Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ferran Adri? today closes his award-winning restaurant El Bulli. Are we coming to the end of our love affair with liquid nitrogen and molecular gastronomy?

Ferran Adri? is not closing El Bulli, the world's (ex-) best restaurant, tonight, he is simply "changing, moving on … improving", a process that involves, erm, closing it. It will reopen as a "creativity centre" in 2014. He announced this decision two years ago, the reason given being that it loses half a million euros a year. Insiders counter that it was a kind of loss-leader, the high concept of the place cross-fertilising other ventures. Or, as Joe Warwick, co-founder of The World's 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine, put it: "He has so many commercial endorsements coming out of his arse, I can't believe he's short of money." He meant it in a nice way.

There was another reason given, although that was the weight of expectation: while only 8,000 guests were always served in a particular season, tried to book two million people. They flocked to the flavors that were only air, has been formed for the things that really looked like olive jelly with liquid inside, for the rabbits look like a chestnut. This level of learning takes all the creativity that humanity can muster, since the well Adri? \ documents 's case: He' sa genius. Everyone knows that he 'sa genius. Hollywood makes a movie about what he is a genius.

His ingenuity has made the judgments of some over-weaning food critic in an undisputed pillar of the global culture passed. I 've checked restaurants for the Sunday Telegraph for five years from the time when I began, the Spaniard was already a legend. I haven 't been to the restaurant. Given the proviso that he 's unparalleled course I'm the kind of thing that he does not somehow replicate the razzle dazzle end of the English restaurants seen: Sat Bains in Nottingham, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and in a less imaginative, more traditional way, Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Nathan Outlaw.

Probably the only English cookery, suffered the same curse of El Bulli would be Heston Blumenthal - and the longer they are open, the more word spreads her surprise, and the more people come to expect. It 'sa race to the top, but at some point one must ask, above, what? This type of cooking is extremely labor intensive, and if you '\ go too little blood present in a pouch on the side of the plate, not to eat, to smell only, you'll need more than one chef and sous chef. There are probably as many people a radical textures in this three-star restaurant, as there are in a major research university to determine fusion. As a restaurant insider said. "I would not devote a brigade of 70 people turn out to be something that looks like an olive, but really something else I don 't think that' sa proper use of 70 highly qualified employees."

Just because El Bulli closes mean doesn 't, the world has lost this complexity of the endeavor. In Copenhagen, Ren? Redzepi far only two Michelin stars, but El Bulli restaurant makes its best in the world title in 2010 and retained the award this year. As a character, seems Redzepi, the essence of what we at the moment to distill a "best": There's nothing fussy or fancy about him, he is the opposite of what you 'd think, than the Michelin "character". If you were asked to guess what he did, you would probably say, concept artist: \ he's taciturn, watchful, amused.

His restaurant, Noma, takes the efforts of excellence one step further and links the experiments that Adri? and Blumenthal trail blazed with an obsessive dedication to localism and seasonality, so that in the depths of winter, all you can eat at Noma stuff that 's been preserved in ice (or, as we might say, "freezing") or buried in soil for two years. Adri? didn 't really care where his doves came from, that' s what people were saying, anyway. Of course you can never really know a man 's heart when it comes to a turtle dove.


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