The “Nouvelle” is Alive

By Andre Gayot


Creator of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement Christian Millau
Christian Millau
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Dia, gastronomic critic Christian Millau, who in 1973 established the rules of the “Nouvelle Cuisine,” assures that this movement is still alive.
Millau affirms that 35 years after the creation of this movement, pioneering chefs like Joel Robuchon continue this cooking style that once competed with the showiness and decoration of the French tradition. 
Millau, who, in November 2008, received the International Prize of “The Best of Gastronomy,” considers “Nouvelle Cuisine” present in kitchens all over the world and what Ferran Adrià has done is “something else;” he has brought his creativity to the highest levels. 
  However, he believes that this “genius” has not created a movement. Many cooks have only really copied what Adrià has done and this represents a problem for Millau. The critic defines Adrià as “a racecar that you couldn’t cart your family around with” and says that Adrià, together with Berasatuegui and Arzak, are “unique.” Nevertheless, he emphasizes the importance that, besides these cooks in Spain, there are many others there who do extraordinary work, thanks to the quality of the products that are available in that country.  With respect to the Michelin guide, which each year proves itself stingy in offering its highest score to Spanish restaurants, Millau points out that the problem is that the guide was created in the twentieth century and appears as a relic of the past. Now its clientele mainly consists of a middle class of a certain age.
  He explains that, on the contrary, the guide that he created together with Henri Gault and Andre Gayot always has looked to the future and the humanity of the establishments more than to the technical perfection of the restaurant. According to Millau, this guide has always presented the Spanish culinary geniuses in a positive light, and especially their pioneer, Ferran Adrià.