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Ferran Adria


Ferran came to talk in London. He cam across as a warm, thoughtful passionate lover of food. Well aware of his place on the cutting edge of cooking techniques, but also for the history and art of cooking round the world.

Ferran believes cooking is like art and like culture; a complex interwoven tapestry of threads.

Science – even food science – is not cooking. But, if you wanted to bake the best bread, a master baker would consult an oven engineer.

Ferran dislikes (or indeed thinks bogus) the notion of molecular gastronomy. There are molecules in bread yes. There are molecules in buildings. The learning of science plays an important role in cooking, but science and scientists and not necessarily cooking or cooks.

I didn’t expect Ferran to be such a philospher of food. Of course, I should have expected this from someone who thinks constantly about cooking. But the experience of food in our lives is deeply important, from the tapas bar or pie and mash shop to the haute cuisine or El Bulli.

A question arose about creating El Bulli as a restaurant for one table.

There are occasions and restaurants for parties and celebrations, where you want food and drinking for all. However, there are occasions when you’d like to experience food and tastes just the two of you, or a small group of friends, or by yourself. Cooking like that might be experienced better in isolation, everyone and everything simply concentrated on your experience.

This would be the extreme conclusion of that, like in the kaiseki cuisine of Japan.

I’ve had this feeling and experience myself. Cooking sometimes for one, or often for my loved one. It’s only you and the food and the experience. Sure, we have that at home but in an exquisite restaurant the experience takes on new dimensions.

Enjoying kaiseki, from beautiful handcrafted bowls, in exquisitely designed rooms; just for two – a procession of 10 or 20 littles tastes all served in especially crafted dishes – incredible.

In writing that, I realise that is much of what El Bulli must create as well. I must try and get a reservation one day.

His new book about A Day in El Bulli is out from Phaidon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2008/12/13 9:39 pm

    That would be total hedonism… Made just for one…

    Hope that you end up getting a reservation !

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