“It seems a contradiction but although we have a kitchen more developed than ever and with more possibilities than ever, we have forgotten a lot of wild resources that offer a range of possibilities never dreamed.” Evarist March is a botanist in training, although he prefers to define himself as a gastrobotanist due to his specialization in the use of wild plant resources, such as plants and mushrooms, in the world of cooking.
For the past six years he has been part of the restaurant team with three Michelin stars El Celler de Can Roca (Girona) and for several courses he has been sharing with the students of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management (MCAKM) and Máster en Artes Culinarias y Dirección de Cocina (MACDC) of the University School of Hospitality and Tourism of Sant Pol de Mar (EUHT StPOL) their knowledge about fungi, mushrooms and wild plants.
“In the sessions I teach the students some plants that, although they can be grown, are in the field and are a product of proximity completely fresh and much healthier,” says March. In a season of mushroom abundance like few others, March and the students have gone to the forest to know a world that “some students are close but for others it is totally unknown”, he says. With the basket full of mushrooms – “we found between 30 and 40 species of mushrooms without effort and very close to the School”, he admits – they enter the classroom to end the session with theoretical concepts about the application of botany in the kitchen. “We can take fennel and make a smoothie, a foam or an air and all with the same plant that we have used all our lives and that is next to home,” adds March. And he concludes: “What most surprises the students is the great diversity of natural environments that are close to the School – cliffs, dunes, sea, forest, rivers – which allows us to find both seaweed, wild plants and mushrooms, and this is a luxury that is found in a few places”.
Experts and great chefs in the teaching team of the master
Together with Evarist March, experts and chefs of renowned prestige and trajectory such as Víctor Quintillà, chef of Lluerna restaurant; o Jaume Drudis, chef at the Bruixes de Burriac restaurant at the Gran Claustre Hotel in Altafulla, is part of the teaching team of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management (MCAKM) and Máster en Artes Culinarias y Dirección de Cocina (MACDC) of the University School of Hospitality and Tourism of Sant Pol de Mar (EUHT StPOL).