A genius is unique and chaotic, not perfect or a winner

shirtwhiteI am very grateful to Orlando Cotado, ideologist and promotor of Incitus Awards, by these words addressed to me on his blog. For sure, the title is deafening, but its content redeems.

This past Friday at the organized lectures by the Incitus Movement, as a complement to their dynamic work in the hostelry sector, I had the luck to meet and learn about the convoluted speculations of Fernando Gallardo (@fgallardo). A character who has seen a lot, lived a lot, and I’m not saying that because of his age because I consider him infinitely younger than I, but above all, and I think this is his greatest virtue, because he has thought a lot.

As if that wasn’t enough, a friend and no less brilliant Luis Veira, chef of Árbore da Veira restaurant and one of the Michelin Stars with the biggest future in the Galician gastronomic scene, also accompanied us. The grace of the event was in the contrast of opinions and experiences.

A common characteristic of quick and privileged minds is the slowness with which they communicated —Adrià is the exception that proves it—. Gallardo is a calm and light person, but with content even in his pauses. A guy who is able to place all his cards face up, yet still hide his game. A great guy, provocative and generous as all those of his species. A guide that is going one small step ahead.

After a pretentious examination of perceptions to which he was playing with an advantage —throwing zooms and perverse angles of vision to hide from us the table of Zaha Hadid and the famous shower of his Inhabited Ruin— he concluded that what prevented us from being different, the barrier between the old and the modern, that which turned us into a gray plain, was protocols.

Protocol, a rule or guide with enough information to prevent creativity. That which tells us that a table must have four legs, a telephone keys with numbers or a car a steering wheel. Fortunately, there’s geniuses like Hadid, Jobs, or Google’s engineers that don’t let themselves be closeted in by these protocols.

As a trend analyst, his mission is to open doors and show us new and trending worlds. However, their biggest virtue is surrounding information and their bold approaches. His bet for collaborative economic is known by all —I like to think that that’s where his support to the Incitus Movement comes from— and his tough defense of Uber. In his lecture, he condemned success as a fight to be the best to other’s detriment. Gallardo imagines a society where we strive to be different, not better. «Watch differently, be unique» —he concluded.

This was the message of the entrepreneurs of the room, a message that, not by overuse, has lost its sense. The «Think Different» of Jobs and Apple is more present than ever. Because, no matter how much we repeat it, we don’t come to grips with accepting it. «Creativity is not copying» Adrià repeats hastily. Very simple, but very complicated to execute. Although Gallardo also left us without any clue in that subject.

«When I bought what today is The Inhabited Ruin, I hired the best architect in rustic European home rehabilitation. He delivered the best project I could hope for, the best. Everything was right, but I didn’t like it and I didn’t know how to express why. Until a year later, we visited the ruin and I realized it. I had the project I hoped for, everything that imagination and talent could perpetrate, but something was missing, a surprise element that would make it different. It was missing madness, it was missing chaos, it was missing being unique» —he confessed.

And this is the path. Add chaos to your routine and «become an entrepreneur only if you are capable of creating unique things». A genius is unique and chaotic, not perfect or a winner.

Continue reading

Give back to Dhooghe what is Dhooghe’s and to Michelin what is Michelin’s

a chef

The discussion borders on the absurd. And the news has just been released in social networks after my notice, that the Belgian chef, Fredrick Dhooghe, who runs a restaurant in Flanders, awarded with a Michelin star, has requested his withdrawal from this guide. It’s not the first time that a request of this type has ocurred, nor the first that has come to me from hotel establishments reluctant to my reviews. “Against the vice of asking, is the virtue of not giving” has been my motto for the three long decades that I’ve been publishing my reviews and guides in EL PAIS. “Easy: close the restaurant” has been my answer to today’s tweet.

Dhooghe, owner of restaurant t’Huis van Lede, located in Wannegem-Lede, near Ghent, also requested not to appear in the French guide Gault & Millau, through a registered letter asserting that his decision is final. It’s not clear, however, whether his final decision was to send the letter or the predetermination of interfering in the private affairs of the pneumatic publication, in which case his desideratum would be a clear threat to free enterprise and freedom of expression. Continue reading