April 20, 2024

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Since leaving hotel school, Alex García de la Fuente has worked in kitchens such as La Broche by Sergi Arola, Punto MX by Roberto Ruiz or Valdepalacios by Santi Santamaría, among others. Hand in hand with Ramón Freixa, he was promoted to head chef, first in the catering at the Teatro Real and, later, at the Hotel Único in Madrid, where he has been for the last five years. “Anyone who knows me knows that I have always wanted to show my kitchen,” says the cook. And now he does it at In-pulse.

“I was excited to open in Arganzuela because I am from this area, a very traditional place, and my axis is Madrid’s gastronomy. I have worked in Mexican, Japanese and traditional Spanish cuisine restaurants, but being from Madrid I wanted to bet on what is ours”, affirms the chef. For this reason, he has devoted himself to bringing to his land classics from the taverns of the Spanish capital such as pepitoria, pickles, grilled ear, potato omelette, banderillas or calamari sandwich, and offer them with new techniques and elaborations.

His calamari sandwich (9.10 euros) is actually squid battered in a mixture of flours that provides a crunchy touch. He serves it in a Brioche Madreamiga with a citrus aioli and is strong, so it is recommended to order it to share. The Madrid flag (9 euros) is a very personal version of Alex García de la Fuente. “It was the classic appetizer that was served on the bars in bars and, unfortunately, it is seen less and less,” he says. He recreates them on a plate with smoked mackerel, roasted red pepper, pickles like piparra and chives and adds a Vichyssoise in the middle.

'Squid' and aliolli sandwich from In-pulso.
‘Squid’ and aliolli sandwich from In-pulso.Almudena Avalos

To eat the grilled ear in a different way, he offers it in a taco with a brava sauce made with tomato, cardamom, allspice, black pepper, morita chile —instead of paprika— and a final dressing with lime (5 ,20 euros). And also from offal it has a honeyed pork cheek with strawberry cherries and coriander (16.80 euros).

The parrocha on a corn toast and a kalamata mayonnaise (3.90 euros) is a tribute to the marinades of Madrid. “I take great care of the parrocha. It comes to me whole and I clean it, fillet it and make a light vinegar marinade with it. Then I add the vegetables from the marinade itself, which are onion, garlic and carrot. And on top I add a little chives, coriander sprouts and orange zest that makes the dish round”, she details.

Ear taco with brava sauce.
Ear taco with brava sauce.Almudena Avalos

An interpretation of the pepitoria or the tortilla skewer could not be missing. The skewer is served in a deep plate to be eaten with a spoon and has a cream of fried green pepper, a slightly curdled tortilla base, a few points of poached onion and some crispy potato slices (8.50 euros). And the pepitoria sauce appears on some chicken wings (8 euros). “I coat them in cereal instead of bread, fry them for a few seconds and finish them in the oven. So they are juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Afterwards, I don’t make the pepitoria with hard-boiled eggs or bread, only with poached onion, fried almonds, saffron, white wine and chicken broth”, he says.

Pickled parrocha on toasted corn and kalamata mayonnaise.
Pickled parrocha on toasted corn and kalamata mayonnaise.Almudena Avalos

For dessert, Alex says that whenever a Madrid festivity is celebrated, he will prepare bartolillos, a kind of empanadas filled with pastry cream. He already did it this summer for San Cayetano and La Paloma. “At the moment, I don’t have another traditional sweet wink, because neither the plums in wine nor the chocolate spongy that I have for dessert are. But he did not stop researching to rescue old recipes and give them a spin ”. That is why he buys all the Madrid cookbooks that he finds on the internet and underlines writings by Joaquín de Entrambasaguas, Teodoro Bardají or Julio Camba. “I am working on a letuario, which is a kind of jam, with oranges, honey and brandy. And also in a menu of flavored waters to talk about the aguaducos, the kiosks where they sold soft drinks in Madrid (and only the one on Calle Narváez remains)”.

In wines he recognizes that they go slower. “We do not have anything above 20 euros and we are still consulting,” she adds. But for now this is In-pulso, a place for 30 diners that is served and supervised by his brother Adrián and where, for an average price of 25 euros, the palate enters the historical game of Alex García de la Fuente without knowing it.

Álex García de la Fuente's version of the tortilla skewer.
Álex García de la Fuente’s version of the tortilla skewer.Almudena Avalos

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