Pedrito Sánchez wins over the Reale Madrid Fusión auditorium with an explanation of how he operates his 45 m2 restaurant, Bagá.
Whereas Guillaume Sanchez was surprisingly short on words in the last talk of the morning, preferring to concentrate on the cooking, Pedrito Sánchez did just the opposite. He showed some of his exquisite delicacies – horn-of-plenty mushrooms in squid’s ink had many a mouth drooling – but his main theme was how a restaurant with a surface area of only 45 square metres could be run successfully. “And that includes the two lavatories”, Pedrito remarked in reference to the Bagá restaurant in Jaén.
A restaurant that looks more like a perfectly ordinary house than this haute cuisine eatery. “All this is ten times bigger than Bagá, with ten times the equipment”, said Sánchez. Bagá has no direct-heat hobs, only induction plates, and he uses fewer and fewer cooking stocks because “they take up too much space”. Everything has to be measured out. Bagá sits twelve patrons, and “nothing is thrown out”. “We strive to be happy and different. And that space makes the difference”, claims the Jaén chef, who embarked on this adventure because he had no wish to take on a mortgage. Pedrito told those present this was a good option for young cooks who want to start out with their own place. “But it’s a big risk, and it went the right side of well for us”, he went on as he worked on lettuce cooked with peas, musing on his gastronomy.
“I don’t know what fake cooking is, or real cooking either”, he added. “I like eating stewed oxtail and chips, but it bores me to cook it”, said the Bagá chef, a comment met with applause from the auditorium.
“Sometimes you can cook normal food better at home than in the restaurant, like potato tortilla, for instance”, he added. More applause. Pedrito showed his audience some cured tomatoes, the water he uses after cooking Motril langoustines, frozen to be used at a later date.
And those wild mushrooms rounded off with squid’s ink. “We do something odd. We haven’t invented anything. Traditional cuisine, but in a different way”, he said before leaving the stage.