Why would a restaurant that receives more than 1 million requests for its 8,000 available annual reservations decide to close its doors forever?
Well, in the case of El Bulli, known as perhaps the world’s finest restaurant, it is for a number of reasons, foremost that it was losing a half million Euros a year on the place (along with a cooking workshop in Barcelona).
Ferran Adria, the Catalan chef who has been a leader in avant-garde cuisine for some 20 years, has decided to replace the restaurant with an academy for advanced culinary study. The restaurant will remain open for a while yet. As reported in the New York Times, El Bulli will close for good in 2012.
Located on the Catalan coast of Spain about 100 miles north of Barcelona, El Bulli has gained fame thanks to the innovative efforts of Chef Adria. As Matt Goulding writes in the Wall Street Journal, Adria has earned acclaim for his ability to â€˜turn liquids into solids, flavors into foams, and for generally transforming known ingredients and tastes into the wildly unexpected.â€™
It is for these gastronomic feats that all 8,000 requests for El Bulli reservations are grabbed in one day in October when reservations are opened. Now that the eventual closing date has been announced, that last round of reservations will undoubtedly be more sought after than ever.
Chef Adria says the new El Bulli academy will be â€˜a place for free thinking and kicking around ideasâ€™ about food, and will work with other cooking schools throughout the worldâ€”and will seek students with the highest levels of professional culinary training.
Time to polish up the old resume.
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