Borek Sípek. Designer. Prague, 1949


(Someone who understands and appreciates fine food and drink)
There are some architects who will eat anything which is put in front of them. There are architects who will search for the food which pleases them. There are also architects who combine the above and go one step further; they cook themselves and, in doing so, analyse, experiment and embrace cuisine as an essential love affair with life. Oscar Tusquets may be listed in the last category. He went so far as to create the ultimate architectural environment in which to savour the delights of the good food with which his lovely wife Victoria seduced him as well as the enthusiastic patrons of her restaurant Azulete in Barcelona. / This might be regarded as a battle between two creative spirits but one that ended in a draw, although some bold customers might tip the balance in favour of Victoria and her kitchen. Unfortunately it no longer exists in the same constellation, but yours truly and many friends will forever uphold the memory of evenings spent in the most congenial surroundings (thanks to Oscar) saturated by the culinary and lovingly caring ministrations of Victoria. / On one of these occasions Tusquets and I embarked on a discussion about Japanese cuisine which could bear the title “Is Japanese cuisine Art or Knowledge?” in which Oscar Tusquets firmly stated (no doubt supported by several glasses of excellent Spanish wine) that it came down to Knowledge. That of ingredients, processes, and their inherent cultural culinary history. With all its minimalism and often expensive details (our Japanese cookbook advises the pouring of a bottle of Sake down the sink while brushing the edges of a fringed leek), Oscar was unable to accept Japanese cooking as Art. To make something exciting and unexpected from a potato was his definition of culinary creativity. It isn’t the rarity or the price of the ingredients that makes the dish exceptional, but the insight and imagination of the cook, which transfigure the most lowly materials into a culinary work of art. While admiring Japanese minimalism in all aspects, I share with Tusquets a love of Burgundian excess which is essentially European and which, in my opinion, Oscar Tusquets has translated into his own specific language. He has embraced minimalism in a typical European fashion and made it his own unmistakable style. That of… Bon Goût… good taste.