Is elBulli Really Reopening to Train Actors for a Movie About the Restaurant?

Maybe, but maybe not, according to Ferran Adrià

Last week, it was widely reported (by The Daily Meal, among others) that producer Jeff Kleeman, who has been trying to get a movie about that most famous of avant-garde restaurants, the now-closed elBulli, off the ground since 2011, had found funding for the project. It is to be produced by Vendome Pictures, it was announced, and will theoretically shoot late this year. The really big news, however — the news that got every fan of the restaurant and every food-lover (and food-trophy-collector) who never got to the place salivating — was that elBulli would reopen for a month to train the actors (as yet uncast) in the restaurant's unique styles of cooking and of service.

But wait: A similar report surfaced about a year-and-a-half ago, and when I asked Ferran Adrià about it then, he replied "It is entirely false that the restaurant will open to the public…It is not yet even confirmed that the movie will be filmed at elBulli, but in the case that it is, the restaurant would open only with extras at the tables." With that demur in mind, it seemed like a good idea to check in with Adrià again to see if news of the reopening was true this time. His answer? Not necessarily.

"We are waiting for a director to be hired," he replied by email, "and he will decide where he wants to shoot the film. All that is definite is that we will help in any way that is necessary for the film to be the best."

Adrià added that, apart from the film having found financing, there is other good news in his world. "The elBulli Foundation is now officially set up and construction [on architect Enric Ruiz-Geli's fanciful Foundation buildings] will begin very soon, in May." He's also getting ready for two big auctions, to be held by Sotheby's in April, in Hong Kong and New York, to dispose of the elBulli wine cellar. Some 8,807 bottles will be offered — including various vintages of Vega Sicilia "Unico,", Château de Beaucastel, Château Latour, and wines from the Domaine de la Romanée Conti — with a pre-sale estimate of up to $1.6 million total, with proceeds to benefit the elBulli Foundation.

In addition, Adrià said, the exhibition of artifacts and documentary material entitled "Ferran Adrià and elBulli: Risk, Freedom and Creativity," which ran for a year at Barcelona's Palau Robert, closing February 3, is scheduled to travel to London and then Boston this year and next. Not New York? "There will an entirely new exhibition for New York, on the creative process," he said. "We are finishing negotiations now. When I have more details, I will let you know."

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