Spain's top chef outlines gastronomic research centre

25th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

World-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria said Tuesday his new research foundation is set to replace elBulli, the eatery often hailed as the world's best.

The "elBullifoundation" will be launched on July 31 under the slogan "Freedom to Create", the day after elBulli closes, the guru of avant-garde cuisine said at the Madrid Fusion gastronomy fair.

The foundation will combine "meals, research, landscape and architecture" in a research centre, a documentation centre and a restaurant in a eco-friendly complex that is to open in 2014, he said.

It will be located at the same site as elBulli, at Cala Montjoi, on the coast of Spain's northeastern Catalonia region. Work on the site will begin late this year.

Adria announced last year he planned to close elBulli, on Spain's northeastern Catalan coast, and then reopen it as part of a non-profit foundation.

The restaurant in 2009 came top of the World's 50 Best Restaurants list for the fourth year in a row following a poll of more than 800 chefs, restaurant critics and industry insiders for Britain's Restaurant Magazine.

However last year it slipped to number two behind the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.

Adria said Tuesday that elBulli "was not working, we wanted to continue to create and everything was becoming too predictable."

The new documentation centre will "reveal to the world" over the Internet in real time the techniques and concepts developed at the foundation, he said.

Adria, who joined the kitchen staff of elBulli in 1984, and British chef Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck outside London, have since the late 1990s rocked the world of gastronomy by using science to "deconstruct" and rebuild food.

His creations both astonished diners and delighted reviewers, although some critics have dismissed him as elitist and pretentious. He has also had to respond to accusations that the chemicals he uses make his creations unhealthy.

Earlier this month Adria and his brother Albert opened a tapas and cocktail bar in Barcelona, and are planning another restaurant next door.

© 2011 AFP

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