elBulli´s press release. 26.01.2010

During his speech today at the Madrid Fusion Summit, Ferran Adrià has outlined the action plan of elBulli for the years 2010-2020.

In 2012 elBulli will celebrate 50 years since its conception, so Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler have decided to commemorate this anniversary with the closure of one cycle and the beginning of a new phase, in which a radical approach to the creative process and the pursuit of new challenges and stimulus will be the main priority.

Based on this approach, the agenda of elBulli for the coming years will be the following one:

1) In 2010, elBulli will open from 15th June until 20th December.

2) The opening calendar of elBulli for 2011 will be released during September 2010.

3) elBulli will remain closed to the public during 2012 and 2013. This period will be devoted to thinking, planning and preparing the new format for subsequent years:

a. In consequence, this will allow elBulli to have two creative centres: elBullitaller, currently located on Portaferrissa Street in Barcelona, and elBulli restaurant itself in Cala Montjoi.

b. During this time all the know-how about elaborations, techniques and styles acquired after 30 years of creative research will be analysed, and the results of said work will be compiled in a comprehensive and thorough encyclopaedia.

4) elBulli will open again in 2014, constantly challenging the possibilities of the concept of a restaurant, based on the following criteria:

a. Research will be prioritized over production.

b. Each season will be different in terms of opening dates and times, capacity of the restaurant in terms of diners, staff, etc.., going beyond the pursuit of innovation that elBulli has been undertaking ever since the decision was made, among other things, to open only for 6 months, offer only one sitting per day and cancel the standard menu.

Per Wiki, El Bulli is a 3-star Catalan restaurant run by chef Ferran Adrià.

The small restaurant overlooks the Cala Montjoi bay, in Roses on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, and has been described as “the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet” and does a great deal of work on molecular gastronomy.

Restaurant has judged El Bulli as Number One on Restaurant (magazine) Top 50 list of the world’s best restaurants a record five times — in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The restaurant has a limited season: the 2010 season, for example, will run from June 15 to December 20. Bookings for the next year are taken on a single day after the closing of the current season. It accommodates only 8,000 diners a season, but gets more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal is 250; the restaurant itself has operated at a loss since 2000, with operating profit coming from El Bulli-related books, and lectures from Adrià. As of April 2008 the restaurant employed 42 chefs.

Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert Adrià published A Day at elBulli in 2008. The book describes 24 hours in the life of elBulli in pictures, commentary and recipes. Among the recipes included in the book are melon with ham, pine nut marshmallows, steamed brioche with rose-scented mozzarella, rock mussels with seaweed and fresh herbs, and passion fruit trees.

Anthony Bourdain described Albert Adrià’s contributions thus: “His book is a shockingly beautiful catalog of his latest accomplishments here… Pastry chefs everywhere—when they see this—will gape in fear, and awe, and wonder. I feel for them; like Eric Clapton seeing Jimi Hendrix for the first time, one imagines they will ask themselves ‘What do I do now?’.”

Related Links:

El Bulli Website:  http://www.elbulli.com/

El Bulli History:  http://www.elbulli.com/historia/version_imprimible/1961-2006_en.pdf (PDF)(85 pages Print version)

Telegraph:  ‘World’s finest restaurant’ El Bulli to close permanently

The New Yorker:  Lunch with M (Undercover with a Michelin inspector)

Telegraph:  El Bulli head chef says Nobel winner would struggle to get table