Ukraine received a tribute at Madrid Fusión through the chef Ksenia Amber, in charge of closing the international gastronomic summit this Wednesday by cooking a version of the soup ‘borsch’ of his grandmother that, like no other dish, would ever serve the “psychopath” of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Until nine days ago she lived in an Odessa where she has the Slow Piggy barbecue restaurant, but she was evacuated until she reached Spain, where she wants to organize charity meals to raise funds to help her people and assures that Spanish colleagues such as Albert Adrià, David Muñoz and Ricard Camarena.
Amber is part of the movement Chefs for Ukraine, which seeks to employ the country’s cooks in restaurants around the world, as well as organize events with which to raise money for the Ukrainian people.
Like hundreds of thousands of others, he left his family and his job behind because, as he explained: “Some restaurants are working several hours a day, what they can”although in many cases and thanks to the suppliers who are donating food and in collaboration with NGO like the World Central Kitchen of the Spanish José Andrés, they cook for the soldiers and the population that cannot be evacuated, most of them elderly.
The first Ukrainian chef to take the stage at Madrid Fusión wanted to remember her people by preparing a version of the “borscht”a stew with meat, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and beets, a tuber that she substitutes for mushrooms in addition to using fish broth, in a more refined version of the one her grandmother cooked.
He served it with a bowl of sour cream and a loaf of freshly baked bread, as is traditional in his country, where it is often served with cold vodka.
“The ‘borscht’ is in the Ukrainian DNA” Although Russia claims its origin, claimed Amber, who stated that “never” would feed “to the psychopath” Vladimir Putin and expressed his admiration for the president of his country, Volodymyr Zelensky, with whom he was “skeptical” when he was elected, but whose response to the invasion is “proud”.
He does not see the end of the conflict near nor does he know when he will be able to return, but he praised the role that the Ukrainians are playing “launching many initiatives to help refugees and those who have stayed in the country” and thanked “the support and hospitality” received in Spain.
In the purely culinary field, Mario Sandoval, with two Michelin stars in Coque (Madrid), showed his version of marinades born from oblivion: a lunchbox of pickled bream forgotten in the fridge for three weeks, which resulted in “The collagen will gel, concentrate and precipitate, which has all the flavor of fish”.
This collagen together with a dietary fiber and the olive oil from the pickle allows it to make emulsions with which it accompanies pickled fish or, together with mucilage, to make a solid pickle.
The Peruvian Héctor Solís, from Fiesta (Lima), taught the congressmen of Madrid Fusión how to take full advantage of a mere murique, an essential in his restaurant, which evokes the cuisine of the north of his country and is inspired by the ronqueo (cutting). of the tuna
Part of the head, an eye and the cococha goes for a wet rice; the belly for a ceviche, the ribeye for a sudado with vegetables and the cheeks and lips for a chupe, a stew that contains milk, cheese, potatoes and peas.
It was a closing day of the twentieth edition of Madrid Fusión with famous contests, such as the Best Ham Croquette in the World, which this year brought together six previous winners to choose the “champion of champions”which was Miguel Carretero’s in Santerra (Madrid), or the pickled one, which was won by Carlos García, from La Cocina de Frente, also in the capital.