The Lively Forest

El Poblet
Cocinero: Quique Dacosta
País: Spain
Localidad: 03700 Dénia (Alicante)
Dirección: Las Marinas, km. 3.
00 34 965784179

It is likely, if not absolutely certain, that this is the undisputed Dish of Year the world over; at the very least it is in our world, since we have tried nothing so worthy of the title or so impressive. However, such an awe-inspiring creation should not surprise anyone–after all, Quique Dacosta, with a 9.5 out of 10, finds himself at the summit of international gastronomy. We could go on: his cuisine is currently one of two or three with the most talent and art found anywhere. In this particular case he manages to join genius and virtuosity by capturing a stunning landscape, very much in keeping with the pattern he has had in recent times. This is a landscape in which nature explodes, not just chromatically, but with regard to aromas and flavors as well. The guest is lost amidst multiple sensations that evoke a walk through the forest; sunrise in a spring forest exuberant with wild fragrances and mineral motifs. The wild mushrooms dominate the dish, along with the Alba white truffle or the black truffle–it is a living image, variable, seasonal–as well as the herbs, thyme and rosemary, the wet forest floor…The woods in the nose, on the palate, in front of our eyes… the countryside itself spreads out before you, reaching its maximum gastronomic semblance in an ensemble of outstanding originality and design. It is a story; a fantasy made into reality.

Quique Dacosta - El Poblet
“The lively forest” (Natural landscapes 2007)

Suggestion is a tool and a way of interpreting cuisine. “The lively forest” represents the aromas, textures and products that we can find on a walk through one of our forests. Enter in.

This dish falls in the category of natural landscapes, a theme from which inspiration and expression found. From this line of work, in 2007, “The lively forest” was born as an icon of this movement in our cuisine. But the first landscape we created at El Poblet was “The Lichen”, in 2000.
It was the first landscape created without having contextualized the idea as such. My friend Santiago Orts, a biologist and someone with whom I continue to work, proposed the original plan for the dish. Working on a project concerning vegetables in their embryonic state (that gave birth in 2003), he proposed me to do a dish in homage to the first earthly vegetable: lichen. But it wasn’t until 2003 when, after much reflection and working along similar lines that we contextualized as a concept “landscapes as a path of inspiration and expression”.

What’s more, “The sands” are a further step made in the realm of edible paper. As it was, back then we used papers to strengthen the flavor of a dish or as a crispy seasoning, whereas in this case we have a semi-solid sauce.

La Receta