In many ways, Juan Mari Arzak is the godfather of modernist Spanish cuisine. After all, it was his form-bending avant-garde cooking in the late 1970s and early 1980s that inspired Ferran Adria and his band of kitchen rebels during the early years at El Bulli, the restaurant that would go on to reshape fine dining forever.
To this day, Juan Mari and his daughter Elena continue to uphold the highest standards of modernist cuisine at Arzak, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant that the family has been operating since 1897. Despite its reputation for being highly scientific, modernist Spanish cuisine isn’t about foams and spheres or smoke and mirrors or so-called molecular gastronomy (a term Spanish chefs universally loathe); it’s about concentrating flavors and textures into dense, thought-provoking packages. Case in point: this bright little bite from the father-daughter team. Three ingredients (mango, chorizo, beer) turned on their collective head to create something as delicious as it is unexpected. – Matt Goulding
Chorizo with Beer and Mango
1 lb 5 oz chorizo
⅔ cup raisins
salt and pepper
1 ⅓ cup beer
½ cup olive oil
⅜ cup sugar
Additionally: Chinese soup spoons and flower petals for the presentation
- Peel mango and slice on the vertical as thinly as possible to form a set of long planks. (It might help to have two mangoes so you can practice.) Set aside.
- Cut the chorizo into slices, place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute.
- Drain chorizo, place in a bowl and mix in raisins. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make the vinaigrette, put beer and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook to reduce until it resembles syrup.
- Whisk in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Lay out the mango slices.
- In the center of each slice place a warm spoonful of the chorizo and raisins mixture.
- Fold the corner of the mango around it and keep wrapping it in a triangular shape.
- Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Heat slightly and place each mango packet on top of the Chinese spoon. Sauce with the vinaigrette and add flower petals.