Chef stokes fire of cuisine war with call for ingredients

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Chef Santamaría is calling on his contemporaries to specify ingredients used in their dishes to prove that food served in restaurants are healthy.

27 May 2008

MADRID - The so-called "war of the burners" took a new twist yesterday, as chef Santi Santamaría called on his contemporaries to specify the ingredients used in their dishes on restaurant menus.

The comments came after Santamaría criticised what he called "showbiz cuisine" last week, saying that some chefs served food that "not even they would eat".

The outspoken comments by Santamaría, who has just published a book titled La cocina al desnudo (or cooking laid bare), drew a barrage of criticism. However, that didn't stop him from levelling more sideswipes at certain chefs.

"What do we want, a Mediterranean diet with fresh produce or chemical additives?" the chef asked the press Monday.

Santamaría has been particularly critical of Ferran Adriá, who owns El Bulli, a restaurant with three Michelin stars and is a proponent of emulsifiers, gels and foams in his dishes.

"When the food industry is obliged by law to inform consumers of ingredients and additives," Santamaría said, "is it excessive to fight for the public's right to receive information about the additives that are used in dishes in some restaurants?"

The chef announced that the profits from his book would go to a multiple sclerosis foundation and a consumer rights group.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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