Though open just six months a year, Spain's El Bulli received an estimated two million reservation requests--only 8,000 of which were accepted. The restaurant closed in 2011, but its chef didn't ride off into the sunset. Nope, Ferran Adrià is busy helping his brother, Albert, launch a fleet of eateries in Barcelona and working with his El Taller food lab to document what he describes as "the culinary world from the beginnings of humanity" (no small feat). And then there's elBulli 2005-2011, his seven-volume, 750-recipe collection, out next month.
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The catalogue raisonné digs into some of El Bulli's most influential years, charting its groundbreaking techniques and presentation. Cerebral stuff, for sure, but we'd expect no less from a man who once dreamed about making hot ice cream.
"It's impossible! It's ice--it can't be hot!" says Adrià, though that didn't stop him from trying (see his napkin below).
"There's a little treat I like a lot called Bollycao. It's like a brioche with chocolate inside, but industrial."
The Next Wave:
"What's left for culinary innovation? We keep going. The vanguard isn't over."