How important is simplicity in José Andrés’ cooking?
The most complex of dishes are the ones that are, on paper, pure works of simplicity. I was amazed when many, many, many years ago, I was in Vermont and I saw people eating maple syrup on top of the snow. This was something that went to my notebook of ideas and it took me almost 18 years to finally replicate it into a restaurant environment. We created what we call “Winter Goes Into Spring,” a beautiful ice, shaved like the snow, with beautiful flowers where the spring is already showing up and with the simple maple syrup on top — and some touches of lemon. But I was trying to recreate that moment that I believe is very genuine and very special.
You see, this is pure simplicity. I gave you maple syrup and I gave you ice. Simplicity is very difficult to achieve in cooking, because if you put 10 or 20 ingredients, which you see often, your mouth, your nose, your brain receives so many things that at the end you will say, “I liked it.” You don’t really know why you like it, but when you only play with one, two, three ingredients, the complexity escalates. I love new challenges. I love technique, to bring the best into the products I use. But I also love that story that I always try to tell.