Ferran Adrià and his English-language publisher, Phaidon Press, announced this morning the forthcoming publication of a massive new seven-volume illustrated catalogue of every recipe created at his revolutionary restaurant from 2005 through the establishment's closing in the summer of 2011 — more than 750 of them in all. Adrià, who is in New York for several events (including this Monday's summit of the Basque Culinary Center's International Advisory Board at Stone Barns), made the announcement a short time ago at a press conference held at the Tasting Table Test Kitchen and Dining Room in SoHo.
The books, packaged in an acrylic slipcase — the set will look spiffy on your (reinforced) bookshelf next to Nathan Myhrvold's similarly weighty five-volume, acrylic-slipcased Modernist Cuisine tomes — will number 2,720 pages, with 1,400 color photographs, and sell for $625. Publication is scheduled for March of 2014.
Adrià has long been assiduous — obsessive, even — about documenting every aspect of elBulli's development, Beginning in 2002, Adrià, along with his brother, Albert, and his longtime elBulli partner, Juli Soler, produced a series of six earlier gigantic volumes, featuring images of every dish created at the restaurant from 1983 (the year Adrià came to work as an apprentice at elBulli on leave from a stint in the Spanish navy) until 2005, with recipes available separately on CDs. Then the project stalled for various reasons, not least because elBulli got "discovered" internationally around that time, with all the attendant demands on the creative staff's time and attention.
The new set picks up the thread. (The 2005 volume of the new series contains the same dishes as the corresponding earlier one, but the book has been completely redesigned, and this time the photographs and recipes are united.) The recipes fill the first six volumes. According to Phaidon, the seventh, titled Evolutionary Analysis, "focuses on the creative evolution of the restaurant, tracking key discoveries and products, and examining the influences and creative methods that were prominent during each of elBulli's seasons."
According to a Phaidon spokesman, "Ferran really sees these volumes as an opportunity to share his creative process with the rest of the world. He hopes they will provide a new way to codify and examine cuisine, allow the creative legacy of elBulli to continue, and inspire future generations of chefs to continue to innovate."