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Ferran Adrià Previews La BulliPedia

Ferran Adrià Previews La BulliPedia

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Check out his upcoming Internet-based food mega-encyclopedia

Ferran Adrià was the guest speaker at the final lecture of Harvard's Science and Cooking series, and while the entire series was pretty much about eggs, Adrià's lecture spanned everything from a cooking demo to the history of elBulli (there's literally a five-minute retrospective video at 15:30) and, of course, the purpose of his upcoming La BulliPedia.

On the latter topic, Adrià first references Google, saying that the Internet search tool is actually really young, although we feel like we've had it for 50 years. "We're talking about something very new, something marvelous no doubt," Adrià says through a translator.

Adrià flips through La BulliPedia (which has a URL but isn't live yet), noting that the University of Barcelona will be collaborating with the team to create the immense food dictionary, along with a ton of cooking schools around the world. The website will be divided into daily content and an archive, where food is divided into families (like vegetables, or acid), then broken down into individual components, each product/ingredient featuring a section for general, scientific information, and cooking information. So if you're looking for a variety of ways to cook asparagus (or how to say it in like seven different languages), you'll find it.

Watch below for the full lecture (La BulliPedia talk starts around 1:40), or click here to watch the preview only on YouTube.

Ferran Adrià

The career of Ferran Adrià (1962, L'Hospitalet, Barcelona) is necessarily linked to that of elBulli, the restaurant he joined in 1983 when, under the management of Juli Soler, it boasted two Michelin stars. The restaurant had been named after the pet bulldog owned by the initial owners, the Schillings from Germany. They had arrived in Cala Montjoi in 1961, and in 1975 took on Jean Louis Neichel as chef. One year later, they received their first Michelin star, which Neichel took as his springboard for opening up his own establishment and continuing his career in the city of Barcelona.

In the late 1970s, a few months after Neichel left, Juli Soler paid a visit to elBulli which was to determine his, and its, future. He was keen to get away from the bustle of the city and eventually accepted the offer made him by the Schillings to manage the restaurant. Things did not go well at the start, with the restaurant losing its star in 1981. But then chef Jean Paul Vinay came on board and together they won it back. A year later, the second star was awarded. And this was the year that Ferran Adrià came into contact with the restaurant which was to radically change his life.

At the time, Ferran was doing his military service in another location on the Mediterranean coast, far from Roses. It was Cartagena, on the south-east tip of Spain, where his culinary experience led to his secondment to the Admiral's kitchen, providing daily menus for the Admiral and his family. Another young recruit soon joined him as apprentice. His name was Fermí Puig , later to make his name as chef of the Drolma restaurant in Barcelona. It was Puig who spoke to Ferran about elBulli, a fantastic establishment with two Michelin stars in a secluded spot on the Gerona coast. And he suggested Ferran went there as a trainee during his month off from the military. The experience was a decisive one. Before before going back to Cartagena, Ferran had committed himself to a position on the restaurant staff as from 1984.

Adrià and Soler, together in the lead

Another important date in the history of elBulli was 1990, when Juli Soler and Ferran Adrià decided to start up a company managing new projects originating in the restaurant. This triggered one of the most creative and expansive periods in the elBulli universe. Talks were given on the premises, leading to the first culinary and gastronomic workshops for professionals. In 1995, elBulli Catering was created, with the aim of reaching a broader public and, in 1997, the restaurant received its third Michelin star. At the time there were only two other 3-star restaurants in Spain, Arzak and El Racó de Can Fabes.

In 1998, they launched out on a new, successful adventure, offering instead of the three hours of culinary pleasure in the restaurant, a 24-hour stay in a hotel. This was the Hacienda de Benazuza, in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Seville). Then, in 2000, they opened the elBullitaller, so that they could separate their two research teams: one to innovate for the restaurant, and the other to devise business projects.

Ferran Adrià's media presence, which continues today with his participation in the world’s most important gastronomic events, took off in 1999, when the Sunday supplement of El País featured him on its front page under the headline "El mejor cocinero del mundo" (The world's best chef). The early years of the 21st century brought about an explosion of reports on the Adrià phenomenon, referring not only to his work and that of the whole elBulli team but also bringing other leaders of Spain's culinary movement into the limelight.

By this time, the chef's upward progression was unstoppable. The ground-breaking work by Ferran’s team led to the creation in 2002 of the scientific department at elBullitaller, and in 2004 the Alicia Foundation was set up at the request of public and private institutions for collaboration by Ferran in studies relating food with science and gastronomy from an experimental and social viewpoint.

Research, side-by-side with art?

Collaboration between this chef and the academic world continues today. In 2005, the Camilo José Cela University in Madrid set up the Ferran Adrià Chair in Gastronomic Culture and Food, paving the way for gastronomy in the universe of higher education.

Adrià continues to be much in demand at international culinary events, such as those held in New York and California in 2006 (Spain's Ten, and Spain and the World Table, respectively). One of his latest achievements was the invitation received to participate, as an artist, at the Documenta in Kassel 2007. This sparked a controversy as soon as the invitation by the exhibition's director, Roger Buergel, was announced. Speculation was rife for months as to how the disciplines of art and cuisine could be brought to visitors at the Kassel exhibition. In the end, on the advice of Marta Arzak, the daughter of chef Arzak and manager of teaching activities at Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum the following decision was taken. The pavilion which was to house the display in Germany would be transferred to elBulli. Every day, during three months, two guests from the Documenta would be able to eat at the Roses restaurant, thus gaining first-hand experience of Adrià's cuisine.

Show must go on

At the close of 2008, Harvard University proposed that an agreement for collaboration be set up with Ferran Adrià and his team at elBulli, to be named Dialogues between Science and Cuisine. The chef was delighted to accept and involved his Alicia Foundation in the project. Yet again, the academic and culinary worlds come together in association with Adrià.

April of 2009 year saw the presentation of a book featuring Ferran Adrià and his work. The British artist Richard Hamilton and the Spanish expert on contemporary art Vicente Todolí were behind Food for Thought: Thought for Food (Actar, 2009), a reflection on the cuisine and the art that stemmed from the presence of elBulli at Documenta 2007.

A leap into the unknown

Madridfusión 2010 will always be remembered as the year in which Ferran officially confirmed a change of focus for elBulli. At a packed press conference he announced that the restaurant would close during 2012 and 2013, and that a number of changes would be made before it was re-opened. Over these two years the team will be analyzing all the elBulli know-how related to cooking, techniques and styles gained over its 30-year creative career, work that will be reflected in a thorough and detailed encyclopedia. The exercise will also set the tone for elBulli's activities over the coming years.

At the 2011 Madridfusión event, Ferran Adrià was once again the star of the first day's activities. He wanted this gastronomy conference, which has contributed so much to spreading Spanish cutting-edge cuisine abroad, to be the setting for giving a detailed description of his next project after elBulli restaurant: "We opted for the foundation format for a very special reason: we've been lucky enough to spend our lives doing what we love, cooking and creating. Now we want to give something back to society, and a good way of doing this is to set up a non-profit making foundation focused on promoting cutting-edge cuisine and supplying society with professionals capable of working at the forefront", how the Catalan chef summed things up passionately.

Everything that comes out of the foundation will be published daily on the web site, with the intention of providing help and inspiration to individuals and companies with an interest in innovation, development and research. For this side of things, the foundation already has two sponsors, two Spanish companies with which it is working closely: Tecnalia and Telefónica, who will be providing all the technical and technological support they need for carrying out elBullifoundation projects.

Bye elBulli, Hello Foundation

There is always room in Ferran and Albert Adrià's heads for more than one project. At the same time as they presented their future foundation, they decided to open a hotel in Barcelona called Tickets, consisting of two well-defined areas: a cocktail bar called 41º and a tavern serving only tapas, ranging from the most traditional to the most ingenious or cutting-edge, under the name of La Vida Tapa. This idea was the brainchild of Albert Adrià, who wanted his brother Ferran to work alongside him and have a role in the project.

30 July 2011. That date will be always remembered by everyone who had the chance to know elBulli. Ferran Adrià and his team of fifty or so young chefs closed the doors of elBulli forever, leaving behind a formidable legacy that changed the world of cooking and cuisine forever.
Dreaming of NYC with José Andrés

In 2017 Spanish-born US-based chef José Andrés announced that he had has sealed the deal on a massive, 35,000 square foot space at 10 Hudson Yards, located just under the High Line (at 30th Street and 10th Avenue), to be opened late 2018. The food hall will be modeled after Eataly, but it will offer more and will feature Spanish food, running the gamut from formal options to tapas to wine bars. It will be loosely based on La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous market.  The chef is collaborating with Ferran and Albert Adrià to create a groundbreaking venue that will be a Spanish food-lover’s dream. This is the Adria brothers’ first project in the US, and Andrés’s 27th.

ElBulli chef Ferran Adrià unveils plans for ɼooking laboratory' and museum

Spanish star chef Ferran Adrià unveiled plans on Tuesday for a "cooking laboratory", museum and database of top recipes at his world-beating restaurant, elBulli.

Adrià, whose eatery was crowned best in the world five times by Britain's Restaurant magazine before it closed in 2011, gave a preview of the "elBulli foundation", which he said would open next year.

For over two decades the Catalan chef, now 51, pushed the boundaries of cuisine, using hi-tech methods to take apart and rebuild foods in surprising ways.

He served the last meal there in July 2011 and announced his plan to convert it into a training and research centre, so he could concentrate on culinary innovation instead of running the restaurant.

"This foundation has been three years in preparation and is now 95% finished," he told reporters in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The new entity will consist of three parts, including an exhibition on the history of cooking entitled elBulli 1846 and a cooking research "laboratory" called elBulli DNA.

The laboratory will host "40 people from around the world, from cooks to designers to architects", Adrià said. "We will work on efficiency and innovation and the final result will be about cooking and will be published on the internet."

The third part of the foundation will be the "Bullipedia", a "gastronomic encyclopedia" including a database of recipes and ingredients.

"There will be an exhibition space on the one hand and a creative space on the other," Adrià said.

It will all be housed in the former restaurant's premises, in a nature reserve overlooking the Mediterranean near the resort of Roses, a two-hour drive north of Barcelona.

Adrià said regional authorities were willing to change environmental norms so he could build an extension to house the exhibition space, a prospect that has raised concern among nature groups.

"There will be no environmental impact," Adrià promised. "This is a social project. But we want consensus and good relations."

After elBulli: Ferran Adrià on his desire to bring innovation to all

This article was taken from the October 2012 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by <span online.

Ferran Adrià, world-famous chef, points his finger at the sky and holds it at shoulder height for a moment to emphasise his point. "Who says you can't mix sardines and white chocolate?" he asks. His eyes are opened wide, his black eyebrows are raised high and his face is set in a look that demands to know: "Are you following me?"

He is standing in front of a white polystyrene board a couple of metres high, which has 12 pieces of paper covered in data pinned to it. Around him there are half a dozen web developers and user-interface designers who have gathered in his taller, or workshop, to discuss the construction of La Bullipedia, Adrià's vision for an online database that will contain every piece of gastronomic knowledge ever gathered.

Separated from the bustle of Barcelona by a cool, dark courtyard, the taller is in an elegant 18th-century building. There are three major rooms: a large kitchen with a double-height ceiling, an administrative area and an ornate conference room. Adrià, his brother Albert and the core creative team from Adrià's celebrated restaurant, elBulli, have based themselves here, on carrer Portaferrissa, for six months every year since 2000.

Boards are propped against every available wall. Pieces of paper are pinned to each, detailing La Bullipedia and a larger, characteristically ambitious, project that Adrià is exploring. Organisational charts, hand-drawn clusters of information and diagrams explaining the function of working groups are laid out. A coffee table supports cityscapes of books of photography and architecture. There is a sideboard loaded with documents with titles such as "The Four Stages in the Relationship Between Science and Cuisine", "The Origins of Man" and "The History of the Dialogue Between Science and Cuisine".

Adrià marches everyone outside to a terrace where the meeting started 20 minutes earlier the team return to their seats on benches along a refectory table. Adrià has led them in and out of the taller three times since they arrived in order to show them something -- an object, a book, a photograph, a document -- that he deems important to their work: the transformation of the world's most lauded restaurant into a centre for innovation.

The taller is full of mementoes from elBulli -- cutlery manufactured especially for particular dishes, plates made for a specific course, magazine covers and newspaper front pages featuring Adrià, a sketch of the chef by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. The kitchen is simple, featuring a counter with a sink, and a large workstation with a built-in electric hob beneath a huge steel extractor hood. One part of the wall is dedicated to ingredients.

Back-lit, the 720 glass jars with cork stoppers look as if they contain powerful pharmaceuticals rather than spices and flavourings.

Adrià, 50, is dressed in black slip-on shoes, black trousers and a black T-shirt. There is a film of sweat on his brow, evidence on this June morning that he has not sat down since his visitors arrived. He is more often than not in motion and is usually talking, his voice rising and falling for emphasis, ending sentences abruptly in the manner of a chef in a working kitchen who is having the final word. <span kind of stimulus have we created in order for people to leave ideas?" he asks the group, making reference to a section of the site -- which will contain 15,000 pages when it launches next year -- where users will leave suggestions for dishes, concepts and combinations of flavours, for which they will get credit if Adrià's team develops them. As the designers and engineers settle down, the chef fetches from his desk the business card of the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, whom he met recently. Sagmeister is famous for taking a year out every seven in order to reboot his creative thinking. Adrià beckons the team to follow him back inside. "I want to be able to go through to asparagus in four clicks," he says, standing in front of a board and emphasising that the way that professional chefs experience La Bullipedia will affect their creativity. He points to a page that leads to others on the subject of infusions -- including the kinds of containers in which to store them, their textures, combinations and basic tastes.

Examining a sheet of paper, Adrià alights on the subject of working with white asparagus. "It's a scientific process," he says. "Where does the creativity go? What can you do with asparagus? What techniques can you use? You can inject it with truffle oil. You can spend an hour and a half in the world of asparagus. You can cut it up into little pieces so that you can't even identify it. Then you can go backwards and forwards

[within the website] and you will suddenly think of rhubarb and wonder if anyone has used the technique of injecting it! You don't only start the creative process just with products [ingredients].

You can start it from a technique, or a concept."

This insight -- that cuisine can be driven not by ingredients (or "products", as Adrià calls them), but by chemistry, biology, physics, psychology and, crucially, mechanics and technique -- underpinned the astounding success of elBulli, which was voted by industry authority Restaurant magazine as the best in the world in 2002, then for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009. In 2011 Adrià had two

million people request a table. There were 6,000 applications for every stage -- or internship -- in his kitchen. He has been awarded three Michelin stars and has received a benediction -- to the horror of the French gastronomic community -- from Joël Robuchon, the chef with a world-record 26 Michelin stars to his name, who described Adrià as "undoubtedly the most brilliant creator in the world".

The next move, for many chefs, would be to retain their Michelin stars, roll out the elBulli concept worldwide, and live off endorsements and public appearances. An elBulli at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas beckoned. But Adrià did something quite different -- and unprecedented -- in the world of gastronomy: on 26 January 2010, he announced that elBulli would close. The news made headlines worldwide, including the front page of the Financial Times. The world of haute cuisine was baffled that such a superstar would quit at the peak of his success. Rumours abounded: Adrià was broke he had fallen out with his business partner Juli Soler and his brother the new wave of Spanish molecular gastronomy -- la cocina de vanguardia -- was finished.

The theories proved incorrect: after more than two decades of applying a set of principles and methods to gastronomy, Adrià had stopped not because he was broke or fighting with his collaborators, but because he could no longer innovate to the level he wished. "We had reached a limit," he says with a shrug. Notably, he had realised that the work being done in the taller -- where his team had created 1,846 dishes over 24 years -- was more important than what was happening at elBulli. "Throughout the history of elBulli many of the drastic decisions were taken to be able to continue creating, to be able to continue with the creative process," he says.

Less than two weeks later, there was another announcement. Adrià declared his intention to set up the elBulli Foundation, a centre of innovation allied with digital technology that would rethink haute cuisine in a way that would offer other creative endeavours a road map for innovation. As Adrià's long-time business manager Ernest Laporte puts it: "At the restaurant they played the music, but in the taller they wrote it."

The music, all 8,000 pages of it, is contained in elBulli's General Catalogue, a vast and exhaustive compendium that details the conception of Adrià's repertoire, which he describes as the "genome of cuisine". "We had to move on from the concept of a restaurant," he says, pointing out that, to really innovate, procedures and ways of thinking and collaborating need to be formalised.

Principally he wrestled with the notion that there can be no process in cuisine -- or business, or art -- without an idea. The foundation is Adrià's attempt to understand the nature of creativity and to address a powerful question: where do ideas come from, and how do we best foster them?

Radical innovation and constant change have been the basis of Adrià's work and helped to mark him out from his contemporaries -- but they have been a rare commodity in restaurant kitchens. Ever since Marie-Antoine Carême and Auguste Escoffier codified and classified haute cuisine in the 19th century, gastronomy has largely been about perfecting dishes that have been unaltered for years. There have been variations and regional typologies, but most kitchens operate along the lines of the brigade de cuisine -- a hierarchical system of specialisation in which the kitchen is broken down into sections, overseen by the chef de cuisine.

Spain became the centre of the gastronomic world during the 90s due largely to the fearlessness of Adrià and other Spanish chefs such as Joan and Jordi Roca, Santi Santamaría and Juan Mari Arzak. Much like a startup, the group looked at the incumbents -- in this case the grands chefs of Paris and Lyon -- and wondered why things were being done in a certain way and how they might be done better.

In the winter of 1992 Adrià, who lives in Barcelona with his wife, Isabel, accepted an offer from one of the restaurant's customers, the sculptor Xavier Medina-Campeny, to relocate to Barcelona during the close season. The taller was born: it marked the first time that chefs had gathered not to prepare dishes, but to engage in theoretical work that would expand what it was possible to do with food. The chefs recorded every aspect of their discoveries in detail and photographed every stage of a dish's evolution. Without the pressure of daily service, Adrià and his team were free to create an entirely new set of dishes for the following season. They were, in effect, hacking cuisine. "Cooking is an attitude," Albert says. "That attitude makes you wonder every day about what you do -- don't forget that the cutting edge of today will be tomorrow's classicism."

The Adrià brothers partly perceived their mission as deconstructing what had been done before -- for instance, a chicken curry in which each ingredient was treated differently to the original version and texturised and reconfigured. They used liquid mixed with alginic acid to produce spheres of different textures and consistencies such as "caviar of melon", and sought to reveal hidden tastes, textures, abstractions, smells and visuals. The tools of their trade were candyfloss machines, soda siphons, liquid nitrogen, Pacojets, dehydrators, lyophilisers and syringes. The taller was less a kitchen than a research project into how food might be evoked as an idea.

Adrià draws a parallel with the foundation, which will put the teams' work online every day. "It's a centre for experimentation by processes, efficiency and a way of auditing creativity," he says. "We're using cuisine as a discourse in order to create a dialogue with other disciplines and communicating these findings through the internet."

Ingredients were purchased daily from the vast cast-iron market, la Boqueria, in Barcelona's

ciutat vella -- chefs were also routinely sent to hardware stores -- and the door was open to visitors, in particular young chefs passing through town. Unlike the traditional model, in which a chef would closely guard his secrets, openness was an important concept for Adrià, as was the creation of a network through which ideas could be circulated. "In 1997 we realised that it was very important to share our findings and developments so that we could continuously feed into other people's processes," he says. "At the same time it caused us to have to be continuously better, to continuously improve. It created a pressure. Now the pressure will be coming from people who are accessing the Foundation on the internet asking 'what have they done today?'" He raises his finger: "If there's no pressure, there's no creativity."

Ferran Adrià: After elBulli, there’s no innovation in food (but it’s not over yet)


Ferran Adrià with siblings Luca and Martina Caruso, maître and chef at Signum, on the island of Salina. The Catalan chef spent a week on holiday in Sicily and the surroundings and made himself available for a long interview

Ferran Adrià has just spent a week in Sicily. A journey with friends in Palermo and the Aeolian islands. We met him by chance at Signum in Salina, while he was swimming in the pool of the hotel owned by the Caruso family. «Hey, it&rsquos him!». We took the opportunity to have a long chat with him on the current state of the restaurant industry and on his current important projects.

Good morning Adrià, what are you doing in Sicily?
I&rsquom here mostly on holiday. I&rsquove just spent two weeks of holiday in Mallorca and wanted to discover your island and its delicacies. It&rsquos the first time for me. The Baleares, Sicily, Sardinia, Catalonia, Costa Brava with elBulli: they&rsquore all part of the same horizons. Same geographic and historic profiles. Mediterranean culture.

Did you enjoy Martina Caruso&rsquos cooking?
The food was very good, Signum is a fantastic place. If you don&rsquot do avant-garde, it&rsquos important that you offer the best products a place has to offer, and this is what happens here. I enjoyed Salina, a summary of this island. Productos del mar.

Adria and Luca Caruso with Alfredo Olivieri, author of the best granita on the island of Salina

Speaking of products, people often say that, compared to 10 or 15 years ago, products now prevail on technique.
It&rsquos a big lie, lie, lie [he repeats mentira 3 times]. &lsquoTradition is back, bla bla bla&rsquo. I&rsquom 56 and I&rsquove been hearing people say this regularly in different ways since I was 35. Today however there are very few professional chefs who cook traditional food, as few as ever. Tell me the name of a Spanish chef who likes making properly made traditional food. I don&rsquot know any. Etxebarri? Not him for sure. Nobody has ever made parrilla the way he does. And in Barcelona you won&rsquot find a traditional Catalan restaurant.

Not even your Bodega 1900?
It&rsquos the most traditional of my brother Albert&rsquos restaurants but it&rsquos not a traditional restaurant. It serves fantastic products in a constant evolution and food that a few decades ago did not exist on our tables. Tradition and avant-garde: there&rsquos lots of confusion with these two categories.

What do you mean?
Take pasta. Do you think it&rsquos a product-based cuisine? Of course not: it&rsquos everything but a simple food. How about burrata or mozzarella? You like them, don&rsquot you? But they&rsquore very complex products, they have very little in common with high quality prawns served raw, straight from the sea. When people today speak of returning to tradition, they never really refer to tradition. They say it just because they don&rsquot want to admit they lack enough ideas to innovate.

A group photo at Signum. While travelling in Sicily, Adrià is guided by journalist Francesco Pensovecchio (second from the right), who reported on the journey on Wine in Sicily. Standing next to Luca Caruso, his partner Natascia Santandrea, the patron of Tenda Rossa in Cerbaia (Florence)

Now elBulli is closed, who&rsquos capable of innovating these days?
As far as I know, nobody. In Cala Montjoi we set a benchmark so high that nobody knows or wants to see what&rsquos beyond [qué hay màs allà]. Today there are very capable chefs, but they are satisfied with doing what I call amiable creativity. They do a fantastic job but they&rsquore always beneath that benchmark. Yet there&rsquos a great need to set the limit even further. To do avant-garde even if it means becoming unpopular, fighting without being afraid to kill. It&rsquos very hard, I know.

How can one go beyond that limit?
I only know one way. Inspiration is born from culture, from knowing what exists, and how this change. Even within traditional cuisine things change: if I eat pasta with mussels, in 9 times out of 10 mussels will be overcooked, and bad. Knowing that you should cook it less is already a small innovation. Tradition must evolve siempre, siempre, siempre.

Compared to the past, is the situation more or less favourable?
It&rsquos much more favourable because we have access to endless ideas and information. I see people complain that in Australia you can find very similar food to Peru. In fact, food was once much more homogenous because there was just one form of culinary art, French haute cuisine, which colonised most of the world. Today there are many more sources and they&rsquore more accessible: Mexican, Peruvian, Japanese tradition &hellip Great cuisines based on emotions. Do you know who were the first to spread Japanese cuisine in Europe?

The poster from "elBulli, the story of a dream", a documentary series available from Amazon Prime as of July 2nd. The 12 episodes were filmed over 13 years, a not to be missed chance to retrace the history of the most influential restaurant in the past 30 years

Are the 23 points in the famous manifesto del Bulli still current? Take the tasting menu format, it looks like it&rsquos going through a bit of crisis.
They&rsquore still current, sure, but we&rsquore updating them and enriching them in a book soon to be published. That thing about tasting menus is another big lie told by critics. They say it&rsquos no longer trendy, that we should move to à la carte menus. But those who visit a specific type of restaurant order the tasting menu most of the times because they want to enjoy a feast. Tasting menus are always the best tool available to the chef to create a new language. At elBulli we served 45 dishes in 2 hours, I would do it again.

The imminent publication of the Bullipedia volumes is much awaited.
On November 30th we will present the first congress on coffee with Lavazza in Milan. At the same time the next volumes of the Bullipedia will be out [after the first Bebidas volume]. These books will be on coffee, wine and cocktails, the first in a project of 35 books, over all, each with 700 pages. Writing the first two was simpler than the third because there&rsquos no book that can sum up the work of the greatest bartenders in recent history. The volumes on wine alone will be 6, a total of 4,500 pages. Bullipedia requires huge research efforts. We&rsquore late because in 2013, when we presented the project, we were not sure of the work it would require. We should complete the work by 2022.

Bebidas, the first books of the Bullipedia: volume 1 Definición, historia, tipos y composición (available on the Bullistore) volume 2 Productos elaborados con uso de bebidas, volume 3 Uso en el restaurante gastronomico. In November, they&rsquore going to present the books on wine, coffee and cocktails in Milan

Why debut with these three topics?
Because coffee, wine and cocktails are Bebidas, that is to say the expression of service, a crucial component of the restaurant industry, which is experiencing a dramatic phase. Most of the best food critics these days don&rsquot speak of dining room service. They say the food was great, but mention nothing more. This is why with Lluìs Garcìa, director at elBulli, we&rsquore working on a book that will give guidelines for the dining room service and for all those managing different products and tasks.

A huge job.
Four people from the technical team of Lavazza and the University of Pollenzo have worked on coffee alone for 15 months in a row. The book on Nikkei [Japanese-Peruvian tradition] alone required the work of two people for two years. Do you know which was one of the hardest topics to analyse? Italian traditional cuisine, a huge heritage that was never catalogued and categorised. Should we put recipes? We wondered. How many? And what are the 20 most important books on Italian food? For sure, one is Massimo Montanari&rsquos "Storia dell&rsquoalimentazione". And who are the fundamental Italian chefs of your time? You&rsquoll see.

The restaurant scene has lost some important people in the past few months.
Yes, 3 among the 25 most important people in the global contemporary food scene after Nouvelle Cuisine. Gualtiero Marchesi was a grande, grande, grande chef, the most committed person in defining Italian culinary identity. Paul Bocuse, the founder of Nouvelle Cuisine, taught us the essential role of marketing. Joël Robuchon was the chef par excellence, an incredible, institutional professional, obsessed with perfection, which of course does not exist. Our task will be to illustrate their great contribution in detail. The great challenge we&rsquore now facing is not avant-garde, but knowledge.

The many things that Ferran Adrià told us on innovation, cooking and the future


A few days ago Ferran Adrià visited Identità Golose Milano with Paolo Marchi and Claudio Ceroni

A few days ago, we attentively followed two different events with Ferran Adrià in Milan. The first was a dinner at Identità Golose Milano, the International Hub of Gastronomy in Via Romagnosi 3. Here the Catalan chef dined while four chefs representing Le Soste di Ulisse cooked, starting with president Pino Cuttaia, from La Madia in Licata (Agrigento), author of the dessert, and then, following the long menu, Gioacchino Gaglio of Gagini in Palermo, Angelo Treno of Al Fogher in Piazza Armerina (Enna), Damiano Ferraro of Capitolo Primo in Montallegro (Agrigento).

Ferran the other night with the four guest chefs representing Le Soste di Ulisse: Angelo Treno, Damiano Ferraro, Gioacchino Gaglio and Pino Cuttaia

Adrià with the brigade at Identità Golose Milano (plus the Sicilian guests)

Alessandro Rinaldi&rsquos casatielli: the Catalan chef loved them

Mercado Little Spain in New York, work in progress

Adrià with Giuseppe Lavazza during the press conference for the presentation of Coffee Sapiens, a book published with the contribution of

The evening draws to an end. Ferran is speaking of another project, a sort of "Cooks&rsquo Tripadvisor", with a global audience of selected professionals - chefs, sommeliers, journalists, food writers &ndash who will be able to give their assessment, «it won&rsquot be a best-of list. I&rsquom thinking of the 200 who even today, without the support of an organisation behind them, are naturally influential. Not a clan, but a group of free thinkers capable of sharing their truth. Brilliant minds: Philippe Regol, Giles Coren, Paolo Marchi». He discusses global trends: «The only two great gastronomic cultures that still need to be developed are the Indian and Arab ones. Unfortunately, they&rsquore stuck in 1100». Finally, he leaves with a tasty memory: «The best pizza I&rsquove ever had? At Enzo Coccia&rsquos in Naples, at pizzeria La Notizia. But I had a marvellous one, this small (and using his hands he mimes a small dessert plate) in Barcelona». Unfortunately, he can&rsquot remember the name of the pizzaiolo, «he&rsquos Italian, he&rsquos been working there fore 15 years». Clues are welcome.

Ferran Adrià Previews La BulliPedia - Recipes

Telefónica I + D and Bullifoundation have chosen us to support a new adventure of Ferran Adrià’s creative machine. We have been commissioned to carry on the design, production and management of the HackingBullipedia Global Challenge, an international competition that invites the world’s best universities and the most creative minds to help build Bullipedia.

Bullipedia is a repository of gastronomic wisdom that not only will collect information about recipes, food culture, preparation methods, traditional culinary techniques and the Bulli own ones. It also will contain aspects of creativity, the trademark of Ferran Adrià and his team of permanent innovators.

This video gives a first hint of what Bullipedia could be.

Here Ferran Adrià in Wired UK presents how they arrived to the Bullipedia idea.

The project is colossal and requires integrating disparate knowledge in different languages and from different perspectives to serve the knowledge needs and creative demands of multiple stakeholders. Internet has a lot of useful information for Bullipedia. But does all the necessary technology to collect, index it, organize it, translate it, view it, distribute it exist?

This is the main challenge Telefónica I + D and Ferran Adrià believe that can be solved by inviting the most creative minds and most talented students from the most prestigious universities in the world. And we have been asked to rochestate this process. It looks like a contest to use but it is not only a contest. We drew from our experience in this type of .

From the outset, we have been able to help translate the questions that boil in the construction of Bullipedia into a number of usage scenarios like this one:

From visual information about a product or combination of products, how can we identify information about its taste?

So we created with Telefónica I + D HackingBullipedia as a process open to students and academics who want to respond to the major challenges of building the Bullipedia. You have all the information in the website.

We are contacting with teachers and students from the best universities in the world in technology and design which is a great pleasure. And a big responsibility too.

The global creativity storm has just begun!.


Ramon Sangüesa | July 12th, 2013 | Tags: Bullipedia, CoCreating Cultures, elBulliFoundation, Ferran Adria, HackingBullipedia, la Mandarina de Newton, Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo, TID | Category: HackingBullipedia | One comment


Ferran Adrià&rsquos Search for Miracles

Andy Warhol was perhaps the first artist to understand and take advantage of the commercial potential of art. With his appropriations of soup cans and Brillo boxes Warhol cleverly articulated the ethos and exploited the emerging mass produced, mass marketed, mass media of mid-20th Century America. Since then, money has flooded the art market turning high-end art into a commodity, as if it were gold or cattle futures. With its fairs, auctions, and galleries, much of the art world has become the playground of status seeking millionaires and billionaires.

The edible arts have undergone their own down-market commodification, with ubiquitous cooking shows, celebrities who cook, and celebrity chefs who don’t, having exchanged their spatulas for the microphone and camera.

In this age of rampant commercialization, Ferran Adrià stands apart.

One of the innovative chefs responsible for launching modernist cuisine (aka molecular gastronomy), Adrià spent three decades building elBulli, a small, unassuming restaurant in Catalonia, into one of the world’s top restaurants. Industry authority Restaurant magazine voted elBulli best in the world four years in a row from 2006 to 2009. With three Michelin stars and two million people each year requesting a table he could have sold his brand world-wide and cashed in on public appearances. But not Adrià. In 2010 he shut the place down for reasons only an artist could appreciate. As this profile in Wired reports:

…after more than two decades of applying a set of principles and methods to gastronomy, Adrià had stopped not because he was broke or fighting with his collaborators, but because he could no longer innovate to the level he wished. “We had reached a limit,” he says with a shrug .

elBulli may be closed but the creative nerve center of his operation is still going strong. Next on the agenda is:

“the elBulli Foundation, a centre of innovation allied with digital technology that would rethink haute cuisine in a way that would offer other creative endeavours a road map for innovation.”

The online component includes La Bullipedia, an online database that will contain “every piece of gastronomic knowledge ever gathered.”

The elBulli archive — some of which is handwritten in notebooks or on old versions of Word — will be available online and a network of food blogs will be catalogued within the site. “Now you can find out what’s happening in gastronomy because of the internet,” Adrià says. “This is never-ending — our success will depend on our limitations.” The teams at the foundation will curate recipes while the tech team constructs a searchable archive using semantic technology so that users will discover relationships that they might not have found otherwise.

Although Adrià rejects the standard celebrity chef routine his aims are far from modest:

The foundation is Adrià’s attempt to understand the nature of creativity and to address a powerful question: where do ideas come from, and how do we best foster them?…The foundation will be interdisciplinary: Adrià talks of a mash-up of science, the arts, philosophy and technology as a “creativity-generating universe” that will produce “today’s most valuable raw materials –creativity and talent.

It remains to be seen whether this project can sustain itself without excessive commercialization. But Adrià seems to be aware of the dangers.

In the first year he doesn’t want any sponsors other than Telefónica, the giant Spanish telco overseeing the technology . “The project has to have organic growth,” Adrià says. “We want freedom, not pressure. A sponsor will want results — for him!

Adrià is pursuing one of the traditional functions of art before it became an amusing stand in for pork bellies–an exploration in search of the miraculous to be shared by anyone who wants to look. It is ironic that the medium for this vision is the realm of taste, long considered the weak sister of the more important visual arts.

Cooking as a language

Cooking shares many characteristics with the internet - both are the sum of many parts and both enjoy the rare gift of limitless potential. Digital technology, when combined with innovation, plays a key role to unlocking this potential.

I firmly believe that as a chef if you only speak to other cooks you'll get bored. Bullipedia uses cooking as a language and eventually it'll connect with other disciplines such as design and architecture.

Innovation is bred through collaboration and creative auditing. Very few organisations today track the developments and inventions from their creative teams. Technology can help capture the valuable information generated from the development process, and preserve it for future use and analysis.

Technology is now helping to provide future generations of creatives with the tools that they need to be innovative. It is acting as an enabler, connector and collaborator. I believe that it will now sit at the heart of gastronomy and be a fundamental driver of innovation in the industry.

We have journeyed part of the way to discovering the genome of cuisine. Digital technology will allow us to take the final step.

Ferran Adria is regarded as one of the most gifted chefs in the world. His restaurant El Bulli topped an influential poll of the world's best restaurants a record five times. La Bullipedia, which has been backed by Telefonica Digital, is due to go live in 2015.

Watch the video: Chef Ferran Adria Is Getting Ready To Blow Your Mind Again


  1. Knox

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  2. Tonio

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