The first blow came in January 2007, when Santi Santamaría, chef of the 3-starred Can Fabes, used his talk at Madrid Fusion to attack contemporary Spanish cuisine, characterizing the people who cook it as “a gang of impostors whose work is to distract snobs.” Oh, and there was that memorable reminder, from a man who prides himself on his artisan craftsmanship, that all good meals “end with a good defecation.”
Last Wednesday, Santamaría again took up the gloves. “Some chefs offer a media spectacle [instead of being] concerned about healthful eating,” he said as he received an award for his book Naked Cuisine. Any doubt about who exactly he blames for the pernicious state of the Spanish kitchen? Santamaría clarified them: “Ferran [Adrià] and I have an ethical and conceptual divorce over what we put on the plate.” And then, he went even further. Playing to an audience that included the Spanish culture minister, he denounced “the use of chemical substances like methylcellulose” as a “public health risk,” and asked the authorities to intervene.