A historic figure returns to the vibrant streets of Madrid after nine years in Panama. Andrés Madrigal's cuisine is a free-spirited blend of international influences with a Mediterranean Provençal foundation. Because origin and ideology don't matter: a dish is either good or not.
As Gualtiero Marchesi used to say, there are only two types of cuisine: the good and the bad. Now, Andrés Madrigal reinforces this old statement with his recent return to Spain for the opening of Per Se in Madrid, after nine years in Panama and a stint at La Unica.
Almost twenty years have passed since he closed his famous Balzac restaurant, but it left a deep mark on his cuisine, which has not lost its consistency. The name on the signboard boldly proclaims that Madrigal will only do what he enjoys. He still takes pleasure in cooking, arriving in the kitchen at 7 in the morning to start the stocks and set the mood, like a love-struck lover.
"I would like to see a return to discussing Andrés, my entire gastronomic journey. Certainly, Balzac is the place where I received the most love and affection," he recalls with emotion in an interview with La Razon. His unmistakable style blends here with the legacies of his Latin American experience, without betraying his typical Mediterranean and Provençal touch. It's a "renewed traditional cuisine," as the chef defines it, "a kilometer from Chueca," named after the neighborhood where the restaurant is located, whose merchants provide wonderful products. Because, as mentioned earlier, there are only two types of cuisine: the good and the bad. "The important thing is that it lingers in your mind for 2-3 days after tasting it."
The restaurant accommodates only 36 covers, with well-spaced tables and trained waitstaff. The artisanal tableware is signed by Valle Garcia, who also has a corner for display. It's as if it's an additional connection between the cuisine and the land. The tasting menu is titled "Cravings, Appetite, and Hunger," priced at 110 euros and featuring 13 courses.
Then there's the "Sin Latitud" menu, where numerous influences from experiences abroad, whether in Asia, Africa, or especially Latin America, can be found. As a Spanish saying goes, "You are where you graze, not where you were born." But many regulars simply give Andrés complete freedom, confident that he will always satisfy them.
Photos from Chef's website