Ferran Adria was in Singapore to unveil his new project – ‘The elBulli Foundation’ – which will also see the reopening of restaurant elBulli on expanded premises in Roses, Barcelona.
The 50-year-old Spanish chef revealed that the three-Michelin-starred restaurant and five-time winner of “Best Restaurant in the World” (Restaurant Magazine, America) will reopen around 15 March 2015, though the expansion of the premises to 12,000 square metres will be completed in late 2013.
The elBulli Foundation
The elBulli Foundation’s main goals are to keep the history of elBulli alive and allow future generations the chance to learn and experience the creativity of elBulli.
“Conservation is really important. This is not a business. The whole project is a gift to Catalunya and Spain,” affirms Adria.
|"Conservation is really important. This is not a business." – Ferran Adria|
What to expect from the elBulli expansion
The expansion will house the original 1,400 square metre elBulli restaurant building itself, a multi-disciplinary space, a pop-up restaurant, permanent and temporary galleries, an audiovisual room, and an “idearium” for brainstorming sessions and activities, among others. The expansion is designed by architect Enric Ruiz-Geli (The Millenium Project, Valladolid) with instruction from Adria.
“The structure will be modern and ecological to maintain the organic and artistic nature of elBulli,” he released in a press statement. This structure will archive every element of elBulli’s history, chronologically.
Tours, classes and dining will take place in the expanded premises and will likely be conducted in English, Spanish and Catalan. A typical tour will take you through the elBuli decor over the years, and through to working kitchens.
To make the experiences at the Foundation more accessible, there will be scholarships for students.
“Every year, elBulli got 6,000 applicants for internships. We want the top ladder of the world [and] we don’t want money to be an issue,” he said, debunking restrictions. In addition, 50 per cent of the dining slots will be allocated to schools – from ten-year-olds to university undergraduates.
But the original experimental elBulli experience will not be lost. “Seven to eight days a year we’ll host small tables of three to five people and do crazy things,” Adria assures.
“We want efficiency and innovation, using cooking as a language,” he adds. “Stepping back, we will always be chefs. We cook.”
|Ferran Adria unveiled The elBulli Foundation at |
Catalunya. On screen is a rendering of the new,
longer premises of the elBulli Foundation | Photo:
In 2016, the Foundation will launch BulliPedia, an Internet-based archive of the world’s culinary histories, new culinary classification and organisation into ingredients, elaborations, concepts and techniques. BulliPedia is expected to be available in all languages.
“How can we make this for everybody? elBulli will be a creative centre; everything will be posted on the internet,” Adria explains. He is however unable to confirm if BulliPedia will be a paid or free service.
BulliPedia is a collaboration with Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica. It was created in conjunction with the University of Barcelona and universities and institutions around the world.
Adria estimates that the Foundation will cost €3 million (S$4.7million) to maintain every year. He hopes to do so through fund collection. He does not wish for funds to come solely through dinners.
The elBulli Foundation was created by Adria and his predecessor at elBulli, Juli Soler. Other patrons of the project are Adria’s wife Isabel Perez, Marta Sala and his long-time business manager Ernest Laporte. The rest of the elBulli Foundation is run by the people who worked in elBulli.