Description: Andoni Luis Aduriz is often portrayed as the quiet man of Nueva Cocina. His food is less flamboyant than that of many modern Spanish chefs, and, ostensibly, he is less driven by new technology and kitchen science. But it is all a matter of degree. Aduriz spent two years studying the chemistry of coagulation in order to produce the perfect poached egg. Clearly, he is a chef in possession of a fathomless curiosity and a razor-sharp cutting-edge. "I encourage my team to make an individual effort to explore the origin of everything they touch and transform over fire." Where Aduriz veers away from molecular gastronomy, however, is that this learning and technical wizardry very much plays a support role in the Mugaritz kitchen. From baking carrots in clay and ash to creating "crunchy milk sheets", technique and technology are very much a means to an end. And what is that end? Well, it's about coaxing the best flavour from the ingredients. It's also about paying a creative homage to the natural world. This often involves exploring obscure ingredients, such as winter purslane, roasted acorn skins or amaranth grains, and making original, daring marriages on the plate. At a more profound level, it's about attempting to produce food which resonates on an emotional as well as sensual level. Mugaritz's Naturan menu is full of arresting ideas: warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine; sheep's milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern; beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings. It is subtler, earthier, less sexy even, than what is going on at El Bulli, but, be in no doubt, Mugaritz is playing a pivotal role in the great global shift away from tradition, orthodoxy and dull restaurant food.