CALA MONTJOI, Spain (Reuters) - Ground-breaking chef Ferran Adria held El Bulli’s last supper this weekend, closing the doors of his three Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant for another reinvention, that of El Bulli itself.
Considered the world’s best chef by several critics, Adria and El Bulli have become synonymous with a transformation of traditional dishes into funky and fun culinary adventures.
Adria is considered a genius among the gastronomic elite, but fame has come at a price.
“El Bulli has become a monster that had to be tamed and transformed,” Adria told reporters, surrounded by a throng of chefs in the garden of the restaurant, on the shores of Catalonia’s Costa Brava.
The restaurant will ignore a waiting list which is years long and close until 2014, reopening as “El Bulli Foundation,” a center for new gastronomic inventions from the Catalan who gave us culinary foam, paella made of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and gazpacho popsicles.
On the way he is widely credited with changing restaurant dining as we once knew it and producing dozens of other prize-winning chefs along the way.
El Bulli’s closing dinner was attended by four of the world’s best chefs, according to Restaurant magazine, trained by Adria — Denmark’s Rene Redzepi (Noma), Catalan Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Basque Andoni Luis Aduritz (Mugaritz) and Italy’s Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana).
Adria has become a tourist asset to Spain, attracting food lovers from around the world to try dishes which could leave no one indifferent, mixing textures, flavors and colors in dozens of delicious guises in a taster menu which cost 300 euros ($431.9), excluding wine.
According to the New York Times, Adria took the world’s culinary crown away from France and gave it to Spain, although the country’s gastronomic heritage was already firmly established by award-winning Basque cooks Juan Mari Arzak and Martin Berasategui.
The Foundation will be open to the public, although reservations and opening hours will not be those of any usual eatery.
Writing by Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Angus MacSwan