Guggenheim Bilbao

El Poblet
Chef: Quique Dacosta
Country: Spain
City: 03700 Dénia
Address: Las Marinas, km. 3

The oyster never imagined it would end up being architecture, much less architecture so extravagant that it would be inspired by Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao. The sensible thing would have been to craft a rocky dish that echoed harmonies of the shell, but no, this dish takes on a galactic form and color. Galactic shellfish? Yes, and therein lies the madness: to take something so primitive, so basic, so wild, and give it a look from outer space. How? With titanium. Since when is titanium edible, you might ask? Apparently since now, because the only people dying at El Poblet are the ones that are keeling over from sheer pleasure, and it would seem that in that category there are many… Some swear it’s addictive. Others say it’s an aphrodisiac. What no one argues about is that we find ourselves before a most rare mating of elements. From what ancient recipe book did Quique Dacosta rob this idea? Is it true about the titanium or is it simply a strategy on the chef’s part to demonstrate how far he’s capable of going? True or not, it’s silver and titanium alloy, it shows all the signs, and that in itself is worthy of much merit.
However, if titanium and silver is the oyster, the oyster is also the oyster: warm, meaty, bursting with juices, drowning palates. What preparation does it undergo? It is simply warmed on the grill with a seasoning of juniper, and later dressed with four small cubes of lemon peel. It is placed over a gel made with the oyster itself, along with cockles, vegetables, and water, then gelatinized with aloe vera and lastly, to give it some color, the silver/titanium alloy is applied: a delicious gel that envelops the mollusk. This monumental construction is then crowned with a dried, crunchy version of that same gel that takes on the form of the Guggenheim museum.

The Recipe