The visionary chef of elBulli, the restaurant in Spain’s Costa Brava coast that ranked number one in the world for five years before it closed in 2011, was in Toronto this week to promote his new book project with Phaidon, elBulli 2005-2011. Ferran Adrià spoke to the sold out crowd at the Indigo-hosted event for over an hour about his current work with the elBulliFoundation and game-changing research into the evolutionary analysis of cooking. We met up with Adrià backstage after the presentation to discuss how you’ll be able to eat at elBulli again (sort of!), the next global food trends, and why he won’t name the next-generation chefs that he’s got his eye on.
Flare: It was really interesting to hear about your new foundation and projects. Is there a reason why there’s not a restaurant involved?
FA: We’re going to have 20 days a year that we’ll [serve] meals, but that’s not the focus of [the project]. 10 days that will be drawn by lottery, and 10 that will raise money for the endowment, but that’s not the important part.
Flare: In your travels and on your book tour, you must have eaten at some great places. Do you have any favourites to share?
FA: I hardly go to restaurants. When I’m going to work I’m not really going out to ear and having great meals. I would love to, but I don’t. [But] there are incredible things out there that are being done [in] Latin America, Peru, Mexico, Equador. Everything in Asia, Vietnam, Thailand. Arab cooking is going to be a big thing that we’re going to see more of. Everywhere that there’s been culture, there’s great cooking. What we need is cooks, chefs, that make it modern, that make it current.
Flare: Who do you think are some of the most interesting chefs working today?
FA: For the past 5 years I don’t want to answer that question, because if I say, then all of the press…people will descend on them. There are really amazing chefs in the world, although there are few exceptional ones, because it’s hard to be exceptional at anything.
Flare: The last question I have is: what do you cook at home? What is your comfort food?
FA: I hate to cook at home. It’s a lie that people say when [they say] that chefs cook at home, because if they’re cooking at home they’re not cooking in the restaurant. They have to be working.
Flare: So what do you eat at home?
FA: When I eat at home, the way I like to eat…I cook something very simple, like grilled fish.
For more information about Ferran Adrià’s new book, visit phaidon.com/elbulli.