Cuchita Lluch García, President of the Valencian Academy of Gastronomy (AGCV)
The Valencia Academy of Gastronomy celebrates its 10th anniversary promoting the excellent cuisine of this area. It was established to care for the purity of traditions and promote their respectful evolution and modernity. Almost half-way has been done thanks to a good food lover, Cuchita Lluch García, who is radiating joy every time she smiles, and whose efforts are now bearing encouraging fruits. She is always accompanied by leading figures of the stove as Paco Torreblanca, Ricard Camarena, Raul Aleixandre or Quique Dacosta, among others.
They say that gastronomy is the art of cooking good food, and the cook is someone professional for cooking and seasoning food. Are these concise definitions for an art that has been able to mix science and tradition for the delight of many?
They are not concise at all. I think that they are perfect.
Nevertheless, it has been given the image that innovation and science are the pillars of the new gastronomic elite in front of tradition, the same thing happens in craftsmanship. The soup of salted “turrón”, olive oil lollipops… is that really all what has been emerged?
No, not at all, the Haute cuisine is much more than all of that. It is the way to raise our products to the highest level.
In the same way that the artisan makes on his own objects of domestic use and giving them a personal touch, the cook applies his knowledge perfectly on the dish and differently from plate to another. And yet, only recently this constant innovation was going unnoticed for the great public. What has changed?
Thanks to the great projection of our cooks the new ways of cooking are now very known.
The Valencian artisans as well as the cooks have the same problem when selling abroad. The value of the companies and the ignorance of our professionals. How does the Academy work on to solve and improve this situation?
Creating an image about the culture of gastronomy in Comunidad Valenciana and presenting our people in the adequate places and sending them beyond our frontiers, supporting them, disseminating their knowledge through “Guia Repsol” and mainly the national awards of gastronomy. Going all together for the same aim, in which we are known and recognized.
Craftsmanship and gastronomy are strategic sectors. They are able to create wealth and permanent work, but what is needed to make it true?
First, we have to believe in it and then how we would sell it. We always need that proud and to believe in ourselves. We have to work to create that image of brand.
By the way, what do you think about the media over exposure. It is a needed step to democratise the access to elite cuisine and to make the citizens value and be more critic with what they are eating. Or, on the contrary, there is a danger in trivialising the work of many professionals with extensive experience.
I don’t think it trivialises at all. It is a good thing because people always talk about gastronomy. We are what we eat, and it is good to share knowledge in any way.