David Ariza from BumpGreen: “Local foods aren’t the ones you buy in the store next door”

By Fabiola Gálvez

The onion is frost,
closed an impoverished.
Frost of your days
and my nights.
Hunger and onion,
black ice and frost
vast and round.

Miguel Hernández, Lullaby of the Onion.


David Ariza is also known as “the poet of the stoves”, recovers fish, rice dishes, and wild edible plants, with 25 years of experience. He’s been executive chef at Bumpgreen since it opened in 2016, although he was working on its preparation, a year before. Likewise, he has also written the book “The Value of Forgotten Beings”, where he reflects on the magic of reconnecting with the world around us, through cooking. Very suitable to meditate on.

BumpGreen shakes us up with its vegetables, in the heart of the Salamanca district in Madrid. It is one of the trendy ecological restaurants in the capital, where you can try cooking with soul: healthy, tasty, and sustainable. Parameters that chef David Ariza integrates into his dishes with local and plant-based products, keeping in mind the meatless burgers or cachena veal burgers, one of the specialities of the house. If you want to eat something lighter, there is fish of the day, baked.

And these days, there is good news that, as they say, “the sun rises again” at BumpGreen. They’ll start with delivery service, take away, terrace and confectionery, from 9 to 16 h and from 20 to 23.30 h. Let’s go!

They call you the poet of the stoves. Which poet would you like to come to your restaurant for dinner, why, and what would you cook for him?

Miguel Hernández, Lullaby of the Onion is one of the poems that has touched me the most in my life, I heard it for the first time at school and it impressed me, that and the fact that he’s from Alicante makes him the one I’d like to give dinner to.

A good legume salad with pickled, fermented, roasted and macerated onions so that he could see all the splendour of this product.

Are you happy when you cook?

Cooking for me is something that, since I started cooking at home in 1988 and from 1992 in a professional way, I have found it simple and easy to handle (not easy) and this makes me feel very good when I cook. It could be pleasure, enjoyment or joy, happiness is given to me by being consistent with what I think, say and do.

Why did you choose to be a chef?

As I mentioned in the previous question, I find it simple and easy to cook, this linked to the fact that I didn’t like to study, led me to decide to become a cook.


From this pandemic context, what do you think should be the way chefs cook? What reflection would you make?

80% of the health of a human being depends on their diet, by cooking for other people, they are putting that 80% of their health into you. To me, that must be the way a chef cooks.
We have to get away from the spotlight and the media and cook to nourish human beings, that’s the reflection I take from these months.

Now that we’ve started cooking in our homes, have we somehow been practising slow food?

It depends on what products we’ve bought and how we’ve cooked them, local foods aren’t the ones you buy in the store next door, they are the ones produced close to your house, that’s usually an issue that we don’t stop to think about.

What dishes do you recommend for dinner?

I do intermittent fasting, I only eat once a day in the afternoon so I don’t eat dinner but I would recommend, mainly vegetables, lots of vegetables.

“Meatless Monday”. It’s an initiative promoted by BumpGreen as a suggestion to the regular menu. What’s it about?

The consumption of meat has skyrocketed in developed countries and this is causing it to be produced intensively. This initiative seeks to reduce as much as possible the consumption of meat that is a tremendous waste of resources and generates a large amount of waste.

In your research into the recognition of rice, fish and wild plants, have you included any of these in your dishes?

At Bumpgreen we have the rice of the day that is prepared with a broth made from feeder fish by the Santa Pola fish market. Our fish dishes are designed so that we can use any fish and we only differentiate between whitefish and bluefish.

Tell us about the Beyond Meat burger you have on the menu. How long have you had it?

About a year ago and it’s been a success.

How does this product work in the kitchen? Does it sizzle like meat?

They have done an incredible job with this product because it really looks like meat, smells like meat and tastes like meat. It’s a great product to give options to a public that doesn’t want to eat meat products but wants to enjoy its taste.

What future do you see for it in Spain, will it make its way into more restaurants?

In fact, it’s already been introduced in quite a few restaurants, in Madrid, you can find it in many establishments and in Alicante, it’s starting to be seen in different restaurants and burger joints.


What is the experience of opening the restaurant in phase 1?

Exciting and complicated to manage, but people’s reaction is being good and although we’re working at 25% of the previous billing, we hope that little by little everything will back to normal and people will come back to enjoy our cooking.


Thank you so much, David! All the best for you.