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The first-ever biography of Ferran Adrià, the chef behind Spain's renowned El Bulli restaurant, by one of the world's foremost food authorities.
More than just the most influential chef of the late-twentieth and early-twenty- first century, Ferran Adrià is arguably the greatest culinary revolutionary of our time. Hailed as a genius and a prophet by fellow chefs, worshipped (if often misunderstood) by critics and lay diners alike, Adrià is imitated and paid homage to in professional kitchens, and more than a few private ones, all over the world. A reservation at his one and only restaurant, El Bulli, is so coveted that scoring a table is harder than nabbing fifty-yardline tickets to the Super Bowl.
In his lively close-up portrait of Adrià, award-winning food writer Colman Andrews traces this groundbreaking chef's rise from resort-hotel dishwasher to culinary deity, and the evolution of El Bulli from a German-owned beach bar into the establishment voted annually by an international jury to be "the world's best restaurant." Taking the reader from Adrià's Franco-era childhood near Barcelona through El Bulli's wildly creative "disco-beach" days and into the modern-day creative wonderland of Adrià's restaurant kitchen and the workshop- laboratory where his innovations are born and refined, Andrews blends sweeping storytelling with culinary history to explore Adrià's extraordinary contributions to the way we eat.
Through original techniques like deconstruction, spherification, and the creation of culinary foams and airs, Adrià has profoundly reimagined the basic characteristics of food's forms, while celebrating and intensifying the natural flavors of his raw materials. Yet, argues Andrews, these innovations may not be his most impressive achievements. Instead, Adrià's sheer creativity and courageous imagination are his true genius-a genius that transcends the chef's métier and can inspire and enlighten all of us.
Entertaining and intimate, Ferran brings to life the most exciting food movement of our time and illuminates the ways in which Adrià has changed our world- forever altering our understanding and appreciation of food and cooking.
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Ferran Adri , the chef responsible for turning El Bulli in Catalonia, Spain, into one of the world's most acclaimed restaurants, has been called a charlatan, an enemy of good sense and real food just as much as he has been proclaimed a prophet and worshipped by fellow chefs and lay diners, and imitated in restaurants all over the world. Before Ferran was featured in a 2003 New York Times Magazine article, El Bulli struggled to fill seats; the Times story about Ferran and his nueva cuisine catapulted the restaurant into the stratosphere and helped to shape Ferran's iconic status. Soon, more than 300,000 people tried to make reservations for about 8,000 slots. In a combination of fan's notes and compulsively readable biography, food writer Andrews traces Ferran's rise to success and his deconstruction and reinvention of food. Ferran has upended the stockpots, snuffed out the wood-fire grill, and let the larder run wild, reinventing food by working with such techniques as caramelization, liquification, emulsification, "spherification," and food-based "foams" and "airs." Thus, included among the 30 or so dishes in one dinner that food critic Andrews (The Country Cooking of Ireland) ate at El Bulli were sake sorbet with yuzu foam and tonic, gorgonzola mochi (pounded Japanese rice paste enclosing a blue cheese flavored liquid), and coco with caviar (coconut milk and thickened coconut water topped with three spoonfuls of caviar). Andrews's lovingly crafted story wonderfully records the tale of a brilliant and inventive chef.