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Does the ideal diner exist for elBulli?


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Although I can't truly say I was prepared for my first meal at elBulli, I did arrive too late to enjoy the experience free of the prejudices that come from having read many reports. I was already under some obligation to respect, if not like, what I found, if only because those whose food or opinions I already respected, had expressed deep respect for your food.

I had more or less assumed the palate I've trained for decades would be an asset, but I also recall sitting out on the elBulli terrace with chocolates after dinner and conversing with a group of North Americans who had finished dinner shorly before we did. Unlike myself, and my companions, this group, although apparently used to living well, did not make it a point of planning intineraries of starred restaurants and as much as we could tell, had never heard of you. They were healthy cyclists and hikers who had happened to book a tour that only guaranteed first class treatment. To a man, they were estatic about their meal, and every bit as much as we were, although it was clear they usually didn't think that much about food.

Elsewhere in this Q&A session, I noted that I wouldn't recommend all restaurants to all people. While it seems logical to think of elBulli as a place for the most sophisticated and intellectual diner, it's clear that there's an immediate level of appreciation for the for the food by those who bring nothing more than an open mind to the table.

Does this make sense to you? Do you bother to try and second guess who will like what you do?

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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