Tag Archives: El Bulli

Gaggan’s chef Announces Plans to Close in 2020

Say it isn’t so. Hot on the heels of being crowned the best restaurant in Asia, chef Gaggan Anand has announced that he will close the gourmet restaurant in 2020. Far from it being a failure, the decision to set the best-by date on Gaggan in Bangkok, has more to do with re-invention and looking ahead to future plans.

“I think in five years I could be getting to that point where I will become a person who gets grumpy, arrogant and pissed off the customers if I keep doing the same thing without any change,” he told Fine Dining Lovers.

While the closure of the restaurant is not for anohter six years, the chef is already talking about his next venture that is likely to be set in Japan. If all goes according to plan, we may see a new concept by the chef in 2022, that will seat less than 10 diners.

The move to shutter at the peak of the restaurant’s popularity takes a page directly from the playbook of one of the world’s most legendary chefs.

Anand is a disciple of elBulli chef Ferran Adrià, who did the unthinkable and closed the Catalan restaurant in 2011 when it was receiving two million reservation requests for 8,000 seats. Part of the problem for Adria of course was that the restaurant did not have enough capacity to meet his ambitious agenda or to cover his costs so in that way at least, the Gaggan issue is different.

The restaurant snagged the title of World’s Best Restaurant five times and is widely credited for popularizing molecular gastronomy.

Likewise, another Adria disciple, Danish celebrity chef Rene Redzepi, announced plans to raze his world famous Copenhagen restaurant Noma and resurrect it as an ‘urban farm,’ serving farm-to-table cuisine in the heart of the city thanks to a rooftop greenhouse.

Those looking to savor Noma’s cuisine, can do so till New Year’s Eve in 2016, though there is no word yet on Gaggan, which is ok since the expiry date is only in 2020.

Adria Pressured to Shrink elBulli Footprint

The famous experimental chef Ferran Adria was forced to walk back his expansion plans for elBulli, now a foundation, by 300 percent due to pressure from locals and environmentalists. Adria is no stranger to controversy given his wildly inventive approaches to cuisine; critics have highlighted possible health-risks due to concerns about the additives involved. Although Adria closed down his restaurant located at Spain’s Cala Montjoi in 2011, the chef was planning to turn it into a larger ‘creativity center’.

The ‘molecular gastronomist’ has since changed his plans to a 20 percent expansion, reported the French publication The Independent. One of the main issues at elBulli was a lack of space, with the restaurant fully booked for most of its run but unable to cover its costs. Adria, inventor of more than a thousand completely unique dishes, had planned to open an exploratory and creative R&D center for gastronomy as a part of his ideal that, rather than eating food, one must ‘eat knowledge’. The public, however, could not understand why such consumption needed to happen on a public reserve.

The Cap de Creus Natural Park boasts of being a biological paradise, full of various species along with beautiful cliffs and coves. A petition on Change.org accumulated more than 100,000 signatures beseeching the government to step in the way of Adria’s development plans. People were also against the idea that the region was to be turned into a tourist-trap through Adria’s restaurant at the cost of the park’s protection.

The new elBulli space was scheduled to open in March but due to these developments, the future of the establishment remains uncertain. For now, though, it looks like the forests and coves will remain. To be clear though, opposition to Adria’s plans had nothing to do with his style of cuisine. It appears to have been based solely on concerns about the environmental impact

Albert Adrià Begins London Residency

“50 Days by Albert Adrià” marks the famed (can you say elBulli) Spanish chef’s maiden project outside of Spain. The Cafè Royale, a landmark in its own right, will be a perfect fit to Adrià’s sterling reputation.

Apart from hosting notable luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Mick Jagger and Bowie, the hotel is also well known for being the second home of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. While Wilde simply dined and polished off bottomless glasses of absinthe in search of inspiration, Adrià is set to leave his own impression of the hotel. The locations of his pop-up are set to be in the hotel restaurant The Domino Room and in the Oscar Wilde Bar.

Guests can choose between the full cocktail and dinner experience which starts at the bar before moving up to the restaurant for dinner, or opt simply for the cocktails. Pre-dinner drinks and dinner is estimated to be a two and a half-hour affair.

Adrià is best known in the food world for serving as brother Ferran’s other half at the experimental Girona restaurant elBulli (sometimes called El Bulli in the press), which famously snagged the title of World’s Best Restaurant five times before shuttering in 2011. Time magazine has also called him one of the most influential chefs in gastronomy.

“50 Days by Albert Adrià” is the latest collaborative project for the Spaniard, one of several chefs at the forefront of a gastronomic movement that elevates dinner into an artistic, musical and theatrical experience.

In a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, the brothers opened what was pitched as an adult theme park at the Ibiza Gran Hotel last summer.

At Heart Ibiza, the hotel’s dining and entertainment complex, dinner became a multi-sensory experience with video and light projections, live performances, virtual reality installations and international DJs.

Meanwhile, Adrià’s London pop-up runs Feb. 12 to April 9 and bookings must be reserved ahead of time.

Tickets are £150 ($217) for the full experience and require a £50 ($72) deposit. A waiting list has been opened.

Tickets for Cocktails by Albert Adrià require a £10 ($14) deposit. 

Food Fight: La Liste vs World’s 50 Best Restaurants

This haute cuisine battle has spent an age in the slow cooker and its flavors are just coming through… The World’s 50 Best Restaurants guide has been dismissed by many critics as “silly” nonsensical “schmozzle” that promotes chemistry-set cooking but love it or hate it there is no getting away from it. Until now that is.

Exasperated by the growing power of the British-based classification, which has long been accused of sticking the knife into French cuisine, Paris has decided to strike back with a list of its own.

La Liste claims to be the first authoritative ranking of the world’s 1,000 most “exceptional restaurants”, compiled from a rigorous mathematical analysis of hundreds of guide books and online reviews. Here’s what its algorithm, Ciacco, has determined are the 10 best in the world.

1 Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland

2 Per Se, New York

3 Kyo Aji, Tokyo

4 Guy Savoy, Paris

5 Schloss Schauenstein, Furstenau, Switzerland

6 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

7 Kyubei, Tokyo

8 Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France

9 Auberge du Vieux Puits, Fontjoncouse, France

10 Joel Robuchon, Tokyo

Its organizers could not resist a swipe at their rivals much-criticized “opacity” as they trumpeted their own “fair and transparent methodology” when their revealed their top 10 restaurants Saturday, five days ahead of publishing their full list.

“La Liste is designed to be an aggregator, a ‘best of the best’, modeled on the world tennis rankings, the Shanghai Ranking for universities and Rotten Tomatoes film reviews website,” they declared in a statement.

No French in top 10

While not a single French restaurant makes the top 10 of the 50 Best list – long dominated by the kind of “molecular gastronomy” pioneered by the Catalan chef Ferran Adria of elBulli fame – La Liste has three.

In fact half of its top 10 are run by French chefs, including Benoit Violier who is at the helm its top-rated Restaurant de L’Hotel de Ville at Crissier in Switzerland. It ranks 88th in the 50 Best.

The only place to make the top 10 of both classifications is the Celler de Roca in the Spanish city of Girona. But La Liste’s founder Philippe Faure, the head of the French tourist board, denied it was an exercise in culinary chauvinism.

“Only 116 of the 1,000 restaurants are French, so you can’t say it is a French list,” he said. “Japan has 11 more than France, and the US is not far behind. It’s a very diverse list.”

While he admitted that the idea had come from the French foreign ministry, he claimed it had not “received a penny of public funding”, relying instead on sponsors including Moet and Hennessy and Nestle France.

Jorg Zipprick, the German journalist who crunched its numbers, said La Liste was as impartial as a computer algorithm could be. “It is such a brilliantly simple idea to put together review data from all over the world — we had to do it before someone else did.”

If there is any “culinary nationalism” at play, La Liste points the finger at its competitor, citing rows over its promotion of the new wave of British chefs and those from countries like Peru with which it has built commercial partnerships.

50 Best is ‘fair’

Despite the controversies, 50 Best has turned the stuffy conventions of fine dining on its head since it first appeared in 2002, making previously obscure Scandinavian chefs into global stars, and lichen – once the nibble of choice for foraging reindeer — into a delicacy.

But from the start it had as many haters as fans. It even sparked a protest group, Occupy 50 Best, which railed against its “opaque, obsequious ranking, where nationalism trumps quality, sexism trumps diversity and the spotlight is on the celebrity chef.”

Worse still, the Paris-based group accused the list’s perennial favorites – the Danish restaurant Noma, elBulli and the Fat Duck near London – of sending “hundreds of diners home sick” when their experimental cuisine went wrong.

Noma, voted the world’s best restaurant four times by 50 Best, is rated only 217th by La Liste.

French chef Joel Robuchon, a former 50 Best judge, said the British-based list was prone to “cronyism, ‘flip a coin’ voting, geopolitical influence and lobbying.”

Of course, he is in La Liste’s top 10.

William Drew, editor of the 50 Best hit back strongly at its critics, claiming it was far more transparent than in the past. “We have worked very hard to make it as fair and democratic as possible. We refute the accusations of nationalism. Ours is a genuinely global list based on the views of nearly 1,000 experts, with the vote audited by accountancy firm Deloitte.

“We are not linked to any country or government,” he added in a dig at La Liste.

“I don’t know anything about their much-vaunted algorithm… but you have to ask the question about the number of French restaurants and French chefs in their top 10. Of course French cuisine is hugely important but it is very strange that a list rated by a council set up by the French government should be headed by so many French chefs.”

Spherificacion minikit

Cook Like Ferran Adrià In Your Own Kitchen

Spherificacion minikit

Want to recreate the mythic El Bulli restaurant — or a rudimentary facsimile — at home?

Spanish chef Ferran Adrià has developed a molecular gastronomy kit that will allow home cooks to perform kitchen alchemy, spherifying and gellifying foods à la El Bulli.

Together with younger brother Albert, Ferran has released a series of four molecular at-home gastronomy kits that are being launched this month: spherification, patisserie, cuisine and cocktail.

Each kit comes with measuring spoons, a recipe book with step-by-step images of Adrià’s techniques, and the ingredients needed to create culinary dishes that suspend liquids in other liquids or ‘flavor’ air.

The Adrià EasyKits sell for €70 ($92) apiece through solegraells.com which ships worldwide.

Spherificacion EasyKit

Chef jacket signed by Ferran Adria

Sotheby’s to Auction Dinner with elBulli Chef

chef Ferran Adria

Auction house Sotheby’s is offering the highest bidder at an upcoming wine auction the chance to enjoy a dinner prepared by legendary chef Ferran Adrià himself.

It’s the latest addition to a hotly anticipated wine auction to be held in Hong Kong and New York next month when El Bulli — which has held on to the title of best restaurant in the world five times by “Restaurant” magazine — sells off its wine cellar.

The opening bid for a dinner with Adrià at his Barcelona restaurant Tickets, which he co-runs with brother Albert, starts at $5,000.

Other lots that have been added to the wine sell-off include a chance to snatch various bits of El Bulli memorabilia, including four chefs’ jackets signed by Adrià, a set of El Bulli knives, menus, wine lists, and El Bulli stationery.

Many of the lots for sale are also one-of-a-kind bespoke pieces designed specifically to help execute and serve Adrià’s avant-garde cuisine. Examples include baroque and corrugated trays and crockery for his signature spherical olives.

8,800 bottles of wine, all of which will bear an El Bulli sticker and some of which will be signed by Adrià and restaurant partner Juli Soler, will be auctioned off April 3 in Hong Kong and April 26 in New York.

The highest value lot includes a trio of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Romanée Conti 1990, which is estimated to bring in $32,500 to $47,500.

Chef jacket signed by Ferran Adria

chef Ferran Adria

Ferran Adria to Launch Culinary Wikipedia

chef Ferran Adria

Spanish chef Ferran Adrià has released more details on life after El Bulli, including plans to launch a culinary version of Wikipedia which he’s named La Bullipedia.

At a gastronomy event in Mexico over the weekend, Adrià shared his vision of the much vaunted El Bulli Foundation which is set to open in 2014 and serve as a culinary think tank, reported popular food blog Eater.com.

A series of sustainable buildings are to house the brainstorming center, a workspace and the all-important kitchen.
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ferran adria

World’s best restaurant El Bulli set to close

ferran adria

elBulli, the beachside Spanish restaurant repeatedly crowned the world’s best, will close Saturday after pushing the boundaries of cuisine for more than two decades under chef Ferran Adria.

The remote eatery in Cala Montjoi will re-open in 2014 as a non-profit culinary think tank that will investigate new cooking techniques and develop new flavours.

The elBullifoundation plans to grant between 20 and 25 scholarships annually for chefs to spend a year working with elBulli’s core staff.
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Indra Nooyi with Ferran Adria

Ferran Adrià To Create Products For PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi with Ferran Adria

Though world renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià will be shuttering his legendary restaurant El Bulli this month, regular folks will be able to sample his creative genius at a fraction of the price and the wait now that he’s teamed up with PepsiCo.

The food and beverage giant announced the partnership Thursday, saying that Adrià will lend his creative, culinary genius to all of the company’s brands worldwide.

El Bulli was named the World’s Best Restaurant five times by Restaurant magazine and Adrià himself has likewise been described as the best chef in the world.
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World Best Restaurant 2011

Denmark’s Noma named best restaurant for 2nd year

World Best Restaurant 2011

Denmark’s Noma restaurant was named best in the world for a second year running Monday in an international poll dominated by European establishments but with new entries from China, Peru and Russia.

The Copenhagen restaurant of chef Rene Redzepi was voted number one in the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011, a list compiled by more than 800 international restaurant industry experts for Britain’s Restaurant Magazine.

Noma hit the headlines last year when it deposed famed Spanish restaurant elBulli from the top spot it had held for four years. ElBulli was not included this year because it is closing later this year.
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The Best Restaurant In the World: Noma

Noma restaurant

Famed Spanish restaurant elBulli lost its crown as the world’s best in an international poll Monday after four years at the top, beaten to the number one spot by rising star Noma in Copenhagen.

ElBulli’s defeat in the S.Pellegrino World’s Best 50 Restaurants list is another blow for the eatery and its trailblazing chef, Ferran Adria, after he announced in January the venue would close for two years from 2012.

The 47-year-old chef put the decision to shut the restaurant on Spain’s northeastern Catalan coast down to fatigue and a need to plan for the future.
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El Bulli restaurant to become culinary academy

The famed el Bulli, the Spanish restaurant repeatedly crowned the world’s best, is to become a non-profit foundation from 2014, its avant-garde chef Ferran Adria announced Monday.

The Michelin three-star restaurant will become a “foundation for all avant-garde gastronomy lovers.., a breeding ground for new ideas and for new talents,” he told a news conference at a culinary fair in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

The private foundation will grant between 20 and 25 scholarships annually for chefs and other industry professionals and one of its long-term aims will be to compile an “exhaustive and detailed” encyclopedia of contemporary cuisine.
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Ferran Adria to Close El Bulli Temporarily

Molecular gastronomy maven Ferran Adria has announced that he will close his famed Catalonian restaurant El Bulli for all of 2012 and 2013.

The three Michelin star El Bulli, tucked away on the Catalan coast, was last year named the world’s best restaurant by Restaurant magazine in Britain.

“El Bulli is not closing down. I need time to decide how 2014 is going to be . . . I know that when I return it will not be the same”
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