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The Spanish chef showcases his avant-garde cuisine at the Somerset House
Ferran Adrià eyes the French bulldog made out of meringue at his Somerset House exhibit.
Ferran Adrià, the renowned chef of the now-closed elBulli in Catalonia, Spain, has opened his new museum exhibit at London’s Somerset House. Adrià’s exhibit, called “elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food,” gives us a look at the innovative gastronomy made in the restaurant’s kitchen and laboratory.
elBulli, which had three Michelin stars, closed in 2011, and will reopen in 2015 as a nonprofit center for chefs as well as a museum. The London exhibit is a preview of the future museum at Spain’s elBulli Foundation, according to NPR’s The Salt.
The exhibit will showcase the experimental techniques and innovative food that Adrià and his team made at elBulli. There will be a multimedia presentation of the history, research, preparation, presentation, and press coverage of elBulli. The dishes are made of plasticine models, and therefore are not edible, but the visuals may be enough to make us wish we could have dined at the famed temple to experimental cuisine.
“Even though the restaurant of elBulli is now closed, the spirit of elBulli is still very much alive and this exhibition is one of the ways of keeping it so,” Adrià said of the exhibit. “Overall, it is an ode to the creativity, imagination, innovation, talent and teamwork of everyone at elBulli, but especially the world-famous chefs who trained with us and took these values into their own restaurants around the world.”
The elBulli exhibit is open until September 29th in London, The Salt reported, and it will later be displayed at Boston’s Museum of Science, Moscow, and other cities.
Ferran Adrià&rsquos New El Bulli Venture Promises to Be Even More Experimental
El Bulli 1846 opens in February 2020, but don't expect a restaurant.
It’s been almost eight years since El Bulli, a Spanish restaurant known for its pioneering molecular gastronomy, shuttered. Former head chef Ferran Adrià and his brother, Albert, the restaurant’s former pastry chef, have been pretty busy since—last October, Albert opened a cake shop and sparkling wine bar in London (appropriately named Cake and Bubbles), and also debuted Enigma in Barcelona in 2017. On Ferran’s end, the El Bulli Foundation was born, he’s working on a 35-volume culinary encyclopedia, and he’s collaborated on a few new restaurants as well, including Michelin-starred Condividere in Turin. Up next? El Bulli 1846, an 𠇎xhibition lab” conceptualized by Ferran that will take over the the former El Bulli space in Catalonia, reports Eater.
The idea behind El Bulli 1846, which was named for the number of dishes created at the former restaurant, is “pure experimentation,” according to Eater. With a staff comprised of chefs, nutrionists, journalists, and even philosophers, the redesigned 16,000-square-foot space will be devoted to recipe testing and gastronomic studies. And, if the El Bulli menu is anything to go by, we’re sure the experimentations will push some boundaries.
In a previous interview with Food & Wine, Ferran took one of our writers on a tour of the construction site, which showed the signs of a 𠇋rainstorming room” and library𠅊t the time, the old kitchen was still intact. 𠇎l Bulli was the most creative restaurant in the world,” he had said. 𠇋ut it was still a restaurant. Now, there will be no limits.”
El Bulli 1846 will officially open for business in February 2020𠅊nd, as it’s geared more toward experimentation lab and test kitchen than restaurant, don’t expect to be able to have dinner there. In fact, Eater reports that it’s not confirmed how often El Bulli 1846 will be open to the public. In the meantime, however, you can always check out Disfrutar in Barcelona, where you’ll find former El Bulli chefs Eduard Xatruch, Mateu Casa༚s, and Oriol Castro have brought over their experimental cooking techniques—gelatin macaroni, anyone?
El Bulli Restaurant, In Ferran We Trust
“Hey guys, we have a big surprise,” Jaume Marin, marketing director for Costa Brava tourism, has a grin so wide it makes the Cheshire Cat’s look like the Mona Lisa’s. “Tomorrow we aren’t going on a balloon ride over the Croscat volcano, we’re going to El Bulli to meet Ferran Adriá.”
There are whoops of delight. I’m pretty sure someone faints. I’m gutted.
“We’re going where…to meet who?” I whisper under my breath.
Twenty four hours and a bit of Google searching later I’m standing at the gates to culinary heaven above a tranquil cove at Cala Montjoi. Around me, people talk about the man described by many as the world’s greatest chef in reverential terms. I’m still smarting at missing out on the balloon ride and the Google search revealed that not everyone worships at the El Bulli altar. The late Santi Santamaria, another renowned Catalan chef, said that Ferran Adriá’s culinary creations were designed to impress rather than satisfy and suggested he was putting the health of his diners at risk. A German writer went as far as saying that he was poisoning people with additives. Descriptions of his culinary foam sound pretentious in the extreme. I’m prepared to be not impressed.
El Bulli Restaurant
El Bulli is rather nondescript from the outside. The setting is lovely but the building ordinary. There is no wheelchair access and a wheelchair user in the group has to be carried up to the entrance. This surprises me.
El Bulli’s interior also takes me by surprise. I’m not sure what I expected, something chic, stylish, ultra modern perhaps instead it’s cosily homely, almost old fashioned.
The kitchen, on the other hand, is modern, minimalist and sparklingly clean. It is also very, very quiet despite the fact that there are about 15 chefs working at stainless steel benches, heads down, focussed completely on unidentifiable objects in front of them. It’s more like a science laboratory than a restaurant’s kitchen even to the extent that a chef in front of me is using a scalpel.
While we wait for the great man himself, I ask a young Mexican employee, Mauricio Rodriguez, what it’s like to work at El Bulli.
“It’s demanding and hard work, everything has to be perfect,” he tells me, adding. “The first thing that Ferran Adriá teaches us is that to create is not to copy.”
Before I can ask anything else a quiet buzz runs through the room and Ferran Adriá enters the kitchen.
Ferran Adriá: Pretentious Prince or Culinary King?
Ferran Adriá approaches a chef in front of me. He inserts the tip of a pair of tweezers into what looks like a miniature uncooked egg with a pea instead of yolk. He tastes it, says something to the chef and smiles. I feel relieved on the chef’s behalf.
We’re led outside to the restaurant’s courtyard where Ferran Adriá tells us about the history of El Bulli and its raison d’être. As he speaks I find my reserve completely melting away. His eyes sparkle with passion his face is a canvas of emotion as he talks of his objective of creating a new language in culinary terms at El Bulli. He is honest, forthright and compelling. He is hypnotically charismatic..and not in the slightest bit pretentious.
His eyes twinkle mischievously as he says things like, “In Spain they have something special and very rare. The avant garde is almost accepted. They don’t understand it but they’re very proud of it. Gastronomy is a fundamental part of life in Spain not a luxury.”
His expressions are an open book – you can tell what questions Ferran Adriá likes…or dislikes. He becomes more animated when asked about which nationality’s cuisine he prefers (Japanese because it’s a different world gastronomically speaking) whilst his eyes darken when he’s asked a question he clearly views as too frivolous.
He speaks of passion, of risk taking and of sharing. I find myself nodding to everything he says. I’m hooked on his appeal. But there’s still the huge question of the food at El Bulli. Is it really the food of the god.
Food at El Bulli Restaurant
We aren’t going to get to enjoy one of El Bulli’s famous umpteen course meals, but we are to be treated to a selection of canapés – 6 small creations from the World’s greatest chef.
What if they disappoint, I wonder? Would anyone actually have the courage to say ‘actually, I don’t think this is very good?’ I think not, but in the end it’s academic.
A delicate bite of the first, a tiny oval shaped cake topped with a green sprig, dispels the thought in a flourish of flavours: it has a fresh hint of lemon-grass and manages to be both sweet and bitter at the same time, the flavours evolving as it rests on the tongue. It makes me smile and think of a spring meadow.
The second is bright red with gold wrapping and looks like it should be decorating a Christmas tree. It explodes on the tongue unleashing flavours that veer from ripe tomatoes to saffron to fish,
These are followed by the world’s smallest baguette, prawn crackers which taste like sea spray on your face on a summer day, miniature creamy meringues and prawns with green tea and lemon grass that invoke a feeling of travelling through South East Asia at warp speed.
The flavours are extraordinary…and then I get it. I get why all the accolades and the criticism. This isn’t dining in a conventional manner, this is throwing out all gastronomic rules and starting again…of creating a new language. This is science, art and gastronomy combined. A bizarre thought enters my mind. Ferran Adriá is much more than a chef, he’s an alchemist in fact he is really Willy Wonka.
As we leave, Ferran Adriá is presented with a T-shirt bearing the legend: In Ferran We Trust. It says it all really.
The most famous restaurant in the world closed its doors in July 2011 to become elBulli Foundation.
The reason being, in Ferran Adriá’s words, “In order to create something excellent you have to be fresh and not fall into the trap of becoming predictable…In order to create you have to be under pressure.”
El Bulli had achieved its aim. It will be interesting to see what happens next with Ferran Adriá and the gastronomy factory.
My visit to El Bulli was arranged as part of a blogtrip organised by the Costa Brava Tourist Board.
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to lots of other places. Follow Jack on Google+
ElBulli comes to London: Ferran Adrià exhibition opens at Somerset House next week
Ferran Adrià at Somerset House. Photograph: Sam Mellish
The ‘Bulli’ dog, by Andrew Rae. The restaurant got its name from the breed of French Bulldogs the Adrià family owned
His restaurant may have shut its doors permanently two years ago, but Ferran Adrià hasn’t hung up his toque and embraced retirement. Quite the opposite. The superstar chef seems busier than ever as he finalises his vision for the elBulli Foundation, including a retrospective exhibition on the workings of the former number one restaurant in the world, which opens at Somerset House in London next Friday, July 5th.
The El Bulli Foundation has a team of 15 chefs working on projects including a museum of food and exhibition centre in the former restaurant premises in Girona, an ambitious internet project called Bullipedia, which aims to document every edible morsel on the planet, and travelling exhibitions such as the one now visiting London, called elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food.
The retrospective will take visitors behind the scenes at the world’s most talked about restaurant, revealing the workings of the development lab in Barcelona where the chef and his team dreamed up 1,846 original dishes, as well as the kitchen from where they were served to diners lucky enough to secure reservations. Handwritten notes and sketches, and plasticine models of each of the dishes – which were made so that plating and portions size would be uniform – are on display, along with photographs and press reviews and multimedia exhibits.
ElBulli 2005–2011 Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià
Price AUD$750.00 Price CAD$625.00 Price &euro525.00 Price £425.00 Price T625.00 Price USD$625.00
Gift options available at checkout
elBulli 2005-2011 is the catalogue raisonné of elBulli, which was widely regarded as the world's best restaurant until its closure in 2011. Having held three Michelin stars from 1997 to 2011, and regularly voted "Best Restaurant in the World" by a panel of 500 industry professionals, elBulli was at the forefront of the restaurant scene from when Ferran Adrià became sole head chef in 1987. The restaurant only opened for six months every year in order that the rest of the year could be spent developing a completely new menu for each season. Many hours of development work went into the creation of each spectacular dish at the purpose-built elBulli workshop in Barcelona, and the gastronomic innovations of the creative team have influenced restaurants and chefs around the world.
elBulli 2005-2011 is made up of seven volumes, one for each season that the restaurant was open between 2005 and 2011. Each volume starts with a catalogue of photographs of every dish that was served at the restaurant during that year and finishes with detailed recipes explaining how to make every component. There are also notes on hard-to-find ingredients, new techniques, finishing and presentation. The recipes are divided by course, following the unique structure of the elBulli menu: cocktails, snacks, tapas, pre-desserts, desserts and morphings.
The final volume, Evolutionary Analysis, focuses on the creative evolution of the restaurant, key discoveries, produce and analysis of the influences and creative methods that were prominent during each season. Chapters will cover new products, techniques and technologies on a year-to-year basis, looking in depth at how all of the processes combined to continually drive the cuisine at elBulli forward.
Beautifully presented in an elegant Perspex slipcase, these comprehensive volumes allow unprecedented access to the genius of Ferran Adrià and the creativity that made elBulli legendary. An essential addition to the shelves of anyone interested in modern gastronomy, this is the last chance to uncover the secrets of the world's most-innovative kitchen, now closed forever.
- Format: 7 Volume, Hardback
- Size: 315 x 240 mm (12 3/8 x 9 1/2 in)
- Pages: 2720 pp
- Illustrations: 1400 illustrations
- ISBN: 9780714865485
Ferran Adrià joined the staff of elBulli in 1984 and rapidly progressed to become head chef. Famous for his pioneering culinary techniques, he has been applauded - and imitated - around the world, and won three Michelin stars for elBulli, along with many other accolades. Since elBulli's closure in 2011, Ferran has been lecturing around the world and developing the elBullifoundation, a culinary academy and think tank, on the site of the former restaurant. The foundation is due to open in 2015.
Juli Soler worked in the dining rooms of many restaurants in Spain before joining elBulli as restaurant manager in 1981. As well as hiring Ferran Adrià, he brought the front of house service to a standard never before seen in Spain. He is also a great authority on wine.
Albert Adrià joined elBulli in 1985 and quickly developed a passion for pastry. He was creative director of the elBulli workshop, as well as being responsible for the sweet world. Since the closure of elBulli in 2011, Albert has gone on to open two new venues in Barcelona Tickets, a tapas bar and restaurant, and 41°, a cocktail bar, both to great acclaim.
"elBulli 2005 – 2011 continues Ferran’s impressive, contemporary legacy. These volumes are not about who you are or what you cook – this is about understanding a new theory of cooking and cuisine. No one has ever come close to accomplishing what he has done for this industry. A must for any passionate cook." —Daniel Bouloud, Chef and Owner, The Dinex Group
"elBulli 2005 – 2011 is an inspiration to cooks to continually question the status quo." —David Chang, Chef and Founder, Momofuku
"The catalogue raisonné digs into some of elBulli’s most influential years, charting its groundbreaking techniques and presentations. Cerebral stuff, for sure, but we’d expect no less from a man who once dreamed about making hot ice cream." —Bon Appetit
"One of the most hotly anticipated cookbooks of 2014." —Good Morning America
"One hundred years from now, cooking will not be understood without the presence of Ferran Adriá. This astonishing collection of ideas, flavors, and design is a window into one of the world’s most creative minds and reveals the legacy that Ferran and the elBulli team leave behind in the worlds of cuisine and art." —Jose Andres, Chef and Restaurateur, Think Food Group
"Monumental. For many chefs, an 18–kilogram recipe compendium would document a life’s work. In Mr. Adriá’s case, it is merely a slice." —The Economist
"It’s a rare master magician who will willingly part the curtain." —Forbes Life
"Ferran Adriá’s elBulli changed the food world. Then it closed. But Adriá has found a way to bring back epic dishes." —Food & Wine
"An incredible collection of recipes and techniques from a team that forever changed the way I look at food. Insanely inspiring." —Sean Brock, Executive Chef, Husk, McCrady's and Minero, and author of the bestselling book Heritage
The Creative Universe of Ferran Adrià
The “Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity” exhibition unveils the creative universe and talent of Ferran Adrià , the late 20th and early 21st centuries’ most influential chef, as well as the comprehensive capacity to innovate that he has applied to gastronomy with his work at elBulli restaurant. The exhibition is open to the public from February 2, 2012 to February 3, 2013 in room 3 at the Palau Robert in Barcelona.
Ferran Adrià (on the right) visiting the exhibition, seated at the projection table (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
Over the years, Ferran Adrià has become a global icon of gastronomy. The work done at elBulli – considered the world’s best restaurant for five years running – has received global recognition and has set the direction for the future of cooking and how we think about food and dining. The names of Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adriàand of elBulli’s entire creative team are associated with values such as reflection, talent, innovation, leadership, teamwork, a job well done, internationalization and solidarity. Going far beyond the field of gastronomy, their work embraces areas such as art and technology.
The room “Origins (The Learning Years)” recounts the history of elBulli from its origins in 1956 to March 1987, the time when Ferran Adrià took charge of elBulli as its chef (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
The exhibition comes after elBulli closed its doors in July 2011 and celebrates the restaurant’s 50 years of history (from 1961 on), coinciding with a time when Catalan gastronomy has become one of the top-ranking gastronomies in the global arena. Incidentally, Adrià turns 50 in 2012.
Although the decision to close the world-famous 3 Michelin star restaurant was taken in order that it could undergo its transformation (Adrià stated elBulli had completed its journey as a restaurant) into elBulli foundation, a center for gastronomic experimentation and innovation that plans to disseminate its creations on the Internet from 2014 on, critics like to point out the restaurant had been operating at a loss in its later years. Once you enter Adrià’s creative universe at the exhibition, however, it quickly becomes clear that here is a genius who cannot simply go on cooking – he needs to innovate and transcend regular restaurant work.
The evolutionary map illustrates the products, techniques, elaborations and philosophy with videoclips, and visitors can see emblematic dishes elaborated, all of which have been major milestones in Ferran Adrià’s career and elBulli’s history (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
The exhibition recounts the history of elBulli, from its origins in 1956 with the arrival of Dr Schilling and his wife Marketta at Cala Montjoi (between Roses and Cadaques), to March 1987, the time when Ferran Adrià took sole charge of elBulli as its chef. Audiovisuals, documents, photos and objects in chronological order highlight the qualitative jump made by the restaurant through an increasingly sophisticated gastronomic offering that had clear references to French nouvelle cuisine. In addition to Ferran Adrià, the key figures in this transformation were Jean-Louis Neichel, Juli Soler and Albert Adrià .
“The Search For A Style” room with a restaurant table where an elBulli 40-dish menu is projected (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
One of the highlights is the “The Search For A Style” room where visitors can see a recreation of the atmosphere of the restaurant’s dining room through an audiovisual with props (table and chairs from elBulli): images of an elBulli 40-dish tasting menu are projected onto the table from overhead, allowing visitors to at least visually witness the dining experience. And in general there is great emphasis on how elBulli’s innovative contribution to avant-garde cuisine is the sixth sense: sparking a response in diners, which is expressed in the form of gestures and emotions of surprise, questioning, recollection, desire and happiness. Ferran Adrià creates neither dishes nor recipes, but rather concepts and techniques that he can subsequently apply to countless elaborations, as is explained in the section “Moment 0” of the exhibition.
One of the more quirky exhibits: a signed Matt Groening caricature of Adrià (with a scribbled Bart Simpson looking over his shoulder).
His technical-conceptual approach to cooking and creating requires a whole team devoted exclusively to creation in an ideal space, and to immense subsequent cataloging among the exhibits are drawings of dishes done by Ferran Adrià a display of metal tableware elements used for serving, custom-made silicone molds, objects and utensils used in the cooking process, an array of plasticine dishes used to demonstrate the ideal food layout on a plate, and of course countless cookbooks and notebooks.
“The Time of Major Change” – A recreation of elBulli’s kitchen through projections in triptych form (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
Plasticine ingredients used to demonstrate the ideal layout of a dish (photo courtesy of Palau Robert, Barcelona).
The exhibition will be presented in New York in 2013 and will then travel to London. It will also become the seed or basis for the future Centre-Museum devoted to Ferran Adrià and elBulli in Roses. The aim of these and other initiatives that may subsequently arise is to project the image of Catalonia to the world –showing it as a modern, innovative country – and to position it as a leader and point of reference on the global stage of gastronomy thanks to the enormous amount of research that was carried out at elBullirestaurant and will continue to be carried out at elBullifoundation. The exhibition also deems that Catalonia should officially ask UNESCO to designate Catalan gastronomy as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as it did with the castellers (people erecting Human Towers).
The beginning: a bronze statue of the “Bulli” bulldog that gave the restaurant its name.
While it is possible to venture out to Cala Montjoi and the site where elBulli the restaurant is being transformed into elBulli the foundation, you’ll have to head to Barcelona to experience the food: the Adrià brothers run both the tapas bar Tickets on Avinguda Paral ·lel 164 and an avant-garde place next door called 41 ° (41 Grados). Just like at elBulli, getting in is difficult: 41 Grados only takes reservations online and only for an even number of diners, thus keeping out solo critics. They serve “one experience” of 41 mini-courses to a total of 16 people per night. But there is more: Ferran and Albert Adrià are setting up a Mexican restaurant (their first of a different cuisine) and plan on opening a Japanese-influenced Nikkei place, both also in Barcelona. Who knows what’s next? It will remain interesting to watch the Adriàs.
Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity exhibition
The Palau Robert Catalan Information Centre
Passeig de Gràcia, 107 08008 Barcelona [MAP]
(+34) 93 238 80 91 / 92 / 93
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm. Sunday 10am to 2.30pm. Admission free.
Thanks to the Palau Robert for the pictures and press material.
Get in touch with the author @flachrattenmann.
Ferran Adrià’s elBulli Exhibit Now Open in London - Recipes
Home » Blog » News » Magic of Ferran Adrià and elBulli Revealed in New York Exhibit!
Without a doubt, Ferran Adrià has forever changed the face of molecular gastronomy and cooking in general. Now his unusual creative methods of drawing and visualization will be on display for all of us to see and learn from. From January 25 – February 28, 2014, New York City’s Drawing Center will host Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity, a visual display featuring Adrià’s notes and drawings of his conceptions as well as pictures and other visual documentation of elBulli.
Also featured will be the films, Documenting Documentaand 1846, a documentary produced by The Drawing Center that will play constantly. It’s a movie that documents every single dish ever served by Ferran Adriã at elBulli in video image format, along with the creative process.
Documenting Documenta, a film about Ferran Adrià’s participation in Documenta 12, will also be running constantly. The Documenta was an art exhibition that took place in Kassel over a 100-day period. Since Adrià couldn’t participate in Kassel, he kept a table for two at elBulli open every night of the exhibition. The site became known as “the G Pavillion.” Two people were chosen randomly each night at the exhibit in Kassel and were offered airfare and dinner at elBulli in order to experience the art of cooking in its own setting.
Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity will be the actual display that focuses on Chef Adrià’s use of notes and drawings to bring his dishes from concept to reality. The drawings are also a tool that he uses to better understand and express his creativity and philosophy of food and life in general.
The exhibition will feature notebooks, drawing pads, framed prints and other media that document such concepts as menu development and techniques as well as research results, final products, and even ideas for utensils and dishes. There will also be architectural drawings of the elBulli Foundation headquarters and plastic models of culinary creations.
Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity will be the first exhibit of its kind and will set the scene nicely for the March 3, 2014 release of Chef Adrià’s seven-volume book set titled elBulli 2005-2011 that chronicles the final six years that the landmark restaurant was open to the public.
The Cleveland viewing of Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity will take place at MOCA Cleveland from September 26 – January 18, 2015.
An exhibition on Ferran Adrià's cuisine and his restaurant El Bulli will be on show in London
London (ACN).- 'el Bulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food' will be on show at Londonu2019s Somerset House from the 4 th of July to the 29 th of September. The Catalan chef Ferran Adrià revolutionised modern cuisine, in such a way that some critics have compared him to Picassou2019s influence on painting. In fact, most of the current top chefs around the world have spent some time as training cooks at Adriàu2019s restaurant El Bulli, which was located on a Costa Brava beach, in the Catalan town of Roses. El Bulli was considered to be the best restaurant in the world for a fiveu2013time record and it closed in 2011 to re-open as a culinary foundation promoting research and art in 2014. In addition, Adrià was considered by Restaurant Magazine to be u201Cthe chef of the decadeu201D in 2010 and he has taught at Harvard and other universities. Ferran Adriàu2019s creativity developed new techniques and re-interpreted cuisine, fragmenting dishes, cooking for the five senses, creating a new language and bringing cuisine to a whole new dimension. The exhibition on the Catalan chef and u2018el Bulliu2019 has already been on show for a year in Barcelona, at the Palau Robert centre. It was a great success, visited by more than 650,000 people, and will now tour worldwide. London is the first stop but Adrià hopes to bring the exhibition to Sao Paulo and the United States, among other destinations.
On Thursday, Ferran Adrià presented the Somerset House exhibition on his art and the restaurant where he cooked for three decades, el Bulli, which was considered the best restaurant in the world in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Adrià is said to be very satisfied with the exhibition and he considered it to be u201Cincredibleu201D that Somerset House was dedicating an exhibition to his work. According to Adrià, the content managers for Somerset House u201Clike risk, and el Bulli is risku201D. The Catalan chef emphasised that it was the first time an exhibition in this London art centre has been devoted to a restaurant, which according to him shows the innovative drive of his work.
Somerset House considers the show to be u201Ca testament to Adriàu2019s abundant talent, genius and ambitionu201D. The exhibition will enable the visitor to discover the process the Catalan chef followed to come up with his dishes at the Costa Brava restaurant, on the Creus Cape (Cap de Creus). Handwritten notes, drawings of dishes, play dough models, original menus and cutlery designs, are displayed among other items.
A great week for Catalan cuisine in London
The exhibition on Adrià and El Bulli has been presented in London the same week that another Catalan restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, has been recognised as the best restaurant in the world. u2018Restaurantu2019 magazine, considered to be the most prestigious publication among chefs, awarded the recognition to the Girona-based establishment run by the three Roca brothers, with Joan Roca as the main chef. Adrià had told the press he was u201Cvery happy, and it is very important for the country in difficult timesu201D, referring to the rough economic situation. He also stated that the El Celler de Can Roca is u201Can exampleu201D of u201Chow a SME u2013 because a restaurant is also a SME u2013 can create amazing thingsu201D.
In 2013, El Celler de Can Roca and the Roca brothers have taken the worldu2019s cuisine crown from the Danish restaurant Noma and René Redzepi, who in 2010 took the position from El Bulli and Ferran Adrià. In 2010, El Bulli was not included in the worldu2019s top ranking since Adrià had already announced his plans to close the restaurant in 2011. However, in 2010, u2018Restaurantu2019 named Adrià the u201Cchef of the decadeu201D.
The exhibition in Somerset House aims to discover Adriàu2019s way of working and understanding cuisine. The Catalan chef told the press he was very happy to have such an exhibition in London, since it is one of the cities he likes the most. He also added that u201Capart from two or three museums such as the Tateu201D, Somerset House is one of the u201Cmost modernu201D museums in the world, with two and a half million visitors per year. u201CIt is run by people who like risk, and el Bull is about risku201D, he added.
According to Adrià, within the next four to five months, the Anglo-Saxon world will speak u201Ca lotu201D about Catalan cuisine, because of El Celler de Can Rocau2019s success and because of the exhibition at Somerset House. u201CThese are important things for the countryu201D, he emphasised, since both things will bring Catalonia closer to u201Cpotential high-class touristsu201D. u201CNever before has an exhibition about a restaurant been organisedu201D he underlined, and it is important than the first one is about a Catalan establishment.
The exhibition is u201Cpedagogical and funu201D, according to the Catalan chef. It is a u201Cfantasticu201D exploration of el Bulliu2019s working process. It is also u201Ca way to instil innovation it is an exhibition very much linked to innovation, but in a very easy wayu201D, Adrià explained. He also confessed that when the exhibition was in Barcelona, he attended from time to time to witness the peopleu2019s growing interest in the field of cuisine.
Ferran Adrià also told the press that within the next few days he will present to the public the u201Csymbolical nameu201D of his new project, El Bulli Foundation, the research and innovation centre mixing cuisine, health and art. Adrià explained that the name will add u201Can adjectiveu201D to make it more special. In addition, he reminded listeners that in November they will officially present the foundationu2019s project, which aims to give a legacy to society. Adrià also added that they are not in a rush to open El Bulli Foundationu2019s doors.
Ferran Adria brings elBulli exhibition to London
You've eaten at the restaurant — or probably you haven't. Now visit the exhibition.
Spanish chef Ferran Adria, the man behind the late, lamented elBulli restaurant, is bringing an exhibition dedicated to the art and science of his distinctive brand of molecular gastronomy to London.
Diners lucky enough to get reservations at elBulli before it closed two years ago feasted on 50-course tasting menus featuring frozen cocktails, ham tapioca, lobster and lamb's brain salad and many other challenging creations.
Visitors to "elBulli: Ferran Adria and the Art of Food" will see sketches, menus, film, photographs and even plasticine models of food, showing how those memorable menus were created. Just don't expect to eat.
"If you go to the Barcelona football team museum, you don't play football," Adria said unapologetically Thursday as he announced the London show. "If you go to an airplane museum, you don't fly a plane."
The hunger-inducing nature of the exhibition didn't prevent 650,000 people visiting it over the course of a year at Barcelona's Palau Robert.
In London, it will be on display from July 5 to Sept. 29 at Somerset House, a palatial 18th-century edifice beside the River Thames that has been transformed over the last decade from dusty tax office to busy arts and cultural center.
The exhibition is the latest stage in the expanding afterlife of elBulli, which closed its doors in July 2011 after a final meal that included "Clam Meringue," "Olive Spheres" and "Hot Cold Gin Fizz."
Adria, who started at elBulli in 1984 and became head chef three years later, used the restaurant to explore his fascination with the essence of food and the experience of eating.
In the restaurant's kitchen and a scientific lab in Barcelona, he and his team deconstructed ingredients to what he calls the molecular level, then reconstructed dishes using unexpected re-combinations of the original components, presenting the results in mouthful-sized portions.
"For every 100 dishes we created, one was brilliant," said Adria, a compact, energetic 50-year-old in gray jeans, black jacket and sneakers, who proves incapable of remaining seated as he discusses his work with journalists.
The restaurant, tucked in a cove on the rocky coast of northeast Spain, maintained a three-star Michelin rating for more than a decade and was ranked the world's best place to eat five years running by Restaurant magazine.
It also made Adria — part celebrity chef, part twinkling mad scientist — one of the food world's most famous figures. He voiced a character in the Spanish version of Pixar's animated film "Ratatouille," and made an appearance in "The Simpsons."
Molecular gastronomy has inspired chefs from Britain's Heston Blumenthal to Chicago's Grant Achatz and Denmark's Rene Redzepi. Some of its signature touches — foams, jellies, liquid nitrogen — have almost become culinary cliches.
"Everybody agrees that there is a before and an after in gastronomy, thanks to Ferran," said Ignasi Genoves, general director of Palau Robert.
Adria, however, says elBulli's legacy isn't a style of food, but an ethos of authenticity, experimentation and risk.
"People believe the legacy of elBulli is a type of cooking, but it's not," he said through a Spanish interpreter. "The important thing is the philosophy we are transmitting to all the people who worked with us."
Hundreds of people have passed through elBulli's kitchens, then marched out into the food world. Adria noted with pride that the four top chefs on Restaurant magazine's influential top 50 ranking this year are elBulli alumni.
The restaurant may be closed, but Adria says elBulli's work is just beginning.
In 2011 he and business partner Juli Soler announced plans to transform the site into a gastronomic think-tank and research institute called elBulliFoundation.
Due to open in 2015, it's an ever-evolving concept. Adria's attempt to explain it Thursday involved much arm-waving and diagram-scrawling, as he described a multipronged structure that will encompass a history of cuisine ranging "from the Big Bang to the Neolithic period" and beyond, taking in the origins of human life.
"If there's no homo sapiens, there's no cooking," he said.
More prosaically, Adria and elBulli have been the subject of a documentary, and a feature film about the restaurant is in the works.
The chef, who ranges the world collaborating with artists and scientists, clearly enjoys the freedom of not having to run a kitchen and worry about his Michelin ranking.
"The restaurant is closed — not elBulli," he said.
"We have a bigger impact being closed, because I'm not competing anymore."
Ferran Adria to Present El Bulli Exhibition in London
Ferran Adria and El Bulli, the restaurant in northern Spain that was named best in the world for a record five times, are to be the subject of an exhibition at Somerset House in London later this year.
𠇎l Bulli: Ferran Adria and the Art of Food” will run from July 5 through Sept. 29. The retrospective will feature a multimedia display of the history of the establishment and the creative process behind the gastronomy. There will be models of dishes, as well as original menus and tables set with cutlery.
Just don’t expect any food.
“If you go to the Barcelona football museum, you don’t expect to play soccer,” Adria told a news conference at Somerset House today. “If you go to an aviation museum, you don’t fly in an airplane. You will learn about food, not eat it.”
The exhibition comes to London from Palau Robert, a center of Catalan culture in Barcelona, where it has attracted more than 650,000 visitors. Adria said in an interview that he is hoping to take it to Boston, Sao Paulo and other cities.
More than 1 million people applied each year for the 8,000 places at El Bulli, which closed in 2011. Diners enjoyed as many as 48 courses, with delicacies such as gin snow, nitro-caipirinha with tarragon concentrate and an exploding olive.
Adria stopped serving diners to replace the restaurant with a culinary foundation that will focus on the art and science of gastronomy and become a creative hub. He said the success of the exhibition in Barcelona has made him rethink the exact nature of the foundation, scheduled to open in 2015.