Adrià has been recognized up to 5 times as the best chef in the world in front of his disappeared restaurant elBulli; today he is dedicated to researching different aspects of gastronomy at elBullifoundation
For Adrià, gastronomy is "a way of understanding life" and ensures that "it does not fit into his plans either in the medium, in the short or in the long term" to open a restaurant
CLARA DE MELO.– Ferran Adrià Acosta. Born in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 55 years ago. Married, no children. Considered the best chef in the world, in his 14-16 daily hours of work in front of the stove he created up to 1,846 avant-garde dishes that he has already documented in 14,000 sheets of paper.
Surely you know him: this non-conformist and intelligent man who, by the way, "did not want to be a chef", was for more than 25 years at the elBulli restaurant in Roses, Girona, where he won the top prizes to which a chef can aspire, like being chosen up to five times the best in the world. But in 2011, by surprise, hedecided to close. "We close to transform," he said. And he did it to dedicate himself to elBullifoundation, a project that consists of "debating, expanding and studying everything that elBulli generated".
QHE- What is, for you, gastronomy?
There are many definitions of what gastronomy is: an attitude, an area that includes several disciplines, a culture. However, if I had to say what it is for me, I would say it is a way of understanding life.
QHE- Why and how much time did it take to decide to close the elBulli restaurant?
Obviously, it was not an easy decision. Starting from the basis that we wanted to maintain the same degree of enthusiasm in creative work, and that the restaurant format no longer excited us, it seemed logical to take an important step. What we did was, rather than close elBulli, transform it.
QHE- In 2011 the restaurant closes. What do you dedicate your time to when you decide to go from creating 100 new dishes to simply "thinking and experimenting" at elBullifoundation?
In the first place, what I intend is to understand even the deepest. What is my profession, how is my discipline and what are the elements that characterize it: its resources, processes, systems and history. From there, in an organic and gradual way, a project and a team will be formed that will investigate these and other aspects of gastronomy.
QHE- "Freedom to create" is the motto of elBullifoundation. Did you ever feel imprisoned in your own kitchen? -You say that "elBulli closed to open elBulli" -
I never felt imprisoned, but I was pressured although, paradoxically, it was a pressure that we imposed on ourselves. The desire to expand the limits of cuisine and gastronomy, to always go further, not to repeat ourselves, to always offer something new and unexpected, was a very intense pressure that, in reality, stimulated us.
QHE- Your maxim is that you have to create, create and create. Is Ferran Adrià a nonconformist?
It could be said like that. I believe that a creator should never settle for his environment without questioning it. If being a nonconformist is continually questioning the status quo, in effect, I am.
QHE- Every time we cook less -we lack time- and eat worse, which has generated a notable increase in obesity and problems such as diabetes in the Western world. What is your recipe to eat well with our current lifestyle?
From the outset, it is important that each person, each family, reach where they can reach for time, money, etc. From there, the most important thing is to eat varied, of the highest quality that can be and, if it can be products of the season, better. Along with food, do not forget that physical exercise is the other pillar that will take care of our health.
QHE- Every time there are more restaurants that bet on creative cuisine, more recognized chefs, more people willing to pay much more for a meal and more programs that push the viewer to get in front of the stove. Is the kitchen fashionable?
It is evident that, for a couple of decades, the popularity of the kitchen has been increasing exponentially. This is due to a greater gastronomic education of ever wider layers, together with the gap that we have been able to open in Spain in the domain that, until twenty years ago, France exercised in the gastronomic field. After the cutting edge spear of the avant-garde, other formats of the gastronomic restoration and other derived consequences, have gone behind.
QHE- What is your relationship with your brother, Albert Adrià? Do you cook together, eat together or do you live together outside the kitchen?
We have always had a very close relationship, although obviously he makes his life and I do mine. We meet each other a lot outside the kitchen, in effect, but we do not cook together.
QHE- How does Ferran Adrià live the gastronomy from outside a restaurant?
Actually, gastronomy is not just cooking, or managing the day to day of a restaurant. Gastronomy is all that is derived from the activity in this field. Investigating the history of food, cooking and gastronomic restoration is a way of living gastronomy.
QHE- Do you still have a relationship with any of your disciples?
I maintain a good friendship with the majority of my disciples. I visit them when I can and they also come to see me at elBulliLab.
QHE- You were recently in Brazil and throughout the year you travel all over the world. With what objectives does Ferran Adrià travel?
When I do not travel to promote a project or to attend an event, I do it to meet people; cities; museums; markets; restaurants; hotels and customs.
QHE- We have read that Niña Pastori is her favorite singer. Is Ferran Adrià a lover of flamenco?
Of course, I have always liked flamenco, both the most modern and traditional flamenco.
QHE- What does Ferran Adrià look like in ten years?
I see myself continuing to work every day on something that I am so passionate about, that it makes me feel that I am not working.
QHE- Will you set up a new Ferran Adrià restaurant?
It does not fit into my plans, neither short, nor medium or long term.
VERY PERSONAL, BY ANNABEL SAAVEDRA
What do the memories of Ferrán Adrià smell like?
My mother's potato omelette.
In the cupboard of spices you can not miss ...
A corner to get lost?
You're crazy about...
Every kitchen must have ...
Sweet or salty popcorn?
If you had magical powers, which one would you choose?
They say that dogs resemble their owners. With what race would Ferran Adrià make good friends?
A Bully, of course.
Outside of work, do you have any hobbies?
Of course! Traveling, walking, being with family, friends, eating out ...
The best criticism you have received for a dish? And, the worst?
They do not judge us by a plate, but by a total experience.
The notes, do you take them by hand or with your mobile?
The Beatles or Rolling Stones?
The Rolling Stones.
You are passionate about Japanese culture and cuisine. Would you recommend an Asian restaurant in Barcelona?
What story would you tell us in the kitchen?
A Disney one.
When you grow up you want to be ...
An honest person, who can continue to look forward to his work and can spend more time with his family.