Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Day at elBulli - Ferran Adria

Image by Maribel Ruiz de Erenchun, from 'A Day at elBulli'.
Spherical-1 green olives

I've become rather slack with my blog postings..sorry. Will endeavour to Try Harder in future.

I received a copy of Ferran Adria's new book 'A Day at elBulli' in the mail the other day, and what a tome it is. Six hundred pages of gastronomic eye candy by the master himself, including recipes that you'll never try (sourcing dehydrated lemon verbena powder and freeze-dried passion fruit at Coles could pose a problem), the current el Bulli menu and lots and lots of gorgeous photographs.

For the uninitiated, el Bulli is a non-descript little restaurant situated on a remote part of the north-east coast of Spain that has been voted the best restaurant in the world four times in succession. Its maestro, Ferran Adria, has been voted best chef in the world. Ferran invented foam, and his culinary work lies somewhere between Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland when she bit into the magic mushroom. Nothing is what it seems at el Bulli (pronounced, apparently, 'el Bui'), with olives not just tasting like olives but the essence of olives and dishes resembling landscapes and artworks. I won't go into the statistics as I'm sick of reading about them, suffice to say he gets an awful lot of reservation queries and accepts very few. Yes, it's very very exclusive. And hence the reason for the book. Despite el Bulli being every die-hard foodie's Israel, at least for the next few years, most of us will (a) never get there or (b) never get a reservation. It is a day-in-the-life of one of the most extraordinary restaurants the world has ever seen.

Image by Maribel Ruiz de Erenchun, from 'A Day at elBulli'.
Earthy (incl Summer truffle, rice stock jelly, liquorice infusion, peanut oil marshmallow, freeze-dried cold white miso foam & beetroot shoot juice)

Ferran is part scientist, part chef and part artisan. A sample of his current 30 course menu goes something like this:
  • Spherical green olives
  • Pine nut marshmallow
  • Carrot foam with hazelnut foam air and Cordoba spices
  • Monk fish liver fondue with white sesame-flavoured kumquat
  • Chocolate air with crispy raspberry sorbet and eucalyptus water ice
Madness, I tell you. But a madness I would give my spleen to try.

My Q&A with Ferran to follow in the next few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting Jen but also sound totally nutso... I have to say I am intrigued as I dont get how foam can be food. Alas, I am a simple gal sometimes.
Pia x

Jen said...

Pia - yeah, I know. What is food? What is art? F-Art, perhaps..? I still want to try it. Badly.

Tenina said...

Ask him if he has a Thermomix...I dare you!! hahahaha...dying to read the interview!