Sotheby’s to auction off elBulli meals

Leading sales house Sotheby's is auctioning off two meals by top Spanish chef Ferran Adrià who ran Catalonia's world-famous elBulli restaurant until it closed its doors in July 2011.

Sotheby's to auction off elBulli meals
Culinary exhibits at an exhibition dedicated to the creativity of elBulli and Ferran Adrià in 2012. Photo: Robert Palau

"The meals will be served up at Barcelona's Tickets restaurant ," Matthew Floris of Sotheby's told The Local.

Floris said the winning bidders would have to make their own way to Barcelona to enjoy the meals.

Sotheby's is flogging off two meals for four people by the chef of the now-closed elBulli. The starting bid for the opportunity to feast with the world-famous chef Ferran Adrià is a tasty 5,000 (€3,800).

Sotheby's were coy on just how high bidding for the two meals might go.

The main course of the ElBulli  auctions, to be held in Hong Kong and New York in April, is actually the contents of  elBulli´s famed wine cellar. 

Over the two sales, 8,807 bottles of plonk will go under the hammer.

Also up for grabs are side orders including four elBulli chefs jackets signed by Adrià (starting price: $1,000 per jacket) and elBulli Chocolate Boxes, (opening bid: US$1,000).

If your pockets aren't quite as deep as that, you might want to raise your hand for a selection of Petit Fours Crockery especially designed for elBulli. The opening bid for these is a more digestible US$50.

Proceeds of the sales above are going into research by the elBulli Foundation which investigates the frontiers between cookery and other disciplines.

The elBulli was a phenomenally popular three-star restaurant in the Catalonian town of Roses. It opened for several months a year, before closing again so that new recipes and cooking techniques could be developed.

The restaurant received up to two million reservation requests a year.

In 2004, Time listed head chef Adrià as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and a year later Madrid's Universidad Camilo José Cela created a Ferran Adrìa Chair of Cultural Gastronomy and Food Sciences. 

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Picasso’s morose masterpiece with a hidden secret to go up for auction

A rare Pablo Picasso painting from the collection of US tycoon Bill Koch that will be sold on November 5th was shown in London for the first time on Friday.

Picasso's morose masterpiece with a hidden secret to go up for auction
Photo: AFP

The painting by the Spanish artist depicts a morose-looking nude cabaret singer with red lips and brown curly hair, contrasting with her unhealthy pale skin.

Conservation work uncovered hidden under the lining on the reverse of the painting a portrait of Picasso's anarchist friend and art dealer Pere Manach.


“The whimsical and wicked rendering depicts the dealer wearing an exotic headdress, with his head on a female body in a dancer's leap,” Sotheby's said in a statement.

“La Gommeuse” is estimated at some $60 million (€53 million) and is due to be auctioned in New York, where it will be put on display from October 30th.

The painting is a rare one from the artist's Blue Period that is not in a museum.

It was painted in 1901 by a 19-year-old Picasso – a year after he arrived in Paris.

Koch, brother of conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch, bought the painting in 1984.

Picasso's masterpiece “Les Femmes d'Alger” became the most expensive painting ever sold at auction when it went for $179.36 million at Christie's in New York in May.

The previous record had been held by Francis Bacon's “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” which sold for $142.4 million at Christie's in New York in 2013.