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02 September 2021
The world premiere of Las huellas de elBulli, a film about the restaurant run by Ferran Adrià, will open Culinary Zinema, the section including another three non-fiction films to have their world premiere at San Sebastian Festival’s 69th edition: The Pursuit of Perfection, focussing on four leading Japanese chefs; Reinventing Mirazur, on reinvention of the chef Mauro Colagreco, and Michelin Stars II: Nordic By Nature, narrating a visit to KOKS restaurant in the Faroe Islands. The section will close with Délicieux / Delicious, a period fiction situated amidst kitchen stoves.
The contents of Culinary Zinema, which will also host five themed dinners, were presented this morning at the Basque Culinary Center by its director, Joxe Mari Aizega, and by the director of the San Sebastian Festival, José Luis Rebordinos.
Journalists Iñigo Ruiz and José Larraza will present the world premiere of the documentary Las huellas de elBulli, a polyhedral vision of the figure of Ferran Adrià, who closed the doors of his restaurant in the province of Girona ten years ago. The film, a Movistar+ original, looks at how the career of this Catalan chef once did, and still does, influence not only the world of gastronomy, but also creators in other disciplines. Hailing from Pamplona, Ruiz has previously directed several films related to foodie subjects, while Larraza also has experience in the field of documentary and television.
Délicieux / Delicious, from the French filmmaker Éric Besnard, the film closing Culinary Zinema as a Spanish premiere, set at the dawn of the French Revolution, opens when a chef in the employment of nobility loses his taste for the trade and decides to return to his home in the country. Besnard, screenwriter and director of titles such as Ca$h (Cash, 2008) and 600 kilos d´or pur (In Gold We Trust, 2010), brings a cast featuring Grégory Gadebois and Isabelle Carré, respective actors of films like J’accuse (An Officer and A Spy, Roman Polanski, 2019) and Marie Heurtin (Marie’s Story, Jean-Pierre Améris, 2014).
After directing several short films, Toshimichi Saito debuts in feature films with The Pursuit of Perfection, an exploration of Japanese cuisine seen through the eyes of four of its leading chefs: all seek perfection, but their approaches differ and even clash with one another.
Having opened Culinary Zinema with Michelin Stars-Tales from the Kitchen (2017), Rasmus Dinesen, who has directed several documentaries on gastronomy and other subjects, returns with the second instalment of the series, Michelin Stars II: Nordic by Nature. This time round, the Danish filmmaker heads to KOKS, an acclaimed eatery located in an unusual natural landscape of the Faroe Islands, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The French helmers Franck Ribière and Vérane Frédiani co-direct Reinventing Mirazur, a portrait of the Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco, whose cuisine is intimately connected to the forces of nature. The feature film tells us how Colagreco, frontman of the Mirazur restaurant in Menton (France), reappeared after the lockdown with a surprising menu based on the lunar phases. The makers of the film, to have its world premiere in San Sebastian, have co-directed or co-written documentaries including Steak (r)évolution / Steak (R)evolution (2014), a former participant in Culinary Zinema.
The five feature films making up the section will be accompanied by themed dinners scheduled for September 20 to 24 at Basque Culinary Center. Combined tickets for the screenings and dinners will go on sale on September 6 at 09:00 on the Festival and Kutxabank websites at the price of 70 euros. Tickets for the films alone will go on sale on September 13 at a price of 7.90 euros.
The Culinary Zinema section is sponsored by Nespresso. Furthermore, this year ASICI (Asociación Interprofesional del Cerdo Ibérico) joins the section as a collaborator.
The themed dinners will start with an opening dinner on September 20 associated to the film Las huellas de elBulli, prepared by three chefs who worked at Ferran Adrià’s revolutionary restaurant. Xefs Eugeni De Diego, from the restaurant A Pluma; Albert Raurich, from Dos Palillos, and the professor and chef, co-ordinator of the Master’s and Courses department at the Basque Culinary Center, Luis Arrufat, will take diners on a gastronomic voyage through the corpus of Ferran’s cuisine; a culinary corpus, based on creativity and excellence, considered to be one of the most influential to come out of the 20th century, reflected in the most emblematic dishes in its history. The event will also enjoy the participation of the CXC team (Castro Xatruch Casañas), composed of chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, racking up a combined 15 years of experience as head chefs at elBulli.
Entertainment on the evening of September 21 will be provided by a dinner prepared by four hands with participation of the Argentinian Paulo Airaudo, head chef and owner of the Amelia in San Sebastian, holder of one Michelin star, and self-taught chef Ignacio Echapresto, from the similarly starred Venta Moncalvillo in La Rioja. The dinner will have the contribution of the person responsible for the vegetable garden project at the Basque Culinary Center, Leire Echaide, and her local produce, with the addition of sommelier Carlos Echapresto, who brings wines from the Venta Montacalvillo bodega. The menu will endeavour to express the diverse and intercultural character reflected in the film Reinventing Mirazur, dedicated to Mauro Colagreco and his restaurant, which has three Michelin stars and occupied first position in the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019.
The third night will be dedicated to Nordic cuisine and the unique identity of the Faroe Islands and their culture. Poul Andrias Ziska, head chef at the KOKS restaurant (Faroe Islands, Denmark), will host a dinner where each dish will exude the taste and smell of the North Atlantic landscape. He will therefore base his proposal on the Island’s ancient and worldly yet contemporary, refined and healthy cuisine, merging flavours and aromas to create exciting and inventive dishes with a combination of ancient ingredients. KOKS holds two Michelin stars and is one of the first restaurants to have been recognised in 2020 under the new Michelin Sustainability Awards.
September 23 will be the moment to set out in “pursuit of culinary perfection” with chef Yong Wu Nagahira from the Ikigai Restaurant (Madrid). Born in Paris with Chinese and Japanese roots, he interprets a highly personal fusion between gastronomies using his creations to express the coming together of his life experiences through Japanese, French and Spanish cuisine. The dinner will reflect his fresh and relaxed proposal, rounded off with a sweet touch thanks also to participation of the chef and pastry cook from the Basque Culinary Center, Cristina Lirola.
The last dinner will be led by three promising young chefs: Lara Rodríguez, from the Kraken restaurant (Gijón), will play with her imagination and her own daring culinary style, which combines Asturian cuisine with other cuisines from around the world, to prepare highly visual dishes. At her side, chef Antonio Belotti, from Casa 887 (San Sebastián), will return to the kitchens that were once his school to showcase his current creations, based on sensitivity, the finest local produce, the utmost in traditional processes and truly authentic recipes. And he will do it alongside another young talent: the sommelier Lucía Fuentes Rodríguez, owner of 40josWines, who will accompany the dinner with a select pairing of craft wines expressing the potential of her land (Cadiz), the perfect match for the delicious menu bringing a close to the eleventh edition of Culinary Zinema.
The dinners have been designed according to strict Covid-19 security and hygiene norms. The number of guests has also been adapted to current regulations, and the tables will be composed according to bookings while respecting the recommended social distance.