elBulli (Catalan pronunciation: [əl ˈβuʎi]) was a Michelin 3-star restaurant near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferran Adrià. The small restaurant overlooked Cala Montjoi, a bay on Catalonia's Costa Brava, and was described in The Guardian as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet".[1] The restaurant was also associated with molecular gastronomy. The restaurant closed on 30 July 2011[2] and was reopened as a creativity centre in 2014.[3]

The restaurant, seen from above
The restaurant, seen from above
Restaurant information
Closed30 July 2011
Head chefFerran Adrià
Rating3 Michelin stars (Michelin Guide)
Coordinates42°15′00″N 003°13′35″E / 42.25000°N 3.22639°ECoordinates: 42°15′00″N 003°13′35″E / 42.25000°N 3.22639°E


The restaurant had a limited season: the PIXA season, for example, ran from 15 June to 20 December.[4] Bookings for the next year were taken on a single day after the closing of the current season. It accommodated only 8,000 diners a season, but got more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal was €250 (US$325).[5] The restaurant itself had operated at a loss since 2000, with operating profit coming from elBulli-related books and lectures by Adrià.[1][6] As of April 2008, the restaurant employed 42 chefs.[7]

Restaurant magazine judged elBulli to be No. 1 on its Top 50 list of the world's best restaurants for a record five times—in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and No. 2 in 2010.[7][8][9]


Rear Stairs

The elBulli location was selected in 1961 by Dr. Hans Schilling, a German, and his Czech wife Marketa, who wanted a restaurant for a piece of land he had purchased.[10] The name "elBulli" came from the French bulldogs the Schillings owned.[11] The first restaurant was opened in 1964. The restaurant won its first Michelin star in 1976 while under French chef Jean-Louis Neichel.[10] Ferran Adrià joined the staff in 1984, and was put in sole charge of the kitchen in 1987. In 1990 the restaurant gained its second Michelin star,[10] and in 1997 its third.[10]

elBulli has published books on its development, menu, and philosophy since 1993,[12] in both large format, some including CD-ROMs, and small format for supermarket sales.[1] Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert Adrià published A Day at elBulli in 2008. The book describes 24 hours in the life of elBulli in pictures, commentary and recipes. Among the recipes included in the book are melon with ham, pine nut marshmallows, steamed brioche with rose-scented mozzarella, rock mussels with seaweed and fresh herbs, and passion fruit trees. Anthony Bourdain described Albert Adrià's contributions thus: "His book is a shockingly beautiful catalog of his latest accomplishments here ... Pastry chefs everywhere—when they see this—will gape in fear, and awe, and wonder. I feel for them; like Eric Clapton seeing Jimi Hendrix for the first time, one imagines they will ask themselves 'What do I do now?'."[13]

Commercial products

The kitchen at elBulli

Texturas is a range of products by Ferran Adrià and his brother Albert Adrià. The products include the Sferificación, Gelificación, Emulsificación, Espesantes and Surprises lines and are the result of a rigorous process of selection and experimentation. Texturas includes products such as Xanthan and Algin which are packaged and labeled as Xantana Texturas and Algin Texturas respectively.[14] Xanthan gum allows the user to use a very small amount to thicken soups, sauces and creams without changing the flavour. Algin is a key component of the "Spherification Kit" and is essential for every spherical preparation: caviar, raviolis, balloons, gnocchi, pellets, and mini-spheres.[15]


In 2010, Ferran Adrià announced he would close elBulli in 2012, due to the massive monetary loss it was incurring. He was quoted by The New York Times as planning to replace it with a culinary academy.[16] He later denied the announcement, saying that The New York Times had misquoted him, and stated that elBulli would reopen in 2014 after a two-year hiatus, as "initially planned"[17] and would still serve food.[18] Adrià later confirmed, in an October 2010 Vanity Fair article, that the restaurant would be closing permanently after July 2011,[11] although the official elBulli website denied this. "The future of elBulli is established. Between January and February, Ferran Adrià announces that, once the season 2011 is over, elBulli will close during two years to reopen in 2014 under a totally new format, focused on the limits of creativity from an interdisciplinary view."[19]

As of 28 April 2011, the elBulli website listed that it would close in July 2011 "On July 30th 2011 elBulli will have completed its journey as a restaurant. We will transform into a creativity center, opening in 2014. Its main objective is to be a think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy and will be managed by a private foundation."[20] Anthony Bourdain interpreted the goal of the new elBulli foundation to be an elite culinary and dining experience development workshop, hosting not only chefs but "architects, philosophers, [and] designers", and allowing them to "not just share [their] successes, but to share [their] mistakes or [their] process with the world as it's happening" by providing a forum to explore such concepts as "do we need a dining room?"[21]

As of 27 July 2012, the website states simply: elBulli restaurant has now closed and has been converted into elBullifoundation, but has links to a series of enigmatic videos about the vision for the foundation (which appears to be about cuisine just for the expertise, with "no reservations, no routines, no timetables").[22][23]


El Bulli: Cooking in Progress is a documentary about the restaurant highlighting the iterative creative process that occurred behind the scenes. Directed by Gereon Wetzel, the film follows the creative team led by Ferran Adrià through the whole 2008–2009 season. It premiered at the 2010 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.[24]

Somerset House

In July 2013, Somerset House hosted an exhibition dedicated to the food of Ferran Adrià and elBulli. The exhibition looked back over the evolution of the restaurant's laboratory and kitchen.[25] Multimedia displays examined the methods behind the creation of signature dishes and original sketches and hand written notes of the recipe creations were on display with plasticine models of the dishes that were served.[26]


  1. ^ a b c Carlin, John (11 December 2006). If the world's greatest chef cooked for a living, he'd starve, John Carlin, The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  2. ^ "history". elbulli.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "El Bulli, 'world's best restaurant', closes". BBC News. 30 July 2011.
  4. ^ Season 2010 Archived August 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine (reservations). ElBulli.com, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  5. ^ "Kochrevolutionär sucht neue Inspiration" (in German). Frankfurter Rundschau Online. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-16. (EN translation). For 2010 price.
  6. ^ Gould, Kevin (3 February 2007). Who's for a Bulli burger?. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
  7. ^ a b "World's 50 best restaurants". Restaurant. 21 April 2008. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
  8. ^ Matthew, Jukes (26 October 2002). "Bulli for us". UK: The Guardian. Archived from the original (review) on 30 September 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  9. ^ Fleming, Amy; Smithers, Rebecca (21 April 2009). "Gordon Ramsay off the menu as San Pellegrino's best restaurants are chosen". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  10. ^ a b c d "History of El Bulli". ElBulli.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  11. ^ a b McInerney, Jay (Oct 2010). ""It Was Delicious While It Lasted", Vanity Fair Magazine". Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  12. ^ elBullibooks – Recopilación de información sobre los libros publicados por elBulli (catalog). El Bulli. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  13. ^ "Spain". Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Season 4. Episode 17. 18 August 2008. ~20 minutes in. Travel Channel.
  14. ^ "Xantana Texturas – Texturas – Albert & Ferran Adria (El Bulli)". BienManger.com. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  15. ^ "Algin Texturas – Texturas – Albert & Ferran Adria (El Bulli)". BienManger.com. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  16. ^ Ferren, Andrew (12 February 2010). "El Bulli to close permanently". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  17. ^ "Guide Girl" (15 February 2010). "Ferran Adrià denies reports that El Bulli will close permanently". Guide Girl blog. Caterer Search.com. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  18. ^ Hanly, Catherine, ed. (22 February 2010). El Bulli will still serve meals when it reopens in 2014 Archived 2010-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. http://www.hot-dinners.com Hot Dinners]. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  19. ^ "history". Elbulli.com. 2010-01-26.
  20. ^ [1] Archived August 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "El Bulli". Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Season 7. Episode 12. 1 August 2011. Travel Channel.
  22. ^ "elBulli.com". Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  23. ^ "elBullifoundation". Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  24. ^ "El Bulli – Cooking in Progress". IDFA. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  25. ^ "elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food". Somerset House. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  26. ^ "El Bulli the Exhibition..." Styl.sh. Retrieved 30 August 2013.


  • El Bulli 1983–1993 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), 2004. w/CD-ROM.
  • El Bulli: el sabor del Mediterráneo (with Juli Soler), 1993. ISBN 84-7596-415-X
  • Los secretos de El Bulli 1997. Altaya. ISBN 84-487-1000-2
  • El Bulli 1994–1997 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), 2003. w/CD-ROM. Rba Libros, 2005. ISBN 978-84-7871-078-2
  • Cocinar en 10 minutos con Ferran Adrià (with Josep M. Pinto), 1998. ISBN 84-605-7628-0
  • Celebrar el milenio con Arzak y Adrià (with Juan Mari Arzak), 1999. ISBN 84-8307-246-7
  • El Bulli 1998–2002 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), Conran Octopus, 2003. w/CD-ROM. ISBN 1-84091-346-0; Ecco, 2005. ISBN 0-06-081757-7
  • El Bulli 2003–2004 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), Ecco, 2006. ISBN 0-06-114668-4
  • El Bulli 2005 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), 2006. w/CD-ROM. Rba Libros. ISBN 978-84-7871-607-4
  • A Day At El Bulli 2007 (with Juli Soler and Albert Adrià), 2008. ISBN 978-84-7901-741-5
  • FOOD for thought THOUGHT for food (El Bulli y Ferran Adrià), 2009 Actar Editorial. ISBN 978-84-96954-68-7
  • Modern Gastronomy A to Z: A Scientific and Gastronomic Lexicon (Alicia Foundation, elBullitaller), 2010. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4398-1245-7
  • elBulli 2005–2011 (Ferran Adrià, Albert Adrià, Juli Soler), 2014. ISBN 978-0714865485

External links


ACTAR is a publisher of books on architecture, graphic design, and contemporary art. It was founded in 1994 and based in Barcelona. ACTAR has opened a new architectural debates since its foundation, and has been managed by Ramon Prat. In 2006, ACTAR opened a New York City office for North American sales and distribution. In addition to ACTAR's in-house titles, ACTAR D internationally distributes publications by cultural institutions, Universities and other publishers.

ACTAR acquired Swiss Publishers Birkhäuser Verlag in 2010, turning into the most important company of contents on architecture, under the new name ActarBirkhäuser. Nevertheless, in 2012 Birkhäuser Verlag was sold, this time to the Gruyter, due to the structural changes of the publishing sector, for the effects of the increasing crisis in the sector of the construction, as well as for the enormous irruption of free contents in Internet.

From 2012, ACTAR was acquired in turn by the North American company ACTAR D, turning now into ACTAR PUBLISHERS. Though its catalogue is focused especially on architecture, this one will not leave its assignment since the publishing house was founded on the 90: To fix the riskiest architectural production, which base is in the investigation of other ways of planning and constructing in a changeable society towards the requirements that are asked the architect.

ACTAR's publishing program is focused on the works of established and emerging architects, designers, artists, and photographers. Its books feature collaborations with architects including OMA / Rem Koolhaas, Foreign Office Architects / Farshid Moussavi, MVRDV/ Winy Maas, UN Studio, Massimiliano Fuksas, Diller + Scofidio, Toyo Ito, SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima, Sanford Kwinter, Kazys Varnelis, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Vincente Guallart; designers including VASAVA; photographers including Joan Fontcuberta; and chef Ferran Adrià of ElBulli.

Now entering an exciting new phase focused on the multi-platform development of specialized content through urbanNext, Actar is producing new tools for its global dissemination with new impulses, new proposals, and new goals to expand architecture to rethink cities.

Albert Adrià

Albert Adrià (born 20 October 1969) is a Spanish chef. He is currently head chef of Tickets, a Michelin one-star restaurant in Barcelona and was formerly the head pastry chef of elBulli restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava

Brittle (food)

Brittle is a type of confection consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts. It has many variations around the world, such as pasteli in Greece, croquant in France, gozinaki in Georgia, gachak in Indian Punjab, chikki in other parts of India and kotkoti in Bangladesh. In parts of the Middle East, brittle is made with pistachios, while many Asian countries use sesame seeds and peanuts. Peanut brittle is the most popular brittle recipe in the US.

The term brittle first appears in print in 1892, though the candy itself has been around for much longer.Traditionally, a mixture of sugar and water is heated to the hard crack stage corresponding to a temperature of approximately 300 °F (149 °C), although some recipes also call for ingredients such as corn syrup and salt in the first step. Nuts are mixed with the caramelized sugar. At this point spices, leavening agents, and often peanut butter or butter are added. The hot candy is poured out onto a flat surface for cooling, traditionally a granite or marble slab. The hot candy may be troweled to uniform thickness. When the brittle cools, it is broken into pieces.

Family meal

A family meal or staff meal is a group meal that a restaurant serves its staff outside of peak business hours. The restaurant provides the meal free of charge, as a perk of employment. Typically the meal is served to the entire staff at once, with all staff being treated equally, like a "family". The restaurant's own chefs prepare the meal, often using leftover or unused ingredients. A chef may also use the family meal to experiment with new recipes.Several cookbooks have been published describing family meals at well-known restaurants. Examples include:

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria by Ferran Adrià of elBulli (2011)

Staff Meals from Chanterelle by David Waltuck (2000)

Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants by Marissa Guggiana (2011)

Come In, We're Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants by Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy (2012)

Ferran Adrià

Ferran Adrià Acosta (born May 14, 1962) (Catalan pronunciation: [fəˈran əðɾiˈa]) is a Spanish chef. He was the head chef of the elBulli restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava and is considered one of the best chefs in the world.

Gaggan (restaurant)

Gaggan is a restaurant run by chef Gaggan Anand in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2018, it comes top of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for the fourth consecutive year in the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants edited by Restaurant, ranking 7th overall worldwide. Gaggan earns 2 Michelin star in the first edition of the Thailand Michelin guide in 2018.

Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz (born April 25, 1974) is an American chef and restaurateur often recognized for his contributions to molecular gastronomy or progressive cuisine. His Chicago restaurant Alinea has won numerous accolades and Achatz himself has won numerous awards from prominent culinary institutions and publications, including the "Rising Star Chef of the Year Award" for 2003, "Best Chef in the United States" for 2008 and a 2012 "Who's Who Inductee" from the James Beard Foundation.

Hans Henderickx

Hans Henderickx (1961- 2016) was a Belgian entomologist specializing in Invertebrates born in Mol, Belgium.

Julia Hasting

Julia Hasting (born 1970) is a German graphic designer. She is the Creative Director of Phaidon Press, head of the design department. She is known for the many best-selling books she designed such as Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, magnumº, A Day at elBulli, and Bruce Nauman: the True Artist.

Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura (born 30 September 1962) is an Italian restauranteur and the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy which has been listed in the top 5 at The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards since 2010 and received top ratings from ESPRESSO, Gambero Rosso and the Touring Club guides. Osteria Francescana was ranked The World's 2nd Best Restaurant at the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2015. In June 2016 Osteria Francescana was ranked No. 1 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants, and No. 2 in 2017. The restaurant was again ranked No. 1 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2018.

Molecular gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy is a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking. Its program includes three areas, as cooking was recognized to have three components: social, artistic, and technical. Molecular cuisine is a modern style of cooking, and takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines.

The term "molecular gastronomy" was coined in 1988 by late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist Hervé This. Some chefs associated with the term choose to reject its use.

Najat Kaanache

Najat Kaanache is the host of AMC Networks' cooking series "Cocina Marroqui" which airs on Canal Cocina in Spain and El Gourmet throughout 20 countries in Latin America. Kaanache was born and raised in San Sebastián of Spain's Basque Country. She gained fame as a lead actress on Spanish daytime television series "Goenkale" and then traveled throughout the Middle East and South America working in philanthropy to empower women and street kids. She later attended culinary school and gained fame as "The Pilgrim Chef" by blogging throughout her four years training with the world's top chefs: Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal and Martín Berasategui.

After spending two years working as an apprentice in the kitchens at Chicago's Alinea, Napa's The French Laundry, New York's Per Se (restaurant), and Copenhagen's Noma (restaurant) Kaanache went on to achieve the auspicious Executive and Creative Haute Cuisine Certification after completing her apprenticeship during the final two seasons at Spain's elBulli. Ferran Adria stated to the Maghreb Arabe Presse that "Najat Kaanache represents the soul of Morocco through the language of the kitchen. Her passion for creativity and innovation should be a reference for the country."

After El Bulli's historic closure, Kaanache traveled extensively to instruct chefs across the globe in the latest gastronomic techniques and taught and lectured alongside White House Executive Pastry Chef, Bill Yosses on the science of cooking at Harvard University (pictured), New York University and at the 2013 World Science Festival in NYC (pictured) and 2013 Beijing Science Festival in China.

She was the opening chef partner of Souk Restaurant in Dallas, TX. She was the opening chef partner of Piripi Restaurant in the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, FL; She is the chef and owner of Nur Restaurant, in the Medina of Fez, Morocco.

Nuno Mendes (chef)

Nuno Mendes (born 1973) is a Portuguese chef, executive chef at Chiltern Firehouse, London.

Omar Allibhoy

Omar Allibhoy is a Spanish celebrity chef. He has previously worked at elBulli under Ferran Adrià and Maze under Jason Atherton. He is the founder of the Tapas Revolution group. He opened his first restaurant at Westfield London in 2011.

Pablo Rodriguez (computer scientist)

Pablo Rodriguez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo roˈðɾiɣeθ]; born 17 April 1972) is a Spanish computer scientist and researcher, who is best known for his research in the mid-2000s on peer-to-peer file sharing and user-generated content. After working for technology and communications companies AT&T and Microsoft Research, Rodriguez returned to Spain in 2006 to become the research director for telecommunications provider Telefónica. In 2010 took a position as an adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York.

Rodriguez has been a frequent guest speaker at technology conferences in Europe, such as the International World Wide Web Conference, TEDx Barcelona and the Wired Conference in London. He has collaborated with chef Ferran Adrià of the restaurant elBulli to develop Bullipedia, and in 2014 with football team FC Barcelona to analyze their strategies.

Peach Melba

Peach Melba (French: pêche Melba, pronounced [pɛʃ mɛl.ba]) is a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. The dish was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano Nellie Melba.

Quique Dacosta

Quique Dacosta is the chef of an eponymous Spanish restaurant in Dénia, Province of Alicante, Spain. Following the closure of elBulli, Dacosta is one of the new leaders of avant-garde cuisine in Spain.Dacosta only uses locally sourced ingredients from within 75 km of his restaurant.He is the president of the advisory board at GASMA (Gastronomy and Culinary Management Campus).


Spherification is a culinary process that employs sodium alginate and either calcium chloride or calcium glucate lactate to shape a liquid into squishy spheres, which visually and texturally resemble roe. The technique was documented by Unilever in the 1950s and brought to the modernist cuisine by the creative team at elBulli under the direction of executive chef Ferran Adrià.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants

The World's 50 Best Restaurants is a list produced by UK media company William Reed Business Media, which originally appeared in the British magazine Restaurant, based on a poll of international chefs, restaurateurs, gourmands and restaurant critics. In addition to the main ranking, the organisation awards a series of special prizes for individuals and restaurants, including the One To Watch award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Chefs' Choice Award, the latter based on votes from the fifty head chefs from the restaurants on the previous year's list. Often working as a barometer of global gastronomic trends, the list showcases a variety of cuisines from all over the world. The top restaurants have sometimes been forerunners of molecular gastronomy. Most of the restaurants serve haute cuisine, which is characterized by the meticulous preparation and careful presentation of food.

The first place on the list has been dominated by elBulli and Noma. In 2002 and 2006–2009, elBulli was determined to be the world's best restaurant, winning more times than any other restaurant. In 2010, Noma received the first place award. It was maintained in 2011 and again in 2012. After defending its title for the third time, chef René Redzepi said that 1,204 customers were wait-listed for the evening, compared to 14 customers from two years before. However, in 2013 El Celler De Can Roca took over the first position before Noma regained it in 2014. In 2018, Osteria Francescana regained the crown it had held in 2016, after dropping to second in 2017, when Eleven Madison Park topped the poll.

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