like Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent are presenting Indian food in a modern format, it would be interesting to see Indian chefs dip into our rich culture to present and interpret Indian food in new ways.

I guess we need our version of the Madrid Fusion for that in India.








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