Ferran Adrià is at a crossroads. With the temporary closing of elBulli and the move of his studio space, the Taller, what's the legendary chef going to do with all of that time on his hands? Plenty, as it turns out. We had the opportunity to ask him (in Spanish) about his plan for the next couple of years, new projects, collaborations, and his culinary philosophy.
As translated from Spanish...
How will you spend the 2½ years that elBulli is closed?
Two years of reflection and work.
What will your creative team do while it's closed?
Just like me, we’re going to travel, learn and inform ourselves. We’re not going to stay in one place; rather we want to take advantage of this time to be able to see things that we can’t with the restaurant open. Overall we need to take sufficient time for the reflection, analyzation, and denotation of all of the new directions our work could take or new directions to be considered from now on.
Will Juli Soler be involved in the new elBulli and if so how?
Of course, he will participate very actively, as always.
Will the Taller continue to exist in its present location, or will it become part of the new elBulli? If the latter, what will happen to the old Taller space?
No, the activities of the Taller will be moved to Montjoi. We’re still examining what function it will have in the future.
What will the relationship be between the elBulli Foundation and the Alicia Foundation?
The Alicia Foundation is the social part; that is, it has to do with education and science while elBulli has to do with creativity; we want the new project to make the Alicia Foundation stronger.
How will the new foundation be funded?
It’s a private foundation for which resources have to be found in different ways, through my businesses and those of Juli, benefactors, sponsors or a close link with a company that doesn’t have to be food and beverage, a new technology enterprise, or a renewable energy one… We always have an obligation to creativity.
How will food be served at the new elBulli and what kind of food will it be?
We need feedback but we can’t be concrete right now about details in that respect because we are still examining the most adequate model; there won’t be a fixed rule, that’s not foreseeable, [but] there will be risk, autonomy, and creativity.
How will the participants in the foundation programs be chosen, and if people can apply themselves, when can that process begin?
We are looking into how to determine the selection of collaborators for each year; definitely from 2012 on, the first selection will be via the internet followed by tests in situ.
As somebody who is so relentlessly creative like you, how can you say with any certainty today what you're going to be doing three years from now?
It’s what I hope to be doing. It’s a very important project and we have built our hopes up for it, but there has to be a time of reflection in order to achieve the best possible outcome. It’s a work in progress.
If you were asked to distill your culinary philosophy to its most central tenet and to use one dish to exemplify it, what would that dish be?
There are only two types of cooking: good and bad.