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El Bulli 2005 Dining


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When I was ther in May(stage) I got the inpression that they wer thinking and making new diches all the time.

They made to or tre new diches ewery week!

And i dont think every one of them were disigned in the laboratory in Barcelona!

The most creative one in the kitchen was Oriol Castro totaly amaising.

He hav a realy good personality aswell.

Mumin

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Mumin, thanks again for your input. I look forward to more insights from you. Can you add any specifics about any dishes that might have been added at the restaurant?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I should have remembered that information from the Lubow article. I don't particularly have any first hand knowledge of what goes on in the kitchen. I'd guess that this site has been the greatest source of my inside information. We've had a few stagiaires posting here with varying intensities. What I posted about the experimentation stopping in Barcelona was more of an assumption on my part than the product of any first hand knowledge. In any event, I didn't mean to speak in absolute terms. I noted that Adrià's mind probably never stops creating. He's always creating, but he's also always refining.

In retrospect, what prompted my thoughts on this matter was that just about everything I've been served at elBulli has seemed to have been highly developed and brought to a high level of finesse and sophistication. My reaction after my first meal was that it was unlike what I would expect of eating in the laboratory of a mad scientist or even an adventurous and improvising artist. It was more like discovering a new continent and and finding a civilization that developed slowly over a long period of time and being invited to diner. No matter how little I was moved by a dish or two along the way, there was something about each and every dish that commanded respect. All too frequently, creative chefs don't take the time to develop an idea fully.

I shouldn't doubt that Adrià is creating all the time. It just feels as if it takes a considerable period of time before his ideas make it to the diner's table. I could be wrong. Appearances can be deceiving. Nevertheless, Lubow's comment about "inspirations that strike after July" tend to support the idea that it takes months of development before an inspiration is food for other than thought. In fact, I seem to recall that Lubow's article was one that brought home the deliberate and painstaking development of Adrià's ideas. While you may see riffs on a theme, I get no sense of improvisational theater at elBulli. Some of this discussion may hinge on where each of us draws the line between massaging nuances in a dish and bringing forth a radical new idea, but I am not the source of opinions that do not deserve to be challenged.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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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I certainly didn't mean to rain on your parade!  It looks like this forum had a number of people who dined there in May, so I guess it's not too surprising that the writeups are all coming out at around the same time.

On the contrary blake, you've taken the work of posting the review off my back :biggrin:, plus you're much more eloquent than I am!

SD

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Mumin, thanks again for your input. I look forward to more insights from you. Can you add any specifics about any dishes that might have been added at the restaurant?

I was there only for five intensiv weeks. So I didn`t see to much.

But I was told that they start every year whit almost the same menu as they end the last year with.

I have a hard time remember wich diches they tok out and wich they puted in when i was ther. I did not note that part!

I thinck Passion para la aceituna whas new the last week I was there!

But as Bux sed! I allso beleav everything Ferran put on the menu is perfectionist for a long time.

But still I got the impression that they make resepis ther and then.

We where discussing this whit Ravallo a cupel of times.

But probely everithing is things they been trying and experimenthing with before.

But any way, all the time they are open for new iders in the everyday work in the kichen!

Te only thing I can say for sure is that they change the menu all the time depending on the products available.

Five weeks is to short to learn a lot. But you get a small insight of the work.

Mumin

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This is an interesting question. How much refinement, experimentation and change does go on during the season? I would suspect that the summer courses are largely planned out during the winter, however, I would be surprised if there was no room for additional creativity during the summer months. Perhaps Lucy, Revallo or someone else familiar with the day to day workings of the restaurant can chime in?

Orial Castro is responsibilile for the creativity and experiments that take place in elBulli. He and Ferran are the only ones in the kitchen in the mornings, along with two stagiers helping set up the kitchen and to get what ever else they need. Dishes change and come and go daily, based on when the product is at its peak.

"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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. . . . We never appreciated this level of service until we realized and compared our various el Bulli menus over the years. What a unique and special restaurant experience, unmatched by any place on earth. ONLY AT EL BULLI!

Yes the prices have risen.  Every American frets about the Euro vs the dollar. The wine list is more expensive.

It is a dining experience that has no equal. Can you pair your food and wine? NO!!! Go with a wine of your choice and enjoy the unfolding remarkable succession of tiny dishes that have no match anywhere in the world. ONLY AT EL BULLI!

. . . .

Good restaurant service is largely most evident when the service never calls attention to itself, but elBulli takes this to another level. In fact, it may be precisely because there is, of necessity, so much interaction with staff as they explain the highly individual and creative food, that even the most sophisticated and experienced diners lose sight of how well run and how much of the front of the house operation goes on behind our backs. Just as the food is more than the sum of the courses, the experience seems greater than the sum of its parts. Above, and not for the first time, I said the food was labor intensive. So is the service and all that goes into the experience, including making it all seem effortless.

The dollar has been on a slide for a while and topic of conversation more on the France board than the Spain one perhaps, but I suppose in a way, I'm lucky to have been around when the dollar was strong and the franc and peseta very weak. The tables have turned and it's the EU citizens' turn to enjoy themselves at bargain prices. Should I be consoled that I might never have developed such a taste for foie gras had I not traveled in the Perigord when the dollar bought ten francs. At its price, which amounts to close to $200 this spring, elBulli is more than fairly priced when compared to what one pays in NY, London or Paris for a top meal. It's getting to Cala Montjoi that's expensive, but we amortize that cost by having a few other good meals along the way. :biggrin:

Thanks Bux for your input. I must apologize for suggesting that I had more salient comments to make for this thread; I don't!!

I must applaud Elie's significant, marvelous explication of the same menu (with few exceptions) we also shared at elBulli on May 19, 2005. I had planned to add both pictures and our personal observations. Elie and others have done an eviable job. I have nothing to add but one observation.

My one personal comment about the lamb brains dish is that I failed to taste the sea urchin ( I am a serious fan of these unctuous morsels. I also believe that cooked sea urchin is a failed culinary effort.) The texture of this dish was akin to eating baby food. I could not taste the oursin flavor and the lamb brains were too soft! The dish failed for me because it had no depth or breadth of texture or flavor. It was boring.

The one highlight was elBulli's humor in it's efforts to celebrate a special occasion. The all purpose cardboard replication of the celebratory cake arrived at our table with great ceremony. Julie Soler produced a copy for us of our all purpose elBulli cardboard "cake" to take home. A witty end to a tasty, entertaining meal much appreciated by both of us. We will continue to explore elBulli's newest culinary contributions as long as we are able.

that is very odd. I loved the lamb brains dish and I thought the flavors were very prominent, both the sea urchin and the brain itself. So much so that my wife could not finish hers and I had to -very happily- oblige and finish it :smile:

HUH! we got the whimsical cardboard cake as well since it was our anniversay. It had all kinds of salutations on it (I think) like Happy B-Day, Congrats,....in several languages. We thought it was both cheesy, funny and kind of sweet.

Reading through everyone's description of their meals it is also evident that Adria switches the order of some dishes or the way they are served. One example are the black olive-oil stuffed raviolis, we recieved them on the terrace as an appetizer, but it seems everyone else got them as one of the main courses.

To answer an earlier question by Blake, we did not feel that the 25 courses or so over about 4.5 hours were too much food. Both of us were satiated but not over-stuffed, and would love to go back at some point.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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blakej - wow - thanks! But you were just very lucky - it's really just luck at this point in getting a table.

docsconz - yes, creativity does go on all the time. But remember - it's not just summer dishes - with a season from April to October - the menu spans Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Revallo - I hear that one of the top goals this season was to "kill mise en place" - that is to say to not have so much of it - can you imagine that chapeaulong? - especially during service. How's that going? I'll be there later this year to see for myself. :biggrin:

Albert Adria heads El Taller with Oriol Castro. Albert calls Oriol "one of the most creative people I've ever met - and given Albert's own impressive body of work, that Ferran's his brother, and that he's worked with big brains like Heston Blumenthal, that's saying a hell of a lot. I can't say much more right now - I just spent a week with Albert in Chicago where he taught two classes at the French Pastry School and I'm writing an article - I'll post where/when as soon as I can.

But there's a pic of Albert and the El Bulli birthday surprise on my blog if you'd like to see - but if you're going, don't look - don't ruin your surprise!

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blakej - wow - thanks! But you were just very lucky - it's really just luck at this point in getting a table.

. . . .

Timing is eveything, well at least after size.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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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  • 2 months later...

I had what may be so far the dinner of my life last weekend at El Bulli. Some of the dishes were the same as already listed and others new. I willpost descriptions and photos after I get home and have a chance to go through them all. The food is certainly complicated, but the result comes out even more essential than the starting product. This contrasts with Pierre Gangnaire, where I ate last night. The food was good, but completely different. It too was complicated, but designed to be something totally different than the sum of its parts nor even a reflection of its ingredients.

I also had the pleasure to dine at Rafa's. This was superb in its flawless simplicity. Again more descriptions, details and photos later.

edited for spelling and typos.

Edited by docsconz (log)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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This contrasts with Pierre Gangnaire, where I ate last night. The food was good, but completely different. It too was complicated, but designed to be something totally different than the some of its parts nor even a reflection of its ingredients.

Doc,

I enjoyed El Bulli as well and I am surprised you liked Gagnaire though I really do not follow your train of thought. I ate at Gagnaire with two chefs and all of us felt the flavors did not work and it was the disappointment of our trip and at 400 euros a head compared with 200 euros a head for El Bulli it was a total rip-off. Also of note El Bulli has no issue with photos being taken of the food whereas Gagnaire does not allow it out of fear of being copied. I consider Gagnaire the"Mick Jagger" of chefs and appearently he does not have the confidence that Ferran has in letting others attempt his dishes because bottom line-they can't

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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I've sensed there is a considerable difference in attitude between top kitchens in France and Spain. French chefs are known to value secrecy a bit more, while the Spanish gastronomic star is rising on the openess of it's creative forces. In one French bakery I was almost attacked by the sales person as I tried to take a picture of the wares. It was all so silly as it was so easy for me to take my purchases outside and do a much better job of photographing them if industrial espionage was on my mind.

Haute cuisine in France is just so much more expensive than comparable food in Spain. Of course prices in Paris as just so much higher than those in the provinces. I don't find it fair to compare prices in Paris off the Champs Elysee with those in Cala Montjoi, but part of the reason I am more apt to be in Spain eating than France is that the food is often both more interesting and cheaper. That you didn't like Gagnaire's food has little to do with its pricing.

Chefs have some of the finest food sensibilities around, but professionals in any field can often be very conservative in their tastes and threatened by too much creativity. I've had two meals at Gagnaire. I was thrilled by the first and very pleased with the second, but I'm always careful about recommending it to strangers. Some people may love it, others may hate it and nether reaction necessarily surprises me unless I know the person.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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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Bux,

Gagnaire was the only place that did not allow pictures while I was over there. The price of our meal had nothing to do with displeasure at Gagnaire, we just really felt the flavors did not work that night[ we had dinner with someone that did not know of our Gagnaire experience and said the same thing about Sketch and he had just returned from London]. My price comment had to do with the excellent production that El Bulli puts on and the incredible sight of the check at the end of the meal being so reasonable.

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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I will be the first to agree that elBulli is a bargain even in light of rapidly rising prices. In truth, they could double their price and still turn away diners. Prices at elBulli seem to defy supply and demand economics in our favor.

I have also known reliable gastronomes who were displeased at Gagnaire. I might even be able to make solid arguments why his philosophy and direction are "wrong," but I liked the way my food tasted.

I take photographs of meals when I travel, but would rarely think of taking a camera to a restaurant at home where I am known. I realize there's some hypocrisy in that, and it's hard for me to be too critical of a chef's restrictions on camera's in the dining room. I'm not at all sure that just the appearance of a camera in a fine restaurant may not be off putting to other diners and not support the atmosphere of fine dining. I'll allow Gagnaire iconoclasm on that issue the way I respect no mobile phone rules in other restaurants.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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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Bux,

He has said that the camera thing is related to not wishing people to see his platings and it has nothing to do with other diners experience. The funny thing is that besides El Bulli, I have never been in a restaurant with more people with cameras and all the cameras were for your 3 minute photo opp with Pierre Gagnaire. The guy looks like a million bucks, like I said he is the Mick Jagger of chefs.

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Docsconz,

I'm keenly waiting for your explanation of how " the result comes out even more essential than the starting product". I think i know what you mean but an assumption exists that you have tried the starting product & that it is somehow less essential than the final product because of Adria's processing, i would take a different stance but i'm interested in how you explain how the product becomes more essential. Thanks & look forward to your pics & review. By the way i could not care either way as far as chefs/patrons allowing photos or not, afterall it is their intellectual property .Bux how long is Spain going to remain a rising gastronomic star, i can assure you that their is a huge admiration shared by both nations for each others cuisine.......the rising gastronomic star thing is getting boring. I'm intrigued at what Pedro thought of his experience......Pedro?

Edited by seanw (log)
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Docsconz,

              I'm keenly waiting for your explanation of how " the result comes out even more essential than the starting product". I think i know what you mean but an assumption exists that you have tried the starting product & that it is somehow less essential than the final product because of Adria's processing, i would take a different stance but i'm interested in how you explain how the product becomes more essential. Thanks & look forward to your pics & review. By the way i could not care either way as far as chefs/patrons allowing photos or not, afterall it is their intellectual property .Bux how long is Spain going to remain a  rising gastronomic star,  i can assure you that their is a huge admiration shared by both nations for each others cuisine.......the rising gastronomic star thing is getting boring.  I'm intrigued at what Pedro thought of his experience......Pedro?

I am still working on downloading my photos and getting my post together, but I will address your initial question. I am certain that Adria uses pristine products in his preparations that would most certainly be wonderful and taste of itself with but simple preparation. What I think Adria achieves is somehow stripping these great products of all but their essential elements of flavor and reproducing them in such a way as to focus the senses on the underflying characteristics that make the original product great. As such, many of his dishes wind up tasting even more like what they started out as. This is certainly not the case with all of his plates, but it is in my opinion true for a large number of them. This is in stark contrast to what I believe Pierre Gagnaire does in his kitchen.

I did not mean to get into a debate about the merits of Mr. Gagnaire's cooking on this thread. I brought it up here simply to illustrate markedly different approaches of two chefs widely considered to be amongst the vanguard of avant-garde cooking. Indeed, I went to Gagnaire largely to be able to compare the two. My ultimate sense was that although I enjoyed much of what Mr. Gagnaire prepared and the dining room experience was quite excellent, my overall satisfaction was far from that of El Bulli, where everything was simply more delicious, more fun and more relaxed. There were flashes in Mr. Gagnaire's cooking that I could see where his reputation came from.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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. . . . Bux how long is Spain going to remain a  rising gastronomic star,  i can assure you that their is a huge admiration shared by both nations for each others cuisine.......the rising gastronomic star thing is getting boring. . . .

I agree that the subject of rising star has become a boring topic. It's really no longer news. Spain is an exciting country to visit in terms of gastronomy, but so are many countries that have never challenged France for the limelight. It's always been interesting to compare the food in France with that of Italy and there's no end to the positive discussions that may be had, but once the argument turns to which cuisine is better, the discussion turns personal and ultimately unrewarding. There's limited value in assigning a rank to the national cuisines. Each is worth of attention or it's not. Spain has arrived as a star. France is still a star as well. The one issue I see as worthy of discussion is why Spain still hasn't attracted the same level of attention by anglophone gastrotravelers as France has--or has it? Posts here run higher on the France board than the Spain board, though that's hardly a scientific study of any real merit.

I believe I know what Doc means when he posts about the difference between Gagnaire and Adrià, though I'd not like to put words in his mouth. I sense a sharpness about the individual flavors in an Adrià dish even as they combine in my mouth. From Gagnaire, I have the recollection, right or wrong, of a merging of original tastes to produce a new compound flavor.

In reaction to the description of Adrià's spherical olive as the essence of oliveness, one very astute and erudite critic asked if anyone found that lacking in the original olive. It isn't, but I don't know that this makes Adrià's product any less remarkable. My guess is that if I were to eat Adrià's olive spheres and real olives every day for a month or so, I wouldn't want to see either for a while and that it would be the real olive I would crave first. It may be that Adrià's olives are such a topical food that they will disappear altogether in time. That doesn't make them any less significant for me, right now.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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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. . . .

I'm intrigued at what Pedro thought of his experience......Pedro?

As it's been the case in my three visits to elBulli, I had a lot of fun and received many interesting dishes coming out of the kitchen. I had the unexpected pleasure of dining in the kitchen table, which added a whole new dimension to the dining.

That said, if I compare my dinner in late July 2004 with the one I had this year in early June, I'd say that the former offered a weak start of the meal (weak by elBulli standards (elBulli and standards in the same sentence read quite weird)) where several of the snacks were more about the game than about the food, but once you got to the middle of the menu there were a series of dishes that would rank 10/10 on any scale. This year, the snacks were much better conceived (or so I think): the now famous olive, the ibérico arlette, the pumpkin oil caramel. But the 10 out of 10 dishes weren't there in the second part of the menu. Don't get me wrong, there were very good dishes, some excellent (oyster and pearl, noisette), but I believe that those were an inch behind those we had last year.

That and some comments from people I trust make me wonder if elBulli gains 'momentum' as the season moves on. I'm really curious to hear from Rogelio who will be dining there in a couple of weeks.

After meeting Ferrán for the eG Q&A we had in December and the quite long talk we had after dining at elBulli in June, I have a clear view of what he values when presenting a dish. Please notice that clear doesn't necessarily mean accurate :wink:. He seems to care only about creativity, that is, doing something that hasn't been made before, and about the number of paths that the dish, technique or concept opens to them (i.e. the lyophilized gazpacho, about which he said that opened a new way for them). Those criteria aren't probably that new to you, but you have to take them to the max: he starts from the premise that everything served at elBulli is 'good', that is, the quality of the ingredients is superb and there's nothing that will harm them in the cooking processes. Then, he says, you may like or not. Basically, they don't care about it because that is way too subjective and depending upon too many variables. Therefore, they fall back to the aforementioned criteria.

So far, they've served them extremely well, though I see the risk of becoming a chef's chef in the same way that some musicians compose music for musicians. The amount of knowledge which you have to have as a pre-requisite to appreciate the work at hand is so vast that only a professional in the field (or almost) is up to the task. On the other hand, going to elBulli gives you a preview of some techniques, concepts and dishes that you're very likely to find some time later in restaurants all over the world.

Adrià believes that having a fine dinner is no longer enough. Not, at least, to attract people to gastronomic restaurants far away from the city. He achieves that goal with his total focus on creativity. But he anticipated the risk of dining becoming entertainment rather than about the food, mentioning a couple of restaurants over the States that he senses are crossing that thin line. At elBulli, he said, the ultimate judge is the palate. Let's hope it always be.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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blakej - wow - thanks! But you were just very lucky - it's really just luck at this point in getting a table.

. . . .

Timing is eveything, well at least after size.

I understand that you had some good advice on this last year (before I discovered eGullet). Will you be posting an optimum time to seek a reservation for 2006?

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Bux,

Excuse the slight detour!

" In this dish (Duck breast, its lacquered crisp skin, papaya condiment & honey tuile), you can find the entire philosophy of my work. The duck genuinely evokes a dance. I have put it through everything. I have truly opened it up to release its spirit. The breast is roasted, then boned, then cut into salmis. I have toyed with the skin, glazing it, rendering a musical crispiness. I am particularly fond of this approach to a dish; you are immediately at its heart. It is dazzling, even resonant-the jazzy side of my cooking, with its dissonance, its rhythm, its direct approach to a theme. The flavours revolve in a loop, & then the sauce calms the melody.In the end, the dish fades out like a jazz tune-the music quiets down, the instruments stop shaking their hips." Pierre Gagnaire 'Reflections on Culinary Artistry'

I believe he wants purity in flavour & that flavours can be supported in a tempo of a dish- choice of ingredient is essential, creative...necessary

The olive thing i find interesting because i find it bizarre that he should take it process it & then make it look like the original item. Why not leave the olive alone? why this should make it essential i'm not sure, isn't there a danger of confusing novelty with essential creativity. I was impressed by the start of 'decoding Adria' when bourdain was shipped off to sample Pata Negra & other hams to prove a point, but there should be limits to the latitudes or am i misunderstanding the term essential. I have upmost respect for El Bulli & unfortunately until i can partake of the experience myself i have to live vicariously through others so i really appreciate thoughtful reviews of those fortunate enough to have eaten their. Pedro you could always post some more, personally i'm not convinced about the gaining momentum(only based on similar seasonal restaurant experience, & i'm sure the chef wouldn't want that to be the case......afterall prices do not vary from first to last diner!but it may happen)

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The spheriphied olive was for me an eye-opener.

I agree with Pedro in that some of the latter dishes were a bit disappointing (I think it was the “senderuelas con dashi” I plain didn’t like), and moreover I had seen a demo with Albert Adria explaining the dish a week before I tasted it.

But once I had eaten it, it reminded me of the concept of Platonic ideals. I seriously thought it was the ideal of an olive, the essence of it, the way all olives were intended to taste. It’s not what we found the original olive lacking, but rather it was like finding what all olives were made after, what the original model would have been. The fact that he makes it look like the real deal is anecdotic, a game he plays with the people who eat there, a gimmick if you want to surprise them. This doesn’t diminish the fact that his olive tastes indeed like the essence of the olive, and I think you could have it as a shot and still be amazed by its pure taste.

If this is the outcome, if a cook can process a product and get there, then I definitely think is worth it.

I asked Adria if he thought he was subject to a different pressure other three-star restaurants were, i.e. people like Santamaria for instance are known for their utmost care and respect for the product, while he was in the spotlight for his creativity.

His answer was that he thought he had double the pressure, i.e. he was held to serve only the best ingredients with the same care and respect, and on top of it, he had to come up with new ideas every year. Whether this is true or not, I guess we will find out if/when he runs out of ideas. But my point is that he still feels wherever his ideas take him, he still has to serve the best ingredients, with the same care and respect more “traditional” restaurants do.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Bux,

          Excuse the slight detour!

          " In this dish (Duck breast, its lacquered crisp skin, papaya condiment & honey tuile), you can find the entire philosophy of my work. The duck genuinely evokes a dance. I have put it through everything. I have truly opened it up to release its spirit. The breast is roasted, then boned, then cut into salmis. I have toyed with the skin, glazing it, rendering a musical crispiness. I am particularly fond of this approach to a dish; you are immediately at its heart. It is dazzling, even resonant-the jazzy side of my cooking, with its dissonance, its rhythm, its direct approach to a theme. The flavours revolve in a loop, & then the sauce calms the melody.In the end, the dish fades out like a jazz tune-the music quiets down, the instruments stop shaking their hips."  Pierre Gagnaire 'Reflections on Culinary Artistry'

I believe he wants purity in flavour & that flavours can be supported in a tempo of a dish- choice of ingredient is essential, creative...necessary

The olive thing i find interesting because i find it bizarre that he should take it process it & then make it look like the original item. Why not leave the olive alone? why this should make it essential i'm not sure, isn't there a danger of confusing novelty with essential creativity. I was impressed by the start of 'decoding Adria' when bourdain was shipped off to sample Pata Negra & other hams to prove a point, but there should be limits to the latitudes or am i misunderstanding the term essential.  I have upmost respect for El Bulli & unfortunately until i can partake of the experience myself i have to live vicariously through others so i really appreciate thoughtful reviews of those fortunate enough to have eaten their. Pedro you could always post some more, personally i'm not convinced about the gaining momentum(only based on similar seasonal restaurant experience, & i'm sure the chef wouldn't want that to be the case......afterall prices do not vary from first to last diner!but it may happen)

Oh, of course the olive is not lacking. Neither is the fava bean or the mussle. The way I experienced it, and maybe that is what doc means, is that you eat the dish and the flavor is intense, pure and you have no doubt that what you are eating is olive essence or sharp green favas without the waiter having to explain it to you (actually mine could not remember what favas are called in English, so I tasted it and found out for myself :smile: ). Even though the cuisine is highly manipulated the main ingredients still shine through. I think it is Thomas Keller who said "I want to make an Asparagus soup that tastes more like Asparagus than Asparagus"! That is how many of Adria's dishes taste, inlcuding the olive sphere. The fact that it also looks like an olive is an extra nice touch.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Bux,

          Excuse the slight detour!

          " In this dish (Duck breast, its lacquered crisp skin, papaya condiment & honey tuile), you can find the entire philosophy of my work. The duck genuinely evokes a dance. I have put it through everything. I have truly opened it up to release its spirit. The breast is roasted, then boned, then cut into salmis. I have toyed with the skin, glazing it, rendering a musical crispiness. I am particularly fond of this approach to a dish; you are immediately at its heart. It is dazzling, even resonant-the jazzy side of my cooking, with its dissonance, its rhythm, its direct approach to a theme. The flavours revolve in a loop, & then the sauce calms the melody.In the end, the dish fades out like a jazz tune-the music quiets down, the instruments stop shaking their hips."  Pierre Gagnaire 'Reflections on Culinary Artistry'

I believe he wants purity in flavour & that flavours can be supported in a tempo of a dish- choice of ingredient is essential, creative...necessary

The olive thing i find interesting because i find it bizarre that he should take it process it & then make it look like the original item. Why not leave the olive alone? why this should make it essential i'm not sure, isn't there a danger of confusing novelty with essential creativity. I was impressed by the start of 'decoding Adria' when bourdain was shipped off to sample Pata Negra & other hams to prove a point, but there should be limits to the latitudes or am i misunderstanding the term essential.  I have upmost respect for El Bulli & unfortunately until i can partake of the experience myself i have to live vicariously through others so i really appreciate thoughtful reviews of those fortunate enough to have eaten their. Pedro you could always post some more, personally i'm not convinced about the gaining momentum(only based on similar seasonal restaurant experience, & i'm sure the chef wouldn't want that to be the case......afterall prices do not vary from first to last diner!but it may happen)

Oh, of course the olive is not lacking. Neither is the fava bean or the mussle. The way I experienced it, and maybe that is what doc means, is that you eat the dish and the flavor is intense, pure and you have no doubt that what you are eating is olive essence or sharp green favas without the waiter having to explain it to you (actually mine could not remember what favas are called in English, so I tasted it and found out for myself :smile: ). Even though the cuisine is highly manipulated the main ingredients still shine through. I think it is Thomas Keller who said "I want to make an Asparagus soup that tastes more like Asparagus than Asparagus"! That is how many of Adria's dishes taste, inlcuding the olive sphere. The fact that it also looks like an olive is an extra nice touch.

Elie

Nicely said. What comes out of the kitchen is an archetypical product. The aceituna sferica is more like an archetype of an olive in that it holds the essence of deep olive flavor in a vessel that is both surprising and fun. The visual and tactile are every bit as important as taste in the cuisine of El Bulli - at least to my perception.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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