VIDEO: José Andrés Sits Down at the Chef’s Table Part 2
The chef discusses what he learned at the famed el Bulli and how he came to live in Washington, DC
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During the second portion of At the Chef’s Table with José Andrés, The Daily Meal’s video producer Ali Rosen talks with the chef about his time working at elBulli and his move to the United States.
When asked how he enjoyed learning at elBulli, Andrés explains, “We were not afraid to test anything, we were not afraid to challenge anything, so I think the best lesson growing up and working with Ferran early on was that he was not really afraid.”
Following up with an anecdote to cement his point, Andrés recalls, “There was even one moment, I believe, when we made this milk gelatin while trying to recreate a béchamel to be a béchamel without flour, and we had this hot oil that was frying some chips and Ferran came to me and we all looked at each other because we knew he wanted to put the milk gelatin into the hot oil. Anyone who uses normal logic would say ‘I would never dare to try that’ because milk is a liquid, gelatin melts under heat, and then there is going to be a big explosion. Well we had a big explosion, but nonetheless, the amazing thing is that 15 years later Ferran came up with the liquid croquette, so that moment was the moment that planted the seed to one of his best dishes ever. Explaining further, “Challenging tradition doesn’t mean you’re against tradition, challenging tradition is on the contrary, you’re almost saying thank you for giving me something to rely on so I can move forward,” Andrés says.
With regards to his motives for moving to the United States after his experience working at elBulli, Andrés says, “I was always fascinated with America, and I was fascinated with the NBA, and I got the opportunity to come to New York during the Olympic Games so I came for six months to help open a Spanish restaurant. It was great, I was walking every evening through the streets of New York and I got many opportunities to move to Japan, Spain, Australia, but I loved the states and the opportunities kept showing up, so I stayed.”
Check out the video for much, much more from José Andrés about the start of his career in the U.S. and stay tuned for upcoming installments of this interview series with the iconic chef.