Earlier today, Momo and I with another friend (LY) went to the “A Day at El Bulli, Past & Present” presentation by 3 Michelin Star Chef Ferran Adria at Capella, Sentosa.
It sure was exciting to meet the man himself! How many of you tried getting a reservation at El Bulli and got rejected because they just could not accommodate so many people? I still have the 'rejection email'. When we know he's coming to Singapore for the World Gourmet Summit, we signed up for the event! Many people from around the region also flew in to see him!
He's not here to cook though! He said he has not cooked anything outside the Bulli (pronounced "Boo Yee", that's how he says it) for the last 20 years. It's just not the same outside the Bulli. He's here to answer questions about what's happening after the 2012 season and also to show a video on "A Day at El Bulli" directed by his brother Albert Adria.
So what will happen after the 2012 season? El Bulli will take a break and Ferran and his team will take a two year break, to seek new inspiration, thinking of ways to push beyond what his cuisine has achieved so far.
In 2014 El Bulli and also Ferran turns 50! In 2014 too, El Bulli will be transformed into the El Bulli Foundation, a 'think-tank' for gastronomy lovers.
Some facts that he mentioned that we did not know. Ferran is at El Bulli every single day that El Bulli is open for business. That's 160 days a year. He said some people think he's not there. They only open for dinner and they serve 50 customers every night. There are around 70 people who works at the Bulli and 40 of them are chefs that prepares the food for the diners.
Every diner gets a personalized menu and the serving chit that's marked as the food gets served at the end of the meal.
Ferran and his assistant (who is the interpreter) telling us plans for El Bulli. Speaking just before the airing of the documentary “A Day at El Bulli, Past & Present”. It was interesting watching the clip. Do you know for every season, the whole place is renovated? All cutlery is new too!
More about the Foundation, it will grant 20 over scholarships annually for chefs to work with the creative team at the Foundation. Someone in the audience asked how the selection will be like? He said it will be a thorough and complex selection. They might seek help from a business school or an organization with relevant experience to help them.
They are looking not only for chefs who have passion and also chefs who can think! They are many things in the gastronomical world that yet has answered.
The Q&A time. One lady asked the most 'dumb question' ever. Everyone looked at each other and shook our heads. She just wasted one question! She asked: "How long does it take to drive to El Bulli from Barcelona?" Hey lady, you can get this answers if you can google / yahoo / bing? It's also on El Bulli's website.
Asked if we would still be able to taste his food from 2014, the answer is "Yes!". He said without customer feedback, they will not be able to improve and do things better. Looks like we still have a chance to get to El Bulli and taste the food!
It was a good session. The session started at 5:30 PM. We were glad we went early.
They served us finger food, delicious finger food! What was served?
There was Jamon Serrano being sliced for us to try. Pots of churizos. Assortment of 'pan'. A selection of cheese and olives. Spanish wines. Huge strawberries. Free flow of San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna (but these are Italian right?) Nespresso and Gryphon tea counters.
Not bad for a $45 ticket to see him. Oh.. you should look at the queue of people who bought the El Bulli book waiting to get Ferran's autograph!