Under the shelter of a stoic oak tree, Mugaritz set off. Inspired by the force with which this tree grows on the border between Astigarraga and Errentería, 200 years after its seed touched the ground, we embraced its bark and climbed up its trunk until we reached the top and raised there, among the branches that interconnect our deepest passions, memories, talents and illusions, a space dedicated to living creativity.
More than twenty years of work have helped us to understand creativity not so much as a noun associated with a specific culinary style, but as a verb, as a way of thinking and of inhabiting the time that we have to incarnate. Cooking a creative proposal, in that sense, is not for us the same as thinking creatively. And that is exactly what we want: to combine the learning, the knowledge and the inspirations that we macerate in ways of addressing the complexity or the challenge to provide alternative views.
It is clear that we do not define creativity in the same way as before, but we do insist on thinking creatively, either when we make a dessert with cod that is not a dessert, when we prepare the staging of an interdisciplinary performance, when we prepare guidelines for a healthy diet to face diseases such as cancer, when we develop a product or when we structure a manual to ferment ideas. Food has always been an excuse. Our best excuse. Extrapolating what we have learned from botany, biology, anthropology, or other scientific and cultural contexts, we will translate references into experiences that are not always tangible or edible.
“The important thing is not how creative you are in Mugaritz, but the capacity you have to make others creative”, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio told us one day, and since then we have endeavoured to advance together with our affections and accomplices on paths that lead to opening the mind and not just the mouth.
In this sense, Mugaritz opens the doors of the imagination in an exercise of resilience. Making creativity the best showcase to exercise muscles so necessary in problem solving as curiosity, fluidity or flexibility as well as the ability to think “outside the box” or refound ourselves, or as useful skills to solve a riddle, an everyday problem or even to reinvent ourselves in times of pandemic – and those to come.
So, we invite you to climb up to the top of our oak tree and spend some time with us in this other house: through different testimonies and dynamics of interaction, we will insist – if you let us and if not – on “transforming uncertainty into creativity”.