Chef Ferran Adria spills culinary secrets

Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:00am EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters Life!) What does the man hailed as the world's greatest chef do to top his three-Michelin-star restaurant being ranked No.1 for the third year running? He writes a book explaining how it's done.

Ferran Adria, 46, who started his career as a dishwasher and military cook, has achieved gastro-god status for leading an avant-garde cuisine revolution at his restaurant elBulli near Barcelona in Spain.

"A Day at elBulli: An insight into the ideas, methods and creativity of Ferran Adria," takes a behind-the-scenes look at a working day for the chef and his 70 staff, including preparing the 30-course tasting menu and selecting 8,000 guests each year from the 2 million reservation requests.

The 528-page book includes recipes with freeze-dried chocolate "air", melon caviar and liquid-nitrogen-dipped pine nuts from menus that used groundbreaking techniques and chemical agents to create the edible foams, powders, papers, jellies, liquid infusions and "morphings" the restaurant is famed for.

Adria spoke to Reuters during his first international book tour about creativity, success and being misunderstood.

Q: How would you define what you do?

A: "What we do at elBulli is to push the limits of what can be done in cuisine. What is the limit so that it will remain cuisine?"

Q: What is the limit?   Continued...

<p>Spanish chef Ferran Adria addresses the audience during the Madrid Fusion 5th International Summit of Gastronomy in Madrid in this January 16, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Victor Fraile</p>