The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle strikes back: Santiago Lastra “remixes” Peter Gunn as 138 restaurants swap recipes
Last night, chefs and diners the world over took part in the third Gelinaz! Shuffle. 138 restaurants around the globe, from Sydney to Paris, Moscow to New York, Tokyo to Lima, randomly swapped recipes for an eight-course meal without knowing which chef was behind the menu they had to cook.
We were at Carousel, where Santiago Lastra “remixed” the “matrices” of Peter Gunn, chef at Ides in Melbourne. Lastra made a name for himself working at Mugaritz, and was subsequently chosen by René Redzepi of Noma to be project manager of the 2017 Mexican pop-up. His debut restaurant, Kol (which is Spanish for cabbage), is set to open next March in Seymour Street, just around the corner from last night’s dinner.
Known as the “nomadic chef” – he is said to have worked in over 25 countries – Lastra creatively transformed Gunn’s dishes, celebrating his own Mexican heritage as well as the use of British produce, which is set to be the core concept of Kol.
To start, Lastra served up an Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) that incorporated Ides’ baby cos lettuce starter, cooking it into the corn itself. Gunn’s vinegar and red chilli flavours were replaced with habanero peppers and sour ants. A second starter comprised a mussel and roast carrot taco with cabbage leaves; the original dish, of mussels with seablite, was given a Mexican twist. The chef followed it with a chalupa filled with Brussels sprouts and Scottish crab.
A highlight from the menu was the Mole, a marvellous pork neck with aubergine and quince. Served with tortillas inside a fancy bespoke leather holder, this dish was a tribute to the classic Mexican taco al pastor.
At 9.45pm sharp, simultaneously with the other participating restaurants in our time zone, Andrea Petrini – the man behind Gelinaz! – embodied by your writer, dramatically revealed to the guests (and the chef) the author of the original dishes that inspired tonight’s remixes.
The crazy dinner ended with two desserts – a squash sorbet (originally mango in Gunn’s “matrix”) and chocolate with pine cones (from a dark chocolate and wattleseed mousse) – and a round of agave, to the delight of the attendees.
This year’s Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle focused on environmental sustainability, with chefs remaining in their home cities where previously they had travelled around the world to swap restaurants. But it was no less of a special occasion for that; the Shuffle once again proved that there’s so much that can be done to shake up the culture of cuisine and bring diverse restaurants together – all while entertaining and challenging those at the helms.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit the Gelinaz! website here.
Kol, 9 Seymour Street London W1H 7JP, is set to open next March, for further information visit their website here.