About the book:
Muina is a general concept that encapsulates what I am and what I offer. It enables the creative process to be viewed as a journey to the source of things, to their roots, allowing their true potential to be developed fully through the description of rounded, complete and pleasurable sensations. This is what Muina holds: a very personal representation of the world and the reality that surrounds me. Acceptance, specification and loyalty to a series of values lead me to follow the same path constantly, never straying from it. It is the determination to share knowledge, research, projects, life experiences and emotions.
Everybody has their way of seeing things, and this tends to be a combination of influences, developments in their life and personal experiences, their acquisition of knowledge, and the curiosity they feel. Josean has his own way, and he means Nerua to be the perfect vehicle for conveying it.
The Nerua project provides an outlet for the talent and sensitivity of an exceptional chef, in order for Josean to be able to express his personal and particular view of cuisine; a way for him, through his successes and errors, to create a personal language and a different style of cooking that is not caught up in fashions, while allowing him to be influenced by the times without losing the essence of who he is, in the knowledge that developing his own message is a process in constant evolution and with results that are far from certain. He is ultimately aware that it is the most difficult road to take.
Publisher: Montagud Editores
Publication Date: 2013
Language: Bilingual: Spanish/English
Size: 150 x 215mm
About the author:
Even at a young age, Josean Alija already knew he wanted to be a chef. He saw that a chef had the ability to seduce the palate and the heart, and that a chef makes people happy.
He entered culinary school at 14 in his native Leòn, Spain, and soon found himself staging at the epicenter of modern gastronomy at El Bulli under chef Ferran Adrià. Josean started working in the kitchens of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in late 1998. In the year 2000, when his cuisine was starting to take shape, a motorcycle accident left him in a coma for 21 days, on the brink of death. He awoke, but without the senses of taste nor smell—the essential tools of any chef. He had to learn how to taste things again, to recognize flavors and aromas.
While he was still recovering from the consequences of the accident, he took part in the Best Young Chef competition, a motivation to restore his passion. “My success in that competition took me back into the profession; thanks to this award I felt I was a chef again—a feeling that I had lost along with my senses of taste and smell,” he shares.
Now, as chef of Nerua at the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Josean has refined his craft and pushed the boundaries of modern Spanish cuisine, which balances innovation with centuries of tradition. He puts ordinary ingredients on a pedestal—and on simple, white plates—and conjures from them minimalist masterpieces, earning him the title “master of minimalist cuisine.” Nerua received its first Michelin star and 3 suns from the Repsol Guide in 2011 and sits on the 55th spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.