Standing on the shoulders of giants
Back in 2002, when we still had many more questions than answers, Raimundo García del Moral, Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Granada, invited us into his laboratory to show us how the liver works.
We wanted to understand what exactly determined the quality of foie gras so we could perfect what we offered at Mugaritz. Thanks to our work with García del Moral, we demonstrated that naturally fed ducks store fat in the liver in small nuclei. When the liver is cooked, it renders a higher quality and more stable foie gras than industrial force-fed ducks.
One year later, in November 2003, we presented our findings at “Lo mejor de la gastronomía”, a conference that brings together some of the most discerning palates in Europe. It was the first time a chef and a scientist jointly presented a scientific study at a gastronomic congress. The research also led to an article by García del Moral on hepatic steatosis in the Moulard duck. The article was published in 2005 in the journal of the SEPD, a Spanish organization that studies disorders of the digestive tract.
This experience not only motivated us to create a dozen different foie gras dishes, but also opened our eyes to scientific method.