Man does not live by cooking alone. He also fills canvases, since he is a plastic artist; he devours stories, since he considers himself an inveterate reader since he was a child; he portrays moments, with that camera that always goes in the direction of urban surprises; and, above all, he observes-like the time he saw his cat stalking a Mexican grackle-and then writes-the microstory cat and bird.
Not only to the above is the life of Adrián Herrera reduced. If so, it would be putting aside his status as a television celebrity thanks to his participation as a judge in masterchef, reality show in which several amateur chefs compete to show that a hobby can be endowed with professionalism and quality.
But what does the chef think of this recognition? “I hate it“, reply, “but finally I was the one who decided to get on television. You become a public figure and now you have to be more accessible; I have no problem with that, I just try not to do it so often, nor am I going to be exhibiting myself at all hours so that they come to me to take a picture.
Photo: Instagram @chefherrera
Herrera says the above because he considers himself “a recluse, i don’t like to go out on social issues”. And he highlights that the pandemic gave him freedom-“more time to do things that he already did: I kept cooking, reading, taking pictures and writing”-, without leaving aside all the negative aspects of the health crisis.
Without waiting for the muse
For the activity that elevated James Joyce, Adrián Herrera always carries a notebook and fountain pen; prefer to write by hand than on keyboards. You also need a high dose of pre-reading to get stimulated. “I was reading the classic stories of O. Henry and one triggered a very spontaneous creative process in me, I stopped reading and started writing. Nor should you wait for the muse to arrive”, he comments.
The writer has polished his wording in MILLENNIUM, where he has been a columnist for 17 years. Regarding his arrival in the media, he says that it was thanks to the texts that he sent by email to the list of subscribers of his restaurant: “The director of the newspaper at that time read it and said: ‘I like the approach you have, I would like you to start writing in the newspaper’, and that’s how I started”.
But the beginning of the ‘romance’ between Herrera and literature occurred many years before this list and fountain pens: when he was a child, in the library that his mother inherited from his grandfather, he found the complete tales of the great American necromancer: Edgar Allan Poe.
“I got into my fifth year of primary school and I had horrible nightmares… Terror, the morbid, the dark, have always caught my attention. By sixth grade I had already read all of Poe’s stories, that was what marked me the most. There isn’t a story that I don’t know, I keep rereading them”, recalls the creator, who, when asked about the literary character with whom he most identifies, points to the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh.
Violence is inherent in our species, affirms the Chef, who likes to consume, analyze and reinterpret – sometimes in his paintings, sometimes in his texts – this propensity for conflict. “I just saw a video of the narco, I still haven’t recovered: they open a guy’s chest with a knife and his lung is coming out of the chest cavity,” he narrates.
But this type of horror is not new, it has always existed; it is enough to remember the “terrifying descriptions” that Bernal Diaz del Castillo registered in The true history of New Spain. “Mexico is a country that was born from horror, blood, violence, and that will never be taken away from us, it is one of the surreptitious veins that feed us”.
Cover of his book ‘Fuck you in hell’ | Special
Regarding the way in which we sublimate this closeness to horror and death, he mentions that “the issue is trying to access the underlying aesthetic of the macabre, of violence, what it is, how to configure it, how to express it in organic terms.”
“We potentially have a nuclear war coming up in Ukraine, in Russia and you say, ‘Wow, this connection to the past,’ with Bradbury seeing imminent self-destruction, a nuclear apocalyptic nightmare. And you say: ‘This is being repeated’. Maybe he already saw what was going to happen, maybe we were always on track.”
Assuming that conflict is a historical constant, Adrián assures that “we will never live in a Garden of Eden, there will always be a madman who unleashes chaos; I think that in one of those situations where our finger slips and the button gets stung, it’s enough. As long as we have the ability to keep everything in constant tension, we’re gone another fifty years.”
“The ego feeds on the likes”
One cannot speak of the media impact of the one born in Texas in 1969 – but more royal than Carnes Ramos – without mentioning MasterChef and social networks. The latter allow him to show other facets beyond the kitchen, and he likes what he gets in return: “The ego feeds on likes. I think we are a gregarious society that has a tendency to learn by copying, and social networks all they do is feed a little the way we are naturally, there is nothing wrong.
Although he clarifies that his quality as an Internet user is in pursuit of generating something “useful, debatable, profitable”, not to feed “things that do not make any sense”, which unfortunately is the bulk of what is seen on these platforms.
“There is one of its big problems: how to understand and discern this behavior that is often absurd, people who take too much care in saying stupid things or being inconsistent in terms of content, or that do not even have content; those influencers who post minimalist nonsense like ‘Today I feel confused’, and a million likes but there’s nothing behind it”.
After this reflection, Herrera adds that anyone within a social network is “looking to be seen, to be heard. So, I think that the fact of wanting to be seen and heard necessarily implies that there is a surreptitious message, there is an obvious message. In my case, I transmit my personality, my way of seeing things and my philosophy”.
And what elements make up the personality and the way of seeing things that he shares with his followers? “I have a very complete daily life, very round, very interesting, that’s why I don’t like parties or crowded places. I, who am a good cook, make lunch, dinner, my snacks, I also have knowledge of wines and spirits, I make meals with friends and families, I go out to photograph, I make watercolors of my own stories, I listen to music, I perform it, I have a huge library… I don’t need more, my daily ambitions are complete and I don’t need to be looking for more strange things, absurd adrenalines, extramarital erotic adventures, things I don’t need, that’s not my profile”.
against organic food
Journalist Michael Polland claims that processed products are not food, they are edible substances designed and manufactured by industry. That food has been lost in the human process. And the chef could not be more against it: “We can’t go back to the Neolithic and try to eat like our great-grandparents ate, we have to adapt to technology.”
“I think that the avant-garde cuisine movement, wrongly called molecular cuisine, made it very clear that we had to learn to live with this technology, with this science behind food to improve its quality and feed the population. larger number of people. And of course there are mistakes, carcinogenic elements, excesses or whatever you want, but at the same time there are great successes. It is not to go melancholy to past times, that of ‘All past time was better’ is not true; we live better than before and we have to learn to resolve the conflicts that this technology has brought us”Herrera adds.
Photo: Instagram @chefherrera
Later, attacks organic food and the belief that its consumption reduces the damage to the planet: “They are buying a label, a way of life that they don’t understand, they are buying a concept that they have no idea where it came from or what they are trying to save. There are so many different approaches that they don’t know how to agree.”
“They have never been to the field, they don’t know how the plants grow, how they are harvested, what the workforce is, what the labor problems are, how that food is processed, how it gets to the supermarket, the fights that the producers have with the supermarket that doesn’t pay them… It’s such a complex line, with so many variables, that when these asshole hipsters arrive to say: ‘Oh yes, I only buy organic,’ they have no idea of reality, they are ignorant,” he snaps.
It is not chili from a single mole
Adrián reveals his main problem in the creative context is that “I am seen more as a cook and part of the show business for appearing on television, the literary part that corresponds to me is not associated, there is a short circuit at the level of perception”.
To reverse this situation, he is translating his stories into English: “I’m going to take them to the United States, Canada, anywhere to try my luck.”
“If you tell me I’m a chef, photographer or writer, I understand, but don’t try to pigeonhole me into that nomenclature because then we fall into a system of confusion. We are exponentially creative beings without labels!“, He says. ANDit is evident that It is not chili from a single mole.
In collaboration with Alenka Rios
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Reference from www.milenio.com