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Ferran Adria

Our other elBulli book 2005 cost almost $200 (not that we are complaining). Published by elBulli, it is a glorious publication in every respect but one � it lists ingredients but not actual recipes.

The images are utterly titillating culinary pornography. It didn�t spoil our appreciation of the food at elBulli, but the food remained mysterious, daunting and challenging.

This book, A Day at elBulli, opens the restaurant, the philosophy and some recipes to a group of people who may never be lucky enough to eat in the Spanish restaurant or work in the kitchen.

The tiny $75 price tag will mean this book will fl y off of the shelves, so if you want a copy and not have to wait for the second print run you had better buy one straight away.

Most importantly, the price puts the book within the reach of the lowliest apprentice with a dream of being famous and being as good and innovative as chef Ferran Adri�.

An intimate look into the day of what has become the world�s most famous restaurant ever. Part of this fame can be attributed to the internet, but it would be grossly unfair to attribute the global fascination just to that.

Chefs may never want to serve a foam, deconstruct an olive to return it to a wobbly glistening sphere that disintegrates in the mouth with a burst of green olive, but ... Amuse bouche, mate we�re going to put them in the very best gin we can find with a breath, a vapour of vermouth over the top and give the martini new meaning.

The pressure of elBulli being the 2008 Best Restaurant in the World and Ferran Adri� the Best Chef in the World might have weighed heavily on other establishments, but the Adri�s and their partner Juli Soler seem to fl ourish, never pausing from their consummate professionalism.

This is a breathtaking book with stunning images by Maribel Ruiz de Erenchun who has captured the intimacy of the effort that becomes a cohesive dining and drinking experience.

We love the electronic wine list � search Gaja, search your favourite wine and then be utterly overwhelmed with the choice. Purists will lament they cannot paw the pages, but it would take all night to properly check out the wine list � electronic makes it easy. Forget price, if you have made it through the doors of elBulli from Australia you�ve already spent at least two grand to get there and surely aren�t planning to scrimp on the experience. As chefs we can relate to much of the text. There is a poignancy to the �round up of the day� at 1.15am (p502): �When the other chefs have left, the head chefs and managers discuss everything that has happened, organise tasks for the next day, help to compile the shopping lists and discuss the menu for the following evening. This is all done in a more or less relaxed atmosphere depending on the day.�

Only a chef possessed with their craft will appreciate this. It doesn�t matter how good you are, how hard you try, we all relate to Vatel who killed himself for getting it wrong just once. For some bizarre reason those tiny percentage of bad nights are haunting black holes.

We love the recipes; nothing after 2005 (we have noted) but we�ve already made several with varying degrees of success. For example we�ve turned 3kg of mozzarella into precisely 3 x 10g (30g) perfect mozzarella sf�rica (p300). Degree of difficulty about a zillion, but we know practice makes perfect. We�ve also made poor examples of pumpkin oil sweet (p294) but it�s not our idea of dessert.

Cheeky, no, we love Ferran Adri�, his team and the concept and celebrate the fame of this restaurant and the people who are its lifeblood. Without this heart that pulses with a team of possessed people a great restaurant never exists.


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+ChefsWorld Tim Capper  
Tags: El Bulli , Ferran Adria , Michelin Chef , Spanish Chef

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