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My last -- and anyone's best -- shot at elBulli


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I second Jamonissimo... if nothing else just to smuggle home some real artisanal jamon de bellota... (they have some sliced and vacuum packed and will last unrefrigerated for a few days). Personally, the jamon from the extremadura region was mine and my wife's favorite.. so complex... it's worth the trip from NY alone... they also do an excellent pan con tomate, and if you're having a snack there, you can get a sampler plate of all 4 regions of bellota for a pretty modest price.

Last summer, my wife and I had the extreme pleasure of El Bulli and Can Roca... both were amazing experiences... if you've never been to Can Roca, I would recommend adding the "Return to Havana" dessert to the tasting menu if it's still available - don't worry, it won't be too much food, and I thought it was just so interesting, it's hard to pass up. The smell of the tobacco infused cream stuck in my head for days! Also, I wouldn't get too anxious over El Bulli... when I found out that I had a reservation last year, my heart practically stopped and for months, I was trying not to think about it because I didn't want to be let down... however, it was the most incredible restaurant experience in my life - not just because of the extremely innovative, and tasty parade of dishes - but also the service was so warm and inviting and detail oriented - they missed nothing. My wife is a wine student (currently a candidate for MW) which I mentioned in my email to EB prior to getting the reservation, and when we arrived, they actually remembered it (without looking at any paperwork) and we had a lengthy discussion with their sommalier who also showed us around their kitchen a bit... then we ordered a lovely Lopez de Heredia (white) from an older vintage (which they offered at a great price, btw) and without calling attention to it, the sommalier would constantly take it in and out of the ice bucket to make sure it was not too cold, but not too warm. I just happened to notice it out of the corner of my eye from time to time... who else does that or would even think of that? What I was most surprised about at EB was the accessibility of most of the dishes... I was led to believe that there were to be 30-odd courses of "space food" or whatever, but in actuality, most of the dishes seemed quite "simple" - even though they were not. All were tasty, and many deeply satisfying. We still talk about that evening to this day...

Although thinking about it now - I really shouldn't give advice on what to order - with the group you're travelling with, I'm sure you'll be treated extremely well with lots of extra dishes!!!

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Yes, I think I'm totally out of the loop on the menu discussions. Which is just as well. I'm going with people who have much more experience of these places than I do, and luckily I have no known allergies or intolerances.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Let me introduce the fifth member of our party of six: Max Bilet. Max is one of the lead authors of the Modernist Cuisine treatise and has been running the kitchen at each of the Modernist Cuisine events I've attended. There's a bio of Max (his full name is Maxime) on the Modernist Cuisine bios page. You have to scroll down past the Nathan Myhrvold and Chris Young bios.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm just chiming in to second the 'no' vote on the autograph on the laptop. Not only does it have nothing to do with the people or place, but, it's a highly ephemeral item. It might be cool to walk around with for a year or two, but, twenty years from now, when you tell the tale of your trip, I think you'd be happier being able to pull out a book, or point to a framed picture or something.

I have Albert Adria's autograph on his photo in a magazine article about him, So-Good #1 which I got him to sign after a long night of drinks and shop-talk at WPF 2009, and I am still kind of kicking myself that I didn't get an autograph on something I can frame. (I don't want to destroy the magazine.) So, every time I want to show someone the autograph, I wind up slowly degrading the condition of the magazine.

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Anybody know if they have wifi at elBulli?

Are you sure you want Wi-Fi ?

Enjoy the experience, lose yourself. While we all want pictures and reports so what if you forget or don't take pic's as you had to eat it and were lost in the experience. We can wait for the report, this is once in a lifetime experience forget egullet, enjoy then report. This will probably be more accurate than a "as it happens pic and post" which would IMOHO distance you from the experience.

Just my thoughts.

Also even though elBulli is closing there is always the 2+ restaurant at http://www.elbullihotel.com/ which is well worth a visit, the hotel is amazing, one of the restaurants does a "best of elBulli", the others much more traditional I had a plate of ham every day and to hell with the price, also the only place you can have an "elBulli breakfast!" which is wonderful.

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Are you sure you want Wi-Fi ?

I really do. A not-insignificant part of my enjoyment of culinary experiences comes from sharing them with all of you. While I don't necessarily intend to provide an exhaustive real-time catalog of every dish we're served, I'd love to be able to put out the occasional tweet or eG Forums update. But since I only have a CDMA Motorola Droid, wifi is the only way I can pull that off in most of Europe.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Are you sure you want Wi-Fi ?

since I only have a CDMA Motorola Droid, wifi is the only way I can pull that off in most of Europe.

Remember your going with Nathan, bet he can sort something out :rolleyes: all he needs to do is just ask to reposition the odd satellite or two and bingo (Joke)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I also have an older GSM-capable smartphone (Samsung Saga) that I could probably get activated for this trip, but I shudder to think what it will cost. I've already exceeded my budget for the trip, even accounting for the 70 Euros my mother had in her desk from her last trip to Europe.

Schedule for today:

6a-6:50a Wake up, make lunch for PJ

6:50a-7a eG time

7a-7:45a Wake PJ, make breakfast, get ready for school

7:45a-8:25a Transit to school

8:45a-9:10a Transit home

9:10a-9:45a eG time and packing, check in for flight and print documents

10a-11a Physical therapy

11a-12:30p Go to Astor Place, get haircut, return home

12:30p-1:30p eG time and packing

1:30p-1:55p Transit back to PJ's school

2p-2:45p Monitor kindergarten recess

2:55p School pickup time, say goodbye to family

3p-4:30p Transit to JFK airport

6p Flight departs

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A couple of days ago, Nathan Myhrvold, the author of Modernist Cuisine who is known in these parts as "nathanm," invited me to dinner. In Spain. At elBulli. This weekend.

One guy consented immediately, though: Johnny Iuzzini…

So far I've accounted for three of our party of six: me, Nathan M., and Johnny I. Let me also introduce Dr. Tim Ryan, the president of the Culinary Institute of America.

Let me introduce the fifth member of our party of six: Max Bilet.

So it will be you, Dr Myhrovold, Mr Izzini, Mr, Bilet, Dr Ryan and ??? Who's the last of this group of lucky souls? I can only imagine what the dinner conversation will be like...

Have a safe flight and post often! Enjoy the dinner.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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FG

With all the stuff at sirports today, especially for overseas flights, I might suggest a bit more time at the airport before the flight...just in case there are upstream delays. Better to sit in an uncomfortable chair than looking at your watch as the long line in front of you slowly snakes through some checkpoint.

See you have the rest of us nervous!

Be safe and get some rest on the flight!

PS: For this, I would have sent you all those loose euro coins sitting in a dish at the back of my dresser...

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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Person 6 is a French chef from out west. I don't want to use his name until he clears it.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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JB, my schedule today is pretty rigid. I can't leave Manhattan before 3. I'll hope it doesn't actually take me 90 minutes to get to JFK.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Steven, have a fantastic trip - unfortunately you won't have time to sample much more of what Barcelona has to offer. I was lucky enough to visit there dozens of time for work some years back and fell in love with the place. We've been back several times on holiday since and have good friends there. La Boqueria is a must if there is any time - I've often thought that with unlimited resources I'd spend some part of every year in Barcelona so long as I could have an apartment with decent cooking facilities within walking distance. Unfortunately most city dwellings are very short on kitchen space but the result is the vast number of fantastic places to eat on the street. I guess you can't have it all ways.

In any case even with a small sample of Catalunya under your belt - I'd be surprised if any dedicated foodie didn't return.

Again - enjoy as I'm sure you will!

Cheers,

Peter.

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FG

If there had only been more time to plan. You could have sold sponsorships like they do at sporting events...

The elBulli trip is a gift from the Nathanm generous invitation email and the following

'Camera Battery Donor'

'Officisl Cab Sponsor'

'Skycap Contributor'

'Last Minute Flight Underwriter'

'Hotel Benefactor'

'Walking Around Money Philanthropist' - I guess your mother already is this official sponsor!

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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Maybe it's not too late for an elBulli-a-thon at a thousand bucks a course.

Posted from my handheld using the Tapatalk app. Want to use eG Forums on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry? Get started at http://egullet.org/tapatalk

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I know that you've started a topic about where to get spices in NYC.

If you can steal away for 15 minutes and pop into a grocery store, head to the spice aisle and grab yourself all sorts of Spanish pimentons as well as other hard-to-find or insanely expensive in NYC stuff - they are all OK to bring in, don't take up a lot of room, and they're basically a euro or two each.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Great idea.

Time for recess.

Posted from my handheld using the Tapatalk app. Want to use eG Forums on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry? Get started at http://egullet.org/tapatalk

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Funny, when I read your email today...I am leaving for Barcelona tonight as well, although from EWR not JFK. Alas, I am not going to El Bulli on this trip...was fortunate enough to get in on my last trip in September. It was sooo memorable. This time, I was lucky enough to get a reservation at Tickets, Ferran's new venture in Barcelona, so we'll see how that goes. Enjoy yourself...it's truly one of the more memorable dining experiences you'll ever have!!!

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There has been a lot of email chatter about the daytime plans for Friday and Saturday. La Boqueria and Pinotxo seem like high priorities for everyone. Two of the others in the party are on my flight tomorrow night, so I'm sure we'll coordinate schedules. Also mentioned has been Calpep, which Johnny calls "every chef's favorite seafood restaurant in Barcelona." We also may try to look in on Albert Adria's new tapas bar if the schedule allows. In addition, I'd like to try to do some walking and I need to carve out some chunks of computer time. I guess I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Those are definitely some of the best and most important stops on your trip. In addition to Pinotxo, the counter at El Quim in the Boqueria was also really good. If you have time to do both, you should. But Pinotxo is probably my fave, and the people there are so warm and wonderfully fun. Cal Pep, likewise, is lots of fun, and the spirit (and freshness) are great. Cal Pep is more of a lunch place, but the bars at Boqueria can be done for breakfast, which is a great option. However, none of them really fit with the modernist theme you mentioned. Also, if you're feeling really gluttonous, a multi-course dessert tasting at Espai Sucre can be a highlight of any trip.

Very jealous of your trip, especially since Nathan M is a fascinating guy, and would be a good addition to anyone's fantasy dinner table list.

Enjoy!

p.s. If there's any way you have any time to stay in Roses for lunch the day after El Bulli, go to Rafa's for a seafood experience you won't forget.

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(This was written about an hour ago.)

I'm not sure when I'll be able to connect and post this but I am beginning my journey to JFK airport via 3 and E subway followed by the Airtrain.

Traveling by crowded subway (I should add that at present I'm booked in a horrible middle seat on my Delta flight) to dine at elBulli reminds me of many a black-tie event, four-star dinner, cruise, etc. that we've traveled to via public transportation. The contrast is always a little weird. I can guarantee you the guy next to me reading about Lady Gaga in AM New York (the lowest common denominator of all newspapers on our planet) is neither bound for nor familiar with elBulli. He probably also earns more money than I do.

I'm hoping to get a newer plane with wifi. Online it seemed that my flight would be thusly equipped. We'll see...

Posted from my handheld using the Tapatalk app. Want to use eG Forums on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry? Get started at http://egullet.org/tapatalk

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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