Ferran Adrià Sued by Former elBulli Partner's Sons

Staff Writer
They claim that the elBulli chef cheated a former investor by conning him to sell his share for lower than its worth

Ferran Adrià

Looks like there's trouble in post-elBulli paradise. Ferran Adrià, who is now working on a bunch of new restaurant concepts plus a Bullipedia, has been slapped with a lawsuit by a former investor's sons.

The allegations claim that Adrià cheated Miquel Horta out of his share of elBulli's profits; Horta, who made a fortune off eau de cologne, helped finance a kitchen remodel and expansion in the early 1990s for 20 percent of the profits.

In 2005, Adrià and his business partner Juli Soler bought out Horta, paying €1 million for the 20 percent share.

Horta's heirs claim that Adrià deliberately priced elBulli low to cheat Horta out of his fair worth, claiming the 20 percent was worth €45 million. Now, the elBulli chef may have to appear on trial in November, although an out-of-court agreement can be made.

When news of the issue first broke, Cadena SER reported that Adrià commented, "I haven't got involved because one has to be aware that one cannot be liked by everyone, that is impossible."

As for money, the chef has said that the restaurant isn't a profit-making machine. "This is like a research and development department. You shouldn't expect it to make money," he reportedly said.

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