Riding The Crest of the Waves with Chef & Author Angel Leon

Tartar de Gamba Blanca con Plancton - Chef Angel Leon
Riding the crest of the waves with a totally evolutionary vanguard cuisine offering an experience he entitles calm gastronomy is one of a kind Chef Ángel León.

The Sea Against The Current

Chef & Author Ángel León

At his Puerto de Santa Maria restaurant Aponiente, Ángel has conjured up an epicurism with the enchantment of the world under the sea. He has proven himself a master investigator of Plankton, marine lettuces and algaes, which he filters in his own concoctions and gastronomic gadgets. Additionally, he is an expert in fish, shellfish and seafoods and their preparations. Furthermore, he has invented CLARIMAX for clarifying liquid ingredients to create transparent consommés and utilises olive pits in place of carbon for braising, grilling and barbecuing on open flame.

His pure Andalucian hedonism has brought him many awards at Madrid Fusion and on Canal Cocina T.V. His father, a medical doctor and researcher coupled with his medical doctor mother have instilled in him the investigative nature. His ultimate research project at the University of Cádiz derived in the development of the state of the art CLARIMAX, a kitchen machine constructed by JP SELECTA in Barcelona. Whether coaching, cooking or fishing, Ángel is detail oriented and a perfectionist. His inspiration, inventiveness and “the product” culinary philosophy has enabled him to dazzle diners with his dramatically provocative presentations at your table. His extraordinaire vanguard culinary methodology, unique ingredients an enrapturing touches from his home land all provide the most incredible dining experience one can ever have.

This is an adventure in which you shall savour the mysteries of taste, aroma and textures inspired by the evocative food notes in Ángel´s 22 seat unique magical Soho Manhattan style little restaurant. Furthermore, he has catalogued 100.000 marine species and has constituted algaes, marine flora and marine fauna as the most quintessential of his extensive work with phyto-plankton and the ideal means of culinary diathermy for heating.

CHEEK TO CHEEK WITH ÁNGEL

  • Mar: Your culinary philosophy ?
  • Ángel: The product and no chemicals. I specialize in the natural.
  • Mar: Who are your mentors ?
  • Ángel: Chef Joel Robuchon of 3 Michelin star Restaurant L´Atelier where I worked in France for seven years and for three years in Toledo at La Casa de Templo where I was learning about the historic roots of Spanish culture including the Arabic Moorish and the Sefardic.
  • Mar: The sea ?
  • Ángel: I have always had an obsession with the sea and I enjoy fishing with my dad, cleaning, cutting and preparing fish.
  • Mar: What does Plankton taste like ?
  • Ángel: Here is a sample. The palate tours many new territories of taste while submerging your senses in an astonishing awakening. Plankton contains the highest measurement of Omega 3 thus, this is for health. How would you describe the taste of Plankton ?
  • Mar: It tastes sort of like a fusion between creamed spinach with a slightly oily finish similar to extra virgin olive oil or wild salmon – must be the Omega 3 consistency along with tasting notes of fresh marine herbs, algaes and sea salt perfectly merged together. I like it.
  • Mar: Thank-you. Do you fish for Aponiente ?
  • Ángel: Yes I do, however I am also very community minded and I coach crews on ships and small fishing vessels who are working for 15 Euros hourly. I have taken 30 day fishing excursions bringing in 50 tons of fresh fish. I have also wanted to mention, that I have sourced fish in Cádiz for 4 Euros a kilo and in Madrid these species sell for 40 Euros a kilo.
  • Mar: I believe you would do quite well in politics! What exactly are you doing with plankton ?
  • Ángel: Plankton groves. I filter 1 gram in 17.000 litres of water. The Omega 3 content is the most numerous of all edible species and / or plant life. Plankton is the cellular origin of all.
  • Mar: I understand that you have invented some gourmet gadgets and kitchen machinery ?
  • Ángel: Firstly, CLARIMAX which clarifies a large variety of liquids and soups. I have also created a micro algae diathermy which is a robot capable of making liquids transparent in color. Through extensive research and investigation, I have found that olive pits can be used instead of toxic carbon for grilling, barbecuing and braising of fish, vegetables and meats and the olive pits impart their golden nectar on the exteriors of the products one is grilling.
  • Mar: Do you have any research investigation projects scheduled for 2010 ?
  • Ángel: I am in the process of a joint venture, in which we are collaborating on a baby foodline with a Japanese manufacturer.
  • Mar: And your dream trip ?
  • Ángel: To lose myself in the Alaskan Arctic on a boat.
  • Mar: The crisis ?
  • Ángel: Complicated, hard. I have 22 seats and 11 employee team staff members. Crazy !
  • Mar: Science and ideas ?
  • Ángel: My parents are doctors and medical researchers so I have always respected science, the sea and the culinary arts. Day to day, ideas come to me.
  • Mar: Have you thought to author a book ?
  • Ángel: In March 2010, my trilingual book shall be launched in the market in: Madrid Capital, Washington D.C. & Paris, France. The title: MAR CONTRA CORRIENTE which signifies THE SEA AGAINST THE CURRENT. This is not a run of the mill cookbook. This is a book that comes from passion and fully lives up to the challenges of the title.
  • Mar: I look forward to seeing you in Madrid in March and reading your first book. Tell us, what was your first elaborated recipe at home ?
  • Ángel: Well, my 1st recipe prepared at home was a caramel custard dessert. My mother was livid with me for the tremendous mess I made in the kitchen. I was sort of a Dennis the Menace!
  • Mar: Do you cook at home ?
  • Ángel: Never. I enjoy my mortadella hero sandwich and an ice cold coca cola.
  • Mar: Last but not least, music in the kitchen while working ?
  • Ángel: Instrumental jazz & instrumental flamenco can work. I am also a believer that ”in the stillness of silence is the power.”

ONE OF A KIND MARINE ELIXIRS

An array of perfectly pairing wines by the glass to accompany each dish

  • Salmuera Gaditana: a marine based antipasto palete opener
  • Magnificant Marine Plankton foam, fresh clams, mussel s & Moroccan lemon
  • Freshly caught marvelous mackerel sashimi marinated in sea salt
  • Exotic & delicious Marinated gilt bream and wasabi saffron infusion
  • Phenomenal grilled sardines on olive pits with spearmint confit
  • Perfectly prepared Lula Portuguese squid puntilla calamar ravioli filled with squid stew interior

Incredibly white fleshed silky textured whole fish Borriquete or Burro fish and in English: Rubber Lip Grunt fish, served with mint tea consommé. Ángel explained that he was going to filet the fish for Pilar and I at the table because the stomach of this fish is unedible.

The outstanding Dessert Wines:

  • San Domingo Jerez Pale Cream a Chocolate perfume with sour orange concoction
  • Dandelion flower & Granny Apple Burst ! (And it does burst!)

Restauarante Aponiente

Puerto Escondido 6
Calle Ribera de Marisco
El Puerto de Santa Maria, Cádiz 11500

Book : 956. 851. 870

Website : Aponiente Restaurante in Cadiz

Edited By Janet Song

Dining Dëco Style with Joaquin Felipe Peira

Chef Joaquin Invention
Chef Joaquin
Chef Joaquin

Located in the luxurious five star, award winning Derby Hotel Urban, Dëco is overseen by one of the country´s most exceptional Chefs, downtown Madrid native Joaquin Felipe Peira.  Pulsing with all the excitement of a modern-day cosmopolitan Madrid, Restaurante Europa Dëco is one of the most talked about centre city restaurant venues. Joaquin Felipe Peira´s penchant and enormous talent for multicultural, 21st century, urban-global-twist cuisine are obvious in his unforgettable inventions and presentations. And… the culinary stars of his fashion plates are the phenomenal raw market materials he has personally selected.

Joaquin & Margaux – Ear to Ear

  • Mar: What are some of your objectives for 2008?
  • Joaquin: Since we opened on February 5th, 2005, my point of view is, the 1st year is about doing, making & producing, (hacer). The 2nd year is positioning your restaurant or business, (positional). Now we are in our 3rd year, the maintaining, (maintainer).
  • Mar: Do you believe the culinary arts are an innate talent or that Chefs can study and practice?
  • Joaquin: One can study, learn the techniques, prepare formally and practice.
  • Mar: How do you define your cuisine and what is your culinary philosophy?
  • Joaquin: New tendency, urban multicultural, like in most capital cities, New York City, Barcelona, Sydney & Madrid.
  • Mar: What are the star ingredients at the moment?
  • Joaquin: Red tuna, Iberian Ham, Natural Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Corn Bread.
  • Mar: Where are you from and what are the origins of Peira, your maternal surname?
  • Joaquin: I was born in the Centre of Madrid and my mother is from The Pyrenees of Áragon.
  • Mar: What was the first recipe that you elaborated and where?
  • Joaquin: French fried potatoes at home.
  • Mar: From your experience, do you consider that men and women have distinct palate differences when they request their selections at a restaurant?
  • Joaquin: I believe it is individual tastes verses gender.
  • Mar: I have read that when designing your plates, you have been inspired by vanguard architecture?
  • Joaquin: Firstly, it is organization of the ingredients as they all have a function. Pyramids, squares, cubes, straight lines, geometrics, colors, textures and visual balance.
  • Mar: What are your plans for the Spring Season bill of fare?
  • Joaquin: Red tuna, wild mushrooms, fresh vegetables, fruits, fresh salad greens & herbs. Market and the Spring Season.
  • Mar: What are your dream trips?
  • Joaquin: Hong Kong and Paris.
  • Mar: What had been your motives and inspiration to study the culinary arts?
  • Joaquin: Secure formation for employment and continuing formation for growth & enhancement.
  • Mar: Tell us, I heard the Condé Nast Award for best Hotel 2007 was given to Hotel Derby Urban.
  • Joaquin: Yes, the 2007 Condé Nast Award for the best European Hotel.
  • Mar: What are some of the international projects that you have been involved with and which Chefs have you been teaming up with?
  • Joaquin: Firstly, Carme Ruscadella and I were at the Vanguard Japanese International Ecological Trade Fair AICHI EXPO in Tokyo. Additionally, I participated at the Norwegian Sea Products Council Event and at Madrid Fusion 2008 in January, I was on the Dessert Board of judges. My permanent projects also include Club Gourmet´s Corporate Clientel and Chef Paco Roncero and I have been doing numerous promotions for Spain´s olive oil industry and Iberian Ham producers.
  • Mar: How is your understanding of English?
  • Joaquin: Gastronomic vocabulary is good and the necessities which I have learned for travelling and communicating. Would you like to have lunch?
  • Mar: A Lite Lunch! A very lite lunch! At Europa Dëco, you wine and dine like royalty. The unforgettable lunch once again.

Chef’s Specialties

  • White Wine: 2007 Conclasse from Sitios de Bodega D.O. Rueda
  • Fresh Home Baked Corn Bread
  • Hot out of the oven Grapes & Seeds Black Bread
  • Palate Opener Mini canapé Red Tuna with a Manchego Pisto Bed
  • Freshly caught Cockles (berberechos) Al Vapor on a bed of escarole, red oak leaf, radicchio, rucola & sprouts. Served with a Yellow Tomato & Golden Yellow Bell Pepper Gazpacho.
  • Seared Sea Bass with Marine Algaes & Tempura. Quite a Frank Gehry Concoction!
  • Red Wine: D.O. La Rioja Ysios 100% Tempranillo Grape Reserva 2002
  • Kobe filet mignon dotted with sea salt & light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil served with fresh aromatic field greens
  • Dessert Wine: Enrique Mendoza´s Moscatel De La Marina D.O. Alicante
  • Green & Orange Melon Sorbet
  • Joaquin´s Chocolate Sins with one Red Rose
  • Espresso

Contact & Location

Hotel Derby Urban

Carrera San Jerónimo 34

Metro Lines 1,2 & 3: Puerta del Sol or Sevilla
Book a Table: 91. 787. 7770