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Bañezano of the year

The Golden Bean award is one of the most highly-anticipated events held in the town of La Bañeza. This year it will be awarded to José Gordón, making him La Bañeza’s Personality of the Year for 2018. As part of the celebrations, the local newspaper El Adelanto Bañezano will publish a special edition to commemorate the occasion. Representatives of the local government as well as friends of the restaurant and of Jose have written some wonderful texts for the occasion, which can all be read in El Adelanto; here we include a comment by Santos Bregaña, who has created many of the beautiful things that surround us, including this website. Thank you, Santos, and Marcos Toro of Byte Factory, for all the care and affection you have put into this work.

 

This is the text of Santos:

“When I met José Gordón, the first thing that surprised me was his underground world, the world of clay caves in Jiménez de Jamuz, and I remembered that the name of Adam, the first man, means “made from clay” in reference to his divine origin; manufactured by God from the earth itself. That atavistic, ancient, powerful force that permeates the universe of El Capricho and José’s work with the ox is a value you can see in José’s gaze. This place could have been Eden and José the first man; time seems to have stopped and a slowness fills the aromatic fields as if it were always the present day, without a past or future. I sit opposite José in his house, after an unforgettable feast of meat, and I try to find out how we are going to collaborate; my job is to make stories from objects and images, but here the story that he tells me is so genuine that it is easy to set the narrative mechanisms in motion, as delicately as an archaeologist with a brush, uncovering this underground treasure. There is no need to fiddle with marketing to cover the truth in order to do business, because this is a genuine place. People come from all over the world, attracted by its authenticity, which can be seen in the marbling of the unforgettable meat from oxen that have grazed harmoniously over the years in these same lands, and which are served up as food for the gods. That marbling is an organic labyrinth; it is life drawn as an internal tattoo on the animal’s soul.

 

This project of José’s is somehow his portrait; it is a maze where he is a friendly Minotaur who gathers around him travellers from near and far, as they seek this authentic experience, a flavour that emanates from ancient knowledge which no chef could achieve in the cooking alone: the slow, sweet daily preparation of happy animals, found like treasures in the remotest parts of Galicia, Portugal and Asturias. Bless this house where the last of the ancients can still meet, at the heat of the fire of José Gordón and his beautiful Ariadne. This award is completely well-deserved.”