Spain’s top chef to launch R+D restaurant

Spain's top chef to launch R+D restaurant
Adrià says that the project will eventually be handed over into public ownership but that he would be in charge "as long as he was alive". Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP
Spanish chef Ferran Adrià has announced a September start date for work on elBulli1846, 'the world's first Culinary Innovation, Research and Development Centre' in Catalonia, which will also see his El Bulli resturant re-open in a different guise, with 50 percent of guests getting tickets via a free prize draw.

El Bulli opened in 1964 in the small Costa Brava village of Roses and went on to earn three Michelin stars and international acclaim as the best restaurant in the world before closing its doors in 2011.

Its owner and mastermind, Ferran Adrià, revealed at the time that he planned to transform the site into a unique resource that would further the creative techniques that he had developed during his years there.

The culmination of those plans was presented on Friday at a press conference in Barcelona for the official announcement of elBulli1846.

Financed by €9 million ($12.26m) from Adrià's own private El Bulli Foundation, the centre is forecast to open in 2016.

The Catalan regional government has donated the use of neighbouring land to the project, giving elBulli1846 a total of 4,385 square metres.

Thirty cooks and other food professionals will work there for eight months a year, experimenting and developing new ideas in a lab called ElBulliDNA.

For another month a year it will open as a restaurant – but not all places will be for sale. Half of the seats will be given to the winners of a free prize draw.

Adrià's stated goal is to make elBulli1846 a centre for research into culinary creativity that he says he hopes will last "for 100 years".

He added: "If El Bulli was to return, it would only ever be for something big."

The regional government has ruled that the centre constitutes a site of public interest and has donated land from the Cap de Creus Natural Park where the restaurant is located.

This will hasten the centre's construction by removing some regulatory barriers to planning.

The new centre's architect, Enric Ruiz, explained that many of the centre's facilities will be underground, connected by a system of stone walls to fit in with the surrounding landscape.


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