Alinea chef Grant Achatz describes what he witnessed the first time he ate and cooked at El Bulli in 2000.
Chef Keller looked down at the magazine and spoke softly: Read this tonight when you go home. His food really sounds interesting, and right up your alley. I think you should go stage there this summer....I will arrange it for you.
I don't read Spanish and the translation is a little rough in spots, but the gist of this article from the Spanish newspaper El País is that Ferran Adrià says that El Bulli will not be closing permanently and calls what was published on Friday by the NY Times "a misunderstanding".
In 2014 we will serve meals, but we will consider the format used and the booking system. But still two years of operation of El Bulli and four years to open the doors again.
Or perhaps the restaurant is moving to Austria? Or will become a McDonald's franchise? Who knows what El Bulli news tomorrow holds! Stay tuned. (thx, susan)
Update: Here's some clarification from The Guardian. The restaurant will cease to be a commercial enterprise and will instead be a non-profit foundation "similar to those that run museums and art centres".
Adrià has given himself two years to think about what the new foundation will do. "We are open to suggestions," he said. But he is absolutely sure it will involve cooking and serving food on El Bulli's hallowed premises.
Update: The NY Times clarifies (is that even a word we can apply to this mess at this point?) Adrià's earlier statements about closing the restaurant permanently...it sounds as though he doesn't exactly know what he's doing with it:
"There is nothing defined except that when El Bulli opens in 2014 it will be as a foundation," he said. "We have not decided what the structure of that foundation will be,'' he continued, noting that many culinary foundations "serve food to the public.''
elBulli, the Spanish restaurant routinely named the number one restaurant in the world, will close for two years beginning in 2012.
Adrià and his team will still be working at elBulli, developing ideas and trying to figure out what comes next. But he says the restaurant's current format is finished. "When we come back in 2014, it's not going to be the same," Adrià says.
A fascinating but short case study of Ferran Adrià's restaurant El Bulli from the perspective of an MBA.
There is much about the restaurant that is inefficient, as MBAs are quick to note: Adrià should lower his staff numbers, use cheaper ingredients, improve his supply chain, and increase the restaurant's hours of operation. But "fixing" elBulli turns it into just another restaurant, says Norton: "The things that make it inefficient are part of what makes it so valuable to people."
Photos from a meal at L'Enclume in the UK, where chef Simon Rogan is practicing molecular gastronomy at a high level. "I don't think there's a more exciting meal than this anywhere in the whole world, even [at El Bulli]. This was 24 flawless brilliant courses by a chef who is not just 'at the top of his game', but somewhere out in front of his rivals." More photos and information at L'Enclume's web site.
A few photographic reports of meals at El Bulli, Ferran Adria's highly regarded restaurant in Spain.