The Perfect Dish, A Meal, and The Ingratiating Chef

Perfect beauty on a plate.

The most beautiful and one of the best dishes I had on a recent trip to Mugaritz.  An incredible summer menu whose highlights included herbs in a crispy packet, baby carrots in a sweet mousse, and an ice cream sandwich, though not as good as the ones at the place where this whole lunch actually began. If a perfect stranger invited you to lunch after trying your ice cream sandwiches, what would you say? What if you said yes, and then it was to what just happens to be one of San Sebastián's best restaurants?

Flipping through photos from this impromptu Michelin visit, this was the MVP, the bowl-me-over and don't even think about editing shot. I love the leaves; the creme-fraiche quenelle. The rest of the pictures will come soon/sometime.

During our kitchen visit, Andoni himself was our 'guide.' When I told him it was my 4th trip to his world-number-three restaurant, this chef folded his hands in front of his chest and said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Now if that just don't make you love a world-famous chef, I don't know what will.