The works of the Canary architect painter and sculptor César Manrique are an example of how development can live in harmony with nature. The best thing is that we can also feel it on our palate. César Manrique made the Canary Island of Lanzarote his work ground and carried out different architectural projects which, like the pools of Los Jameos del Agua or the Cactus Garden, show how construction and respect for the environment result in places that you would never leave.
At the island’s great natural referent, the Timanfaya Nature Park, César Manrique wanted to go further and attract a sense that architecture normally ignores: taste.
The Timanfaya has more than 25 volcanoes and had its last eruption in the 18th century, but its geological activity goes on. The 600 degrees reached just 10 metres below ground must have awakened the architect’s creativity, for here he decided to build an oven in which to cook with the Earth’s heat.
And so he did and the Timanfaya roasting oven is now an example of sustainable development. Built on a crack that goes several metres under ground, the heat allows us to try exquisite Canary local dishes. Grilled meats such as veal chops, kebabs and meats doused in herbs are cooked with the heat that comes up from the ground, and are served straight on your table, always accompanied by the traditional mojo picón (a hot sauce made with pepper, garlic, salt, paprika, cumin, oil, parsley, saffron and tomato) and papas arrugás (unpeeled boiled potatoes with a lot of sea salt to leave the skin like a saline crust). When we lift our forks to our mouth, we can see that development, as well as sustainable, can be delicious.