El Bohío

Gazpacho toledano con dos tomates
Pepe Rodríguez
Pays: Spain
Localité: 45200 Illescas (Toledo)
Adresse: Avda. Castilla-La Mancha, 81
(+34) 925511126
Jours de fermeture: Sundays, Monday nights and August
Prix à la carte: 75/120 €
Prix menu de dégustation: 49 y 85 €

Pepe Rodríguez has conquered all LMG awards: Cook of the year, Confectioner of the year, … and now, to everyone’s surprise, Techno of the year. Who would have predicted it… The man who used to escape from rules and fashions in the last few years to claim the reinvention of tradition has boggled us all with the techniques he uses for the tasting menu. This doesn’t mean that Pepe stopped from being that reflexive and perfectionist man we all know, that cook who enjoys stewing and focussing on the guest. He is obviously as mature as before and goes on considering the landscape and the people from his land, which are talentedly and evolutionarily painted on a solid basis. Some of his great and timeless dishes prove it, such as the clairvoyant and triumphal “old clothes” with stew broth: an hymn to humility and to traditional flavours. Or like the constant and renewed versions of the garlic soup, which keeps all its essences and is wisely refined and garnished, regardless of the accompaniments. Like the universal and insatiable callos a la madrileña (typical tripe dish from Madrid) he makes like nobody else. And like so many other proposals that come and go on the menu depending on the chef’s mood: potatoes with ribs, confited and marinated pork ear, roasted grouse with foie gras truffles and juice made of the bird’s livers… These are all evidences of the archangelic will of evolution that characterizes the chef. This style now cohabits with a completely different one. When Diego Rodríguez, Pepe’s brother, head waiter and enfant terrible, came to our table after two brilliant appetizers –salad of carrot strips, presented like a new kind of crudités, with fresh anchovies impregnated with a hint of vinegar, and crumbs served with egg and salted sardine, utterly succulent– and came out with one of his usual provocative words: “I hope you don’t think that all the dishes will be like this. Forget it, because the chef has become techno, now”. “What are you saying? That is a bit old fashioned”. After one minute, he came back and sang: “Cheese, truffle, lime and curry”. And so arrived the first element of what we could call the new nouvelle cuisine castillane from TecnoBohío. And the following dishes confirmed the renewed philosophy of the house: refreshing gazpacho from Toledo with two tomatoes, an iced green one on the top and a crushed red one on the bottom of the plate. After that arrived some seafood (scallops, cockles, octopus, …) served with an eloquent seaweed and apple juice that rimed with vivid flavours. The chopped tuna spiced with salty products, vegetables and jellies was synonymous with modern touches and Mediterranean aftertastes. Many balanced contrasts that preserve the identity of each element of the dish: this is what we find in the salad of boletus edulis, pork chin, roses and almonds. This was followed by a humble and victorious stew of renewed old flavours: cod with potatoes and leek. The version of the pisto manchego (La Mancha-style ratatouille) has got the original taste of the dish, but is served with a completely different presentation. The tomatoes shine like the sun, here. In this land of reinvention of popular cuisine where Pepe feels like an angel in the sky, numerous proposals impress the guests’ mind, like the ingenious, almost unbelievable tomato salad with turnip over fantastic stew broth garnished with chickpeas. If you didn’t exist, the world would miss something! The red mullets with spicy soup and majestic Irish lamb filet accompanied by green mustard and cucumber were delicious, both for the exquisiteness and doneness of the meat and for the contrasts, very pertinent and perfectly expressed. Desserts are a real must of the house. Don’t leave the place without tasting the lime, citrus and green tea pearls and the very orthodox spiced chocolate with coffee!