Knives in the Fire – Fallout from Mugaritz

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By now, most of you have likely learned of the fire that devastated one of the most well known and revered restaurants in the world – Andoni Luis Aduriz's Mugaritz located just outside of San Sebastien in The Basque country of Spain. Many regular readers of this blog are also likely to be familiar with Greg Kuzia-Carmel, an American stagiere at Mugaritz, who recently wrote a guest blog post for this blog in addition to maintaining his own blog, Braised & Confused, documenting his experiences. The good news about the tragic fire is that neither Greg, Andoni nor anyone else were physically hurt by it. The bad news is that so much was totally lost. For Greg, the biggest personal loss was his knives, which he had left in the kitchen.

For anyone who doesn't know, knives are generally considered to be a cook's most important tool and many, like Greg, have put in a lot of time, money and effort to make sure their knives are as good as they can be. Greg's loss is personally devastating to him. While those particular knives can never be replaced, Greg is now without anything to work with. He would appreciate any help he can get in replacing them. Greg can be contacted through his facebook page.


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8 Responses to Knives in the Fire – Fallout from Mugaritz

  1. No insurance? That’s incredible. I would think that fire insurance is standard, and should certainly cover equipment destroyed.

  2. John Sconzo says:

    Gerald, I expect the restaurant has insurance. There have been published comments anticipating they may be back up and running in three or four months. The knives were Greg’s personal property, likely his most valuable possessions, at least as far as his livelihood is concerned. They were not insured as I suspect is the case for most cooks, who simply can’t afford insurance. In any case, I urge anyone who thinks he or she may be able to help Greg with good used knives or other assistance to contact him directly.

  3. That’s like losing a limb. Although if you were looking for a silver lining, maybe this is the golden opportunity to find new friends. I mean to meet new knives. My knives are like old trusted friends, so I believe I feel his pain. Gotta look for the silver lining in a situation like this.

  4. Mike Green says:

    To John and all your readers
    I’m the father of Aidan Brooks, whose blog you will find listed in the sidebar. Greg Kuzia-Carmel, the stagiere mentioned in this blog post, has been lodging with Gilbert Kolff the Pastry Chef, who used to work with Aidan at Comerç 24 in Barcelona. It’s a very small but very special world out there.
    I’m waiting to hear whether the Mugaritz stagieres are covered by the restaurant insurance for their knives and other property, but as John says, I expect the answer may prove negative. In that case, Aidan and I propose to set up an international appeal for funds amongst the food blogging community to help these guys. I know only too well from the years of supporting my son just how valued a set of possessions his knife roll is to these immensely dedicated young men and women. I’m sure we can all get together to help if the need is there.
    I’ll keep you informed over the coming days.

  5. John Sconzo says:

    Mike, that is incredible!

  6. Mike Green says:

    I’m waiting for details of the stagieres who lost their possessions, before they all disperse to the winds. Also confirmation from JustGiving that we will be able to set up an account with them. Once that is done, Aidan will launch an appeal on his blog and we’ll invite other food bloggers to reproduce the appeal on their own blogs. I’m sure we’ll be able to raise enough money easily to make sure these young people can continue to pursue their passion.

  7. Mike Green says:

    I forgot to add that they were definitely not insured, so it’s all the more important that we do something to help.

  8. John Sconzo says:

    I will certainly post it here!

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