La Sencilla Desnudez (Juanjo Lopez)
La Sencilla Desnudez (Juanjo Lopez)
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Juanjo López took the lead of La Tasquita de Enfrente (Madrid) 20 years ago. Since that moment, the chef has earned the greatest respect thanks to his honesty, essence and a timelessness luxury understood through his particular point of view. Praised as a custodian of flavour by the best chefs and the most demanding gourmets, he reveals, in first person and with a gastronomic literary voice, the ins and outs of a unique restaurant and the product it offers.
One day, Juanjo López decided to stop the career that made him manage an important insurance company and dedicated himself, in body and soul, to the hospitality industry. He ‘hung up his tie’, replaced the blazer by the chef’s jacket and started to run La Tasquita de Enfrente, the establishment that his father, Serafín López Gaona, opened in Calle de La Ballesta, in Madrid. Two decades later, this restaurant is unique in Spain as a reference for the best chefs and the most demanding gourmets. All of them use to sit at the tables for tasting something so simple and so complicated as it is the best produce treated with the highest respect. ‘When it is in safe hands, a quality produce can become something memorable’, as José Carlos Capel, culinary critic in El País verifies. ‘It is not easy to go out from a restaurant without any objection. But here you can’, Carlos Maribona, responsible of the gastronomic section in ABC for more than 25 years, asseverates.
As Nature Intended is the book published by Montagud Editores where Juanjo López dissects, in first person and with a gastronomic literary voice, the ins and outs of a unique restaurant. In the same vein, he analyses the clues of a chameleon-like industry that suffers the whirlwind from the modern times; and reflects about a magical profession which demands honesty, common sense and love. All of that explained through 11 chapters that, like a base, hold everything that can be found on La Tasquita de Enfrente.
The author reveals his particular perspective to understand and work with the Luxury in the first chapter of the book; and emphasizes at a time the reading goes on in the indispensable Honesty he has with his diners and suppliers. He reflects about the importance of Thought in the kitchen, at the same time that he focuses on how the intimate Magic is a fundamental objective on his restaurant day to day. He stops, for sure, on his Team, and on how he experiments with Wine; and ends up revealing his best kept-secret. That is the Essence, what made him earn, little by little and almost without realising, the greatest respect of the industry, and to be pleased as a custodian of flavour. ‘The years have taught me how important it is to travel light through life, to carry what counts on the inside’, he affirms, as an appetiser.
Likewise, luxury is the central point of the text the publicist and writer Risto Mejide narrates on the foreword of the book. ‘A luxury is somewhat closer to an attitude than something material’, he assesses. ‘It’s being treated well all the time, regardless of who you are and in spite of who you are.’ Because Juanjo López knows, better than anybody, how to be the best of the hosts: he has sat at many tables before tying his apron. ‘Bear in mind as you read this book that the author has eaten in the world’s best restaurants’, affirms Jãvi Antoja, editor-in-chief of the book and of Montagud Editores’ publishing projects. ‘And those world travels are what gives him the authority to… do what he pleases?”.