David Muñoz: 'My cuisine is a way of being and understanding life'

David Muñoz: "My cuisine is a way of being and understanding life"

09/17/2014 - Of fine -not delicate- appearance, David Muñoz (Madrid, 1980) hides inside a great mind that catches you trough his speech, seamless solid, bright and intelligent. Muñoz, l'enfant terrible of Spanish cuisine, transgressive and revolutionary, perfect icon for foodies, just moved his DiverXo Restaurant in Madrid -the only with three Michelin stars in the city- to a much wider space located in the NH Eurobuilding Hotel. Here is an excerpt from the interview with this chef, published in Mercacei Magazine 80 at the Gourmet Experience section.

No one better than David Muñoz to discuss its own cuisine. How do you define it? Is it the best mirror of your personality or does David Muñoz transform at the stove?

No, it's my reflection; I think that it is inseparable. I don't have a plan. I just do things. This is much more natural in the development of my work in the kitchen. I just cook and let it flow. I'm the same guy inside and outside my kitchen. The way I cook is a way of being and of understanding life: intense, creative, risky and sometimes very aggressive in its forms and results, different, radical, always playing in the razor's edge. And all this, in the end, is inadvertently embodied in my dishes.

Let's talk about olive oil. What kind of relationship does David Muñoz have with extra virgin olive oil and what role does EVOO play in your kitchen?
However well-travelled and modern is DiverXo's cooking, I was born in Madrid, I have mediterranean DNA and in my house we have always cooked with olive oil. My roots and my culture play a key role in developing my cuisine. We do not impose ourselves any limitation and we do use different fats when cooking, but I would say that 80% of my cuisine is linked to olive oil. When we speak of a free speech cuisine, as we like to describe DiverXo, the only product that we repeat in most of our recipes is olive oil.

In your opinion, what would be the best way to educate consumers and promote the culture of extra virgin olive oil?
I think that the work that it's been done in relation to olive oil is good. I'm not saying it can't be improved, but there are nowadays many initiatives that promote and inform about olive oil. As with most cultural issues, everything should start at the base. If we look back, the way we use and speak about olive oil has nothing to do, we are a lot more careful.

There are supermarket brands and department stores as well as small producers already showing interest in educating the consumer, wich is reflected in large ranges of EVOOs of different varieties and even in their promotions. This is probably the starting point for the population to value this product.

By the way, what do you think about the new legislation that requires non-refillable bottles of olive oil in the Horeca channel?
It seems very well to me, and I think it is necessary if we want to praise, exalt and give value to olive oil. And I take the example of wine or any other product that has certain properties depending on which region it comes from, what variety it is, what type of extraction has been done to it... What surprises me is that we have taken so long to get to this point, to realize that having a bottle of olive oil as if it were the salt of the table was an aberration. Obviously, as a consumer, I have the right to know what olive oil I'm about to taste. I'm all in favour and I think we should have done this a long time ago.

In addition, this will help to prevent olive oil from fraud, which is one of the problems inherent in a product that, I repeat, is living culture of Spain and not of other countries, although some of them have jumped on the bandwagon. Occasionally, we need to be a bit chauvinistic in Spain and defend olive oil much more than we do, precisely to avoid the intrusion not only of other brands, but from other countries.

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