Albert Adrià, Paco Torreblanca, Jessica Préalpato and Franco Pepe will be at Madrid Fusión Pastry, the congress dedicated to confectionery and baking, from March 28 to 39
A menu that aspires to excellence must pay attention to the bread and not neglect the dessert chapter. In the program prepared by Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, both will have a prominent space. For the third consecutive year, the most important gastronomic summit in the world hosts a specific congress dedicated to baking and confectionery. From March 28 to 30, Madrid Fusión Pastry will host some of the international references of the trade, from Albert Adrià, Jordi Butrón, the Torreblancas or Jessica Préalplato, to the pizzaiolo Franco Pepe, the ice cream maker Fernando Sáenz or the baker Anna Bellsolà.
“Pastry has been one of the pending subjects of the Spanish gastronomic revolution,” acknowledges José Carlos Capel, president of Madrid Fusión. With this forum dedicated to sweets, the culinary summit aims to stimulate the creativity of professionals and raise the average level of a sector that still looks with reverence at everything that comes from France. With the bakery, three quarters of the same thing happens. Although for more than five years there has been a clear ‘risorgimento’, “we are still behind the French and Italians, even the Germans or Nordics, we still have a lot of work to do”. Perhaps that is why the program, which combines international presentations, round tables, meetings with producers or master classes, is practically an accelerated training course.
Precisely the master pastry chef Jordi Butrón will open the opening day by presenting the method applied in Espaisucre, the first dessert restaurant in the world. A tool that over more than two decades has proven to be very useful for developing creative pastry exercises and that Butrón has just detailed in a book published by Planeta Gastro. It will be the appetizer for another presentation of a book called to appear on the shelves of the most prestigious kitchens. ‘Candy’ includes the desserts that Albert Adrià and his right-hand man, David Gil, created for the restaurants of the El Barri galaxy. The publication in two volumes -one of photographs as a ‘coffee table book’ and the other in recipe notebook format- compiles a decade of work around a gastronomic project that was always a benchmark in confectionery.
Now that the restaurants of the El Barri group are closed, Gil focuses his efforts on I+Desserts, a gastronomic studio specializing in the development of sweet ideas, while Adrià expedites the last services of the ephemeral restaurant Admo, together with the legendary Alain Ducasse. In this Parisian adventure, she has coincided with pastry chef Jessica Préalpato, another of the Madrid Fusión Pastry headliners. In addition to being responsible for the desserts in the ‘pop up’ destined to seduce the international jet set, Préalpato has been a collaborator of Ducasse for years, was named best pastry chef in the world 2019 by the 50 Best list and has been nominated for the most prestigious guild, the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie. An example of excellence in the most sophisticated pastry tradition that exists.
Pizzas with pedigree
She is not the only international star on the show. The Italian Franco Pepe, considered the most prestigious pizzaiolo on the planet, will also visit the congress to offer a presentation and a tasting of the famous pizzas that his family has been baking on the outskirts of Naples for three generations. Another saga whose fame crosses borders is that of the Torreblanca. Paco and his son Jacob will offer a joint presentation on sugar, chestnut and yuzu techniques. And Fernando Sáenz, from La Rioja, an international benchmark in haute ice cream, will give a master class on fats and the flavor of ice cream.
These are just some of the most famous names from a program that pays special attention to the bakery. Edu Lavandeira will talk about Galician bread, perhaps the last redoubt of the artisan bakery in Spain until this resurgence starring professionals such as Anna Bellsolá or Samuel Moreno, also on the list. Juan Carlos Menéndez will address the gluten-free bakery, Teresa Gutiérrez the possibilities of making your own bread in restaurants and Carlos Mariel, the different varieties of sourdough, while a round table with flour mills will deal with the recovery of old techniques or native varieties. A menu with a lot of substance where it will be a pleasure to clean the dish.
Six candidates compete for the title of Revelation Pastry Chef
Last year’s winner, Fátima Gismero, knows the impact of being named Revelation Pastry Chef at Madrid Fusión. “We spent a month working from 9 in the morning to 9 at night to always have the windows full,” she recalls. The confectioner who has put Pioz (Guadalajara) on the gastronomic map will return to Madrid Fusión Pastry to talk about Alcarria honey and its importance in popular recipes, but also to hand over the baton to her successor. Six candidates dispute the title this time. Among them, the majority are restaurant confectioners, such as Ander Rodríguez, from San Sebastian Narru, Ausiàs Signes, from Tatau Bistró in Huesca, Kibi Lugo, from Casa Romántica in Gran Canaria and Mariana Rey, from Hard Rock Ibiza. But the Madrid baker Angélica Locantore or Diego Trillo and Noelia Quintana, from the A Coruña pastry shop Pandejuevo, are also in contention.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.