Renowned Spanish Restaurant Mugaritz Collaborates with Loyal Nine
Loyal Nine is a place to try uncommon tastes like Vermont suckling veal, Scituate periwinkles, and mead-braised lobster with hickory nuts, but next month, it will host an absolutely one-of-a-kind experience. World-renowned chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, proprietor of the Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant Mugaritz, is collaborating with Loyal Nine chef Marc Sheehan on a fundraising dinner November 6.
The pricetag—$1,000—is hair-raising, but for dedicated epicures and benefactors, the evening is poised to be worth it. The ticket cost includes a progressive, 13-course meal, prepared by both Mugaritz and Loyal Nine cooks, including Aduriz and Sheehan, along with wine pairings. It is also a fundraiser to support healthy aging and nutrition research taking place at the Tufts University Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA).
The event marks the first time ever that Mugaritz has popped up on U.S. shores. The restaurant, founded in 1998 in the Basque Country, is considered an heir apparent to Ferran Adria’s legendary El Bulli, with an innovative concept combining scientific research, culinary experimentation, and fine dining. Mugaritz has been on Restaurant Magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Best restaurants for a decade (it’s currently No. 7), and it earned its second Michelin star in 2005.
Aduriz is on the Tufts Nutrition Council, a volunteer group of health and nutrition leaders that support the university’s nutrition research. Tufts selected Loyal Nine as a restaurant partner for this event because of its own innovative style of cuisine, as well as its hospitality and space, according a rep for the East Cambridge restaurant. Loyal Nine’s staff is sourcing ingredients for Aduriz’s menu, and locals will also help with the bulk of prep and front-of-house service.
Loyal Nine was No. 14 on Boston magazine’s list of Best New Restaurants in 2015, for “taking the admirable yet frightening first step toward reviving a once-proud regional cuisine that had been reduced to chowder and baked beans.” It also made Bon Appetit’s 50 best list, was among Eater’s national best-of list in 2015, and Sheehan was a James Beard Award semifinalist.
“Mugaritz has been in the vanguard of fine dining and culinary leadership for almost 20 years. To be able to host their team for a week, prep and cook with them, and execute their menu is a great occasion for our staff to see a different point of view on food and service, to learn and hopefully establish lasting relationships,” Sheehan says.
Despite the haute nature of Mugaritz, Aduriz is known for playful dishes, which appeal to all five senses. The November 6 meal will start with Mugaritz’s “edible stones,” which are potatoes tucked inside edible clay with garlic aioli. Other whimsically named courses include “The game at the table; gambling a bite of heavy cream,” named for a traditional Basque board game that Mugaritz is bringing, with caviar as the prize. “A thousand leaves” is swiss chard terrine with sheep’s milk cheese.
“Certainly Mugaritz and Loyal Nine are quite different conceptually but we share a common goal in trying to provide an unforgettable experience for our guests,” Sheehan says.