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Chef Ángel León, at the presentation of his ‘masterclass’ for the ‘Imperfectxs’ project at Cervezas 1906.
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His relatives repeat that when the chef angel len ((Jerez de la Frontera, Cdiz, 1977) introduces himself, defines himself as someone “imperfect”. He, committed to promoting the consumption of food grown with seawater, such as algae, halfilas and seagrasses, takes it further and even declares itself “unsustainable”. “Don’t ask me what sustainability is because I have no idea”, jokes the so-called chef of the sea. But things change if you ask him about nature, as reflected in The garden of the seathe master class who stars for Imperfectxs: Gastronomy for an immense minoritythe project promoted by Cervezas 1906 in which it expresses its commitment to regeneration and biodiversity, the same that is lived in every corner of its great gastronomic adventure, aponientein Puerto de Santa Mara, with three Michelin stars and a reopening that is about to fall.

Do you think that people are now more sensitive to messages like yours, that we must promote the consumption of food grown with sea water to the scarcity of fresh water on the planet?
I think there is more and more sensitivity. I think people are becoming more and more aware. I don’t know if it’s a conscience based on a lot of sensationalism, but I don’t care: in the end, people have a conscience. I don’t know if they have it very superficially but they have a conscience, but they have it. When I talked about my ideas 16 years ago, when I opened Aponiente and served what no one ate from the sea, customers would get up. They felt insulted because I gave them the fish that nobody wanted. To this day I say to myself “damn, what happened to us. People now come here, to the Port of Santa María, to the restaurant, to eat those proteins. On top of that they pay me. And on top of that they understand the added value that work has we are doing. Therefore I understand that we are in a society in which something has changed.
Before, our grandparents ate the head of the fish and we looked at them strangely… And then you discover the wisdom they treasured.
In the end it is as easy as looking at nature with hunger. It is that we have stopped looking at nature with hunger. We only want to select from nature the whims of the human being. And no, no, no. If you look at nature with hunger, you find a lot of things that you never thought you could eat.
Exchange demand for interest?
Definitely.
Calcined halfias plants from Aponiente.
Calcined halfias plants from Aponiente.

How is the illusion trained?
Uff. Well look, the illusion has its great days and its low days. But I do believe that illusion is the gasoline that makes you move. Dreams are what make you get up when the ship falls on you. In the end, I think that when you have been used to always going against everything, there comes a time that even turns you on. You don’t suffer so much anymore. And, in fact, he has balls, but suddenly, when I find a comfort zone, or a moment of comfort, I did not last very long. Because I don’t feel comfortable anymore. I want to feel uncomfortable. Or that they read me uncomfortable. Because I understand that if you do avant-garde, it hurts. Really, if you’re comfortable, if everyone likes everything, I think you’re not doing avant-garde.
The sword of Damocles of profitability… Does it also serve as a boost or better if it stops threatening?
I dream that everything was much more standardized in that aspect but in the end you have to dedicate a lot of resources to maintain all this. And hey, it also keeps us from getting bourgeois. It makes us always keep in mind the reality of life: today you have three Michelin stars but tomorrow they will take them all away and you will be left naked. That’s why I cultivate my family, my friends, my truth. I am a guy who has it clearer than water. The values ​​of my life are very clear and I think that if I lost the three stars I would look happy in a beach bar frying fish, man. And that makes you very strong. Because it is not a tragedy. Nothing. I’m here, let’s enjoy it. I am a very enjoyable guy and, of course, I am grateful for everything that has happened to me in life and may I be struck by lightning, which, by God, I cannot complain about. But I think I’m ready for that. There are many people who say “Quillo, what a success, what a success!”. But no, forgive me. The success of each is so variable. My sister, for example, has been a psychopath studying industrialists. And there came a time when, she did not stop studying, that she had no life. Well don’t tell me how the fuck my sister, to this day, she makes bracelets. She sells bracelets. A person who was a psychopath and had a huge job at Abengoa. I left everything. He cut off and said “I’m good at this. I’m happy.” And that is not easy.
Harmonize with yourself…
Completely. Life. To live it, which is two days.

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