- Chez Panisse opens (1971)
elBulli to Reopen for a Month for Hollywood's Sake
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Ferran Adrià fans better start saving up (and waiting by their computers): the Spanish chef is reportedly reopening his legendary avant-garde restaurant on the coast of Catalonia for the sake of Hollywood.
We chatted with producer Jeff Kleeman, of EL BULLI, the dramatic fictional adaptation of Lisa Abend's The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, and while Kleeman has plenty to say about the plot of the film (more on that later), he had this exciting tidbit to share: "Whoever we hire to portray Ferran, and whoever ends up directing the movie, is going to get to have quite an experience, which is that Ferran is going reopen elBulli for one month." The purpose? To train the actors and directors, showing them exactly what a restaurant of elBulli's caliber needed to function. "There is no other restaurant in the world that functions the way elBulli does, and there’s no way to ever fully portray that to someone without showing them," Kleeman said.
The monthlong opening of elBulli will strictly be for training purposes, Kleeman says, as the actors will be working in the kitchen and the front of house to immerse themselves in the experience. "The cast and crew need to be able to understand in totality what that full experience of working and running and dining at elBulli is," Kleeman told us. "I’m sure Ferran will [bring back old chefs], and part of it is nobody else can do some of the things they do."
elBulli's reopening will only last for four weeks, Kleeman says, but that's four more weeks than we were ever expecting. "In order to make this movie as authentic as possible, Ferran has agreed to [reopen], and to me, to think that I could have a part in resurrecting elBulli for one more month to give people that one last opportunity to dine there, that makes me almost as happy as being able to make the movie."
Of course, there was a so-called false alarm of an elBulli reopening for the same exact reasons in August of 2011, but if Kleeman is to be believed, this time it might just be true.
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