Dinner at El Bulli

El Bulli

I remember reading about El Bulli four or five years ago in the French newspaper Le Monde. I remember the yearning, and I remember the pang that followed closely: considering the small number of guests that the restaurant could accommodate each season, the dream seemed out of reach. But a few years later, I learned from a well-informed friend that getting a reservation was a bit like playing the lottery: the odds were low, but it didn’t cost much to try (see below).

And so I played, I won, and this is how Maxence and I found ourselves flying to Barcelona last weekend with three of our friends. My state of mind was a mix of excitement and circumspection: few restaurants have gotten as much press as this one, and I knew that the actual experience could fall short of my expectations. Fortunately, there was no need to brace myself for disappointment. The evening that we spent at El Bulli was every bit as extraordinary, surreal, and more important, joyful, as I’d hoped it to be.

We arrived at the restaurant in early evening, after a short curvy ride up and down the mountain road that leads to Cala Montjoi, and offers a striking view out to sea. A tiny parking lot, a small (and a bit scruffy) beach, a handsome tiled-roof house — we walked up the stairs and were greeted by the staff, who gave us a short tour of the kitchen and led us to our table by the window, nicely isolated from the rest of the room: the arrival of each dish offers a bit of a dramatic thrill, so we were happy not to get any spoilers from the other tables.

The tasting menu, which changes slightly every day, unfolds in three acts and thirty-five dishes: small snacks that you eat with your fingers, larger-sized tapas to be eaten with a fork and spoon (no knife, ever), and desserts. It is a fast-paced dining rollercoaster, with explosive flavors and textural surprises that await you at every turn — it is thus a good idea to take a break on the terrace every now and then. Each dish, or group of dishes, is brought to the table by a small squadron of waiters dressed in black, and while you are busy taking pictures of the new UFO that has just landed, the head waiter explains what it is (in our case, in excellent French), and how to eat it: start with this end or that, gobble it up in just one bite, or hurry before it melts.

There were recurring themes within the meal — seaweed, seeds, Parmesan, Thai flavors, clementine, peach, the cotton candy texture, and Adrià’s famous esferificación technique, in which liquids are trapped in a thin alginate casing that bursts open on your tongue. Not everything was successful, and not everything sent shivers of pure pleasure down your spine: some of the flavors were quite strong, and it took stamina to take them all in with fresh taste buds. But every single item managed to amaze and entertain, making the whole experience quite dazzling, both on an intellectual and sensory level.

And now, for your entertainment, let me offer a photographic account of the menu we were served (those with asterisks are the ones I enjoyed the most):

Snacks
Cucumber gin tonic* with candied citrus peel, prepared tableside with a jug of liquid nitrogen
Esferificación olives* (olive oil trapped in a soft casing to look like an olive)
Olive oil spiral*, which you loop around your index finger and drop in your mouth, where it dissolves into thin filaments
Mango leaf with tagete flower (a type of marigold)
“Animals”: seaweed-flavored rice crackers with a fragile, moussy texture that reminded me of Monster Munches
Hibiscus, blackcurrant, and eucalyptus candy with a paper-thin sugar “cape”*
Sea lettuce and white sesame waffles
Freeze-dried banana crunches flavored with sesame and nutmeg*
Walnut polvorones (“polvorones” are traditional Spanish cookies — these were savory, and had a buttery texture that turned to dust in your mouth)
Mandarine essence: a silky soup of mandarin with a hint of mango
Caramel filled with squash seed oil*
Popcorn cloud*
Melon and passionfruit caviar
Pine nut tart in a meringue shell
Thai brioche filled with a lemongrass and basil ice-cream
Crab fritter topped with an anemone*
Liquid ham croquette topped with breadcrumbs*

Tapas
Parmesan wontons in a chicken broth, plopped into a bowl of basil foam
Parmesan “air” (more like snow, really) in a styrofoam box, on which you sprinkled a freeze-dried berry muesli (this was our least favorite dish: there was too much of the Parmesan air, the texture wasn’t particularly enjoyable, and the muesli seemed completely out of place)
A fillet of anchovy, surrounded with dots of variously and intensely flavored sauces and grape-like bubbles, and a crisp cardamom brioche on the side
Tomato soup with virtual ham* — thin slivers of tomato-flavored jelly, and croutons topped with ham-flavored jelly and basil seeds
Mussel spheres in a potato and bacon soup, with dots of double cream, and cubes of apple jelly
Bread soup with egg yolk spheres and laurencia seaweed
“The seeds”: tiny lumps and piles of various vegetable and herb seeds
Curry-flavored zucchini seed risotto with capsules of peanut oil*
Ackees (a Jamaican fruit) and cucumber hearts in a veal and basil broth
“The sea”: a discovery trail of twelve different types of seaweed, some mild, some extremely bold in flavor
Crab Marrakech: lumps of crab meat in a mandarin flower broth, with bulgur on the side
Boneless chicken feet wrapped in sea lettuce with sesame sauce and froth*

Cheese and dessert
Creamy sheep’s milk cheese topped with a sheep’s milk cheese “wool”, with a wedge of raspberry jelly on the side
Liquid peach: a frozen casing of peach liqueur, and a spoonful of thin peach purée
Raspberry sorbet, verbena mousse, and chocolate* (notice how the plating makes it look like a snail)
Peach soup
Mango sorbet sandwiches
Chocolate bites filled with mandarin sorbet*

We gave carte blanche to the sommelier, who selected five different wines for us — let us take a moment to consider how challenging it is to come up with pairings for such a wacky menu. In order of appearance, we tasted a Cava (Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2002 / Cava Augusti Torello), a white wine from Penedès (Xarel.lo Pairal 2003 / Can Ràfols dels Caus), a white Rioja (Allende 2004 / Finca Allende), a red Burgundy (Volnay Les Roncerets 1998 / Nicolas-Rossignol), and a sweet wine from Montilla-Moriles (PX Reserva 1998 / Alvear).

It took us six hours to go through the entire meal — from 8pm to 2am — but we were in such a state of elation that it was hard to tell if it had been two minutes or two days since we had first sat down. I would like to stress here how pleased we were with the service: the ballet of dishes coming and going was perfectly choreographed, and the waitstaff was exceptionally warm and attentive, making us feel as if we were the only guests in the restaurant.

So, do I think that El Bulli is the best restaurant in the world? First of all, I’m sure I’m not the only one to whom the idea of one single “best restaurant in the world” seems ludicrous: depending on my mood, my appetite, and who I’m with, the best restaurant in the world can be the pizza place down the street or a farm-inn on top of a hill, just as much as any three-star on the planet. But dining at El Bulli is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience, and I wish it upon anyone who’s passionate about food, who has broad tastes, who is tickled by the discovery of new flavors, and who is happy to be whisked away on a flying carpet driven by a mad scientist, even if the ride leaves him a bit dizzy.

How much does dinner cost? The tasting menu is 165€. Add wine, water, and coffee, and you’re looking at roughly 220€ per guest — a reasonable price compared to other three-star restaurants.

How does one get a reservation at El Bulli? The restaurant is open from May until September, and starts taking reservations in mid-October for the next season. Around October 15th, send a reservation request by email (the email address can be found here), with the number of people in your party. You can indicate the day(s) on which you wish to come, but your best bet is to let them pick a date for you, and arrange the trip around it. A few weeks later you will get a response — the negative ones get sent earlier than the positive ones, so having to wait is a good sign. (How they award the reservations is a bit of a mystery, but I am told that it is mostly on a first come first served basis.) Once you’re in, you can jump up and down with glee, mark your calendar, and organize the flight and accomodation — just don’t forget to confirm your reservation a week before the set date.

Practicalities. El Bulli is just a few miles outside of Roses in the northeast of Spain, about an hour and a half by car from Barcelona. It is a beach resort (and a rather ugly one if you ask me) that has lots of hotels, but gets booked up quite fast in the summer, so plan early. (We are terrible planners, so we ended up staying at the Sant Marc hotel, which I do not recommend. Insert shudder here.) Once in Roses, you can either take a cab to the restaurant, or drive yourself up the mountain road if you feel up to the ride back down, and if someone is willing to be the designated driver.

  • Sirena

    How wonderful to be able to share your experience, Clotilde! It’s refreshing to know that even the most famous restaurant in the world serves its dinners a few morsels that don’t dazzle. Can’t wait to spend some time on each item you were served and plan out my own El Bulli trip someday!

  • Lisa

    Is it just me, or does it all sound (and especially look) japanese? Thanks for sharing the experience!

  • http://adelices.canalblog.com/ Adèle

    Quelle chance tu as! Je reve d’aller là-bas, je pense que c’est une expérience unique… Merci pour ce récit!

  • http://www.cuisinerenligne.com stephane

    Oui effectivement tu as de la chance, dans l’attente des photos.

  • http://www.cforcooking.com Jeff

    I think we all need more ‘virtual’ animals to cook with :)

  • http://redinked.com Austen

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Clotilde. I am happy to see that both chocolate and zucchini (seeds) were on the menu!

  • http://herebesubtlety.com Jamie

    Oh my god, that just looks too fantastic to be true. Now I want to go there, although it seems a lot of money… but then again it seems like the kind of experience you never forget.

  • http://www.theinadvertentgardener.com Genie

    Clotilde, thanks for the wonderful photos and description of the experience! I spent a fully worthy $145 eating and drinking wine at the MiniBar in Washington DC last summer — it’s very similar (but a lesser cousin of) El Bulli, and the chef behind it, Jose Andres, runs with that gastronomy-science crowd. We had Esferificación cantaloupe at that meal, and I thought it the most amazing thing ever. We got to watch the chefs make it, too, which was very cool. I keep toying with the idea of getting the necessary ingredients to do something like that at home, just for fun — it’s such a great way to try something. That version, a la olive, looks divine!

    Glad you got to go…it remains on my I-wish-I-could-get-there list…for now at least!

    Genie
    http://www.theinadvertentgardener.com

  • audrey

    Fascinant… j’aime l’idée de l’expérience à la fois intellectuelle et sensorielle.
    J’ai moi aussi lu beaucoup d’articles sur Ferran Adrià mais votre récit est un vrai partage sans parti-pris. Thank you!

  • http://trembomenglishversion.blogspot.com valentina jacome

    Clotilde, I am lost for words to comment on the dishes.Everything seems miles away from anything I have ever experienced.Thanks for sharing.

  • http://su-lin.blogspot.com Su-Lin

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing that! I’ve been wanting to (try to) make a reservation but have been quite nervous at the expense involved. But I’m going to try this year!

  • http://www.temperosdavida.blogspot.com Patrícia

    Congratulations Clotilde!

    First of all your writting is very cool and drives us to a new sensation. Looks like we are inside of your story. I loved.

    El Bulli looks amazing and probably “unic” restaraunt. But im sure that your photos just made them looks even better. I didnt get the idea of the first one snaker, in the future i would love to see your explanation of it.

    Well, congratulations again, and forgive my english mistakes. Im just a ordinary brazilian girls who would love to live your adventures.

    Kisses,

  • gingerpale

    Thanks for suspending your dinner so many times to photograph it!
    I am curious if the men and the women enjoyed the experience equally.

  • Teresa

    Wow Clotilde! Thank you for sharing such a rare experience and one I am not likely to personally have.

    I am glad you managed to take pictures of everything. A six hour meal definitely makes the price seem more reasonable.

  • miche

    Dude – it’s a good thing it took 6 hours or you were in danger of a sensory overload! My jaw dropped at every photo. This was so fun to read – thank you so much for sharing and taking a pic of every.single.dish.

  • http://pancakemama.blogspot.com Ani

    thank you so much for sharing this! i’ve always wondered what would be on the menu. i’ve only heard about the foams and was so curious to gain insight to what the ‘hub bub’ is all about. i wish i were able to travel 1/2 way around the globe to try it. amazing.

  • rainey

    It’s mind-boggling just to think of what it might have been like. How fortunate that you were able to take photos to remember all of six hours and 35 dishes!

    I wonder how this changed your idea of what “food” is. And I wonder how some of these interesting forms were created. And what you might wish to try to replicate or be influenced by.

    The other idea that intrigues me is The Blind Cow in Zurich where the whole dining experience takes place in a room so dark no one can see and must be led by the sightless waitstaff. I wonder how this would also help define the zen of food.

    Thanks for sharing for the benefit of those of us who will never have this unique experience.

  • Niall

    Had a brilliant time just looking at the photographs, my mouth watering!
    6 hours – I don’t call that a meal, I call that an experience! Doubt I’ll ever make it myself, but boy will I try!!

  • http://www.fewofmyfavourites.blogspot.com Cin

    I think I will need to come back and view the photos and read the descriptions again, Clotilde. It’s all to much to take in at once! Thanks for sharing your photos.

  • http://nanoune.canalblog.com texmex

    Ouah thanks for the pictures and details of the meal. I always hear about El Bulli but your article makes it even more real.

  • http://www.chubbyhubby.net Chubby Hubby

    I am so jealous! Great descriptions. I’m going to try and get there next Spring.

  • http://www.hungrychicken.org chicken

    hello, i love this post! thank you for taking the time to take all the great photos and notes for each dish, and sharing your full El Bulli experience, from reservations to dessert! The food looks so interesting, and definitely seems like an adventure. I love the idea of planning a trip entirely around a visit to a restaurant, something I have yet to do. El Bulli is still only in my dreams, but one day I will eat there(hopefully)!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/23199484 megan

    Hey, the photos are awsome. Did you find that the dinner was more about the experince than the food? I love the creativity at el bulli, and would really like to go have dinner there, but I think that it would be the same desire that I have to go see a movie, or a live show. If I want good food and service, I think I would be just as happy to dine locally

  • Paul

    Nice report. Two questions about your photos:
    How did they respond to you taking photos? (Some top-notch restaurants don\\\’t want the customers to take pictures)
    Why did you use a flash? The pictures would have looked better without it and you could always adapt the ISO.

  • Joy

    Oh I can hardly wait until we go one month from now! We food bloggers have been a lucky lot with scoring reservations to El Bulli this year, no?

  • http://frumiousb.livejournal.com/ frumiousb

    Envy! We are planning to try the lottery this year. We have the cookbooks & drool over them regularly.

  • David

    WOW!!! And for anyone who can afford to eat at El Bulli there are some incredible cookbook/coffee table books available. El Bulli: 1998-2002 from Ecco Press, ISBN 0060817577, Can $490
    and coming in October
    El Bulli: 2003-2004, ISBN 0061146684, Can $450

  • Shun

    thank you for sharing! and the photo is beautiful as always. in us on travel channel there is a show that talks about it, and they even shown their lab that where they try out new stuffs for next season.

  • http://passionfusion.canalblog.com Stéphane

    THANK YOU!!!! So much questions… and now we have the answers! El Bulli is such a mystery actually, we know “Texturas” and the liquid peas etc, but the real composition of a menu, with pictures (did they really allow you to take pictures???) is very interesting (hum, well, that’s more than interesting, that’s great!) And I thought it would be a lot more expensive (OK it’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than Ducasse…). One more time: Thank you! (You’re lucky!) but I agree: maybe it’s a scientific experience first…

  • http://spaces.msn.com/neljoca2005 nelson

    hello, I imagine the good experience that you have had, the photos are very good, tell me the sensations when proving menu.

  • Donna Smith-Harrison

    Your descriptions and pictures leave me speechless. I have read and heard so much about El Bulli, but doubt I’ll ever get there! Glad to know someone who has gone…it seems like quite the “happening”!

  • http://sooishi.blogspot.com/ ooishigal

    C’est fantastique, quelle magnifique moment vous avez du vivre!
    Je suis d’accord avec le commentaire de Lisa, qui dit que c’est très Japonisant, je rentre de Tokyo à l’instant…
    A bientôt!

  • pastilla

    Hello from the fly on the wall. Hope you didn’t mind me buzzing around your food and sampling a little of everything. You see, it’s the closest I will ever get to dining at El Bulli. Thanks. Bzzzzzz.

  • Jennifer Klinec

    For those of us that didn’t manage to score a reservation at El Bulli this year and can only drool at Clotilde’s fantastic descriptions, there is some hope… Ferran Adrià’s cooking has inspired a strain of restaurants around the world to new levels of molecular gastronomy. The following restaurants are worth a visit until we can make the pilgrimage to Spain!
    The Fat Duck in Bray (UK),
    Senses and Lobby in Toronto,
    and Wylie Dufresne’s WD-40 in New York.

    Or you can whip up some gastro-chemistry cuisine in the comfort of your own home in the meantime…

  • http://www.genevestewart.com Geneve

    Thanks for the indepth review of your experience at El Bulli! I enjoyed going through all the photos – what a menu!

  • http://kitchenchick.com Kitchen Chick

    Thank you, thank you, not only for the beautiful review of your meal but also for the pratical advice on making a reservation and travel advice. I am inspired to plan a future vacation around an El Bulli meal.

  • http://www.fauren.org lauren

    I wouldn’t even know where to begin with some of those dishes. They’re too beautiful or peculiar to imagine taking a fork or knife to them!

    Thanks for the inspiration, though. I’ve just started a food blog myself (and I mean *just* started). This gives me something to strive for.

  • http://www.designindigo.com/fullsteamahead.html Kisane

    You lucky, lucky girl! That must have been like manna from heaven…what a dinner! And those pixs are gorgeous!

  • Always Ace

    Wow, Clotilde, what an amazing experience! I have to admit that I’m far from a seasoned foodie — I’m actually new to the domain and learning so much all the time — and I hadn’t heard of El Bulli, but it looks like it was unforgettable… Something you can reminisce about for years. And I’ve only ever been to one 3-star restaurant in France; I felt lucky to experience that at the time…

    It is so great that we can live vicariously through you by reading about your adventures and seeing the photos here.

    Merci mille fois !

  • http://www.superfood.blog-city.com Richard Leader

    Absolutely fabulous! Thanks Clotilde, for sharing that with us. However, next time you visit, I’ll come if that’s OK? I’ll even be designated driver (and I have NEVER said that before!!)

  • http://allergicgirl.blogspot.com/ Allergic Girl

    I’ve heard so much about El Bulli; thank you for your excellent reportage of the whole experience!

  • Richard

    $275 for a meal of tid-bits? It didn’t look like enough food to feed a small child. For $275 in SF or NYC you can dine like a king.

    Boneless chicken feet? It baffles me why anyone would serve this and charge you for it. To me this is taking what should be thrown in the trash and having a joke with the patrons.

    I vote for the pizza place down the street.

  • http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/ Dianka

    Wow, what a beautiful detailed description of El Bulli! I’ve been wanting to go there for quite some time now. Everything looks fabulous, especially the desserts. Thank you for the tips on the reservations, I will have to give it a try!

  • Y

    So terribly jealous……thank you for your lovely profile of El Bulli.

    We had just watched the episode of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain (Travel Channel) that shows him interviewing the chef and staff of El Bulli.

    http://travel.discovery.com/fansites/bourdain/bourdain.html

    It was very interesting to see how these dishes were made, down to the plates and serveware. Their techniques and ideas were quite imaginative.

    Again, so envious of your visit to this restaurant.

  • http://www.wordofburcu.blogspot.com Burcu

    One of my friends in Istanbul had the chance to spend some time in El Bulli’a and Ferran Adria’a kitchen. He is also the captain of National Turkish Culinary team. If you visit Istanbul, I can meet you with him and you’d also have the chance to try his excellent works from his kitchen.

  • Erin

    Wow! That looked like it was loads of fun!
    Thanks for all the pictures – those dishes were beautifully presented.
    You’re right, it’s silly to call any one place the best restaurant in the world. Dining is magical when one can share food and drinks somewhere interesting with amusing intimate friends.

  • Ellie

    What an incredible menu! However, I have to ask if you were hungry when you left. All those tiny little airy tidbits. I would have been starving.

  • http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com ParisBreakfasts

    Thank you so for sharing this experience Clotihlde. It’s difficult to imagine how one would survive all those tastes-does palate fatique set in? Even with little walks between bites. This reminds me especially of a kaiseki dinner in Kyoto and a Charlie Trotta tasting dinner. Both were similar in portion size and the unusual flavors encountered to El Bulli…but 35 courses!? How do you even prepare for such a thing..Weeks in advance of detoxing your taste buds? Overwhelming and somehow goes beyond being just food. More of a happening…

  • http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com Homesick Texan

    Wow! What an amazing experience. I’ve always wondered what a meal at El Bulli looks like, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.maryeats.com maryeats

    Thank you for posting these pictures. Don’t know if I will ever make it to El Bulli, but you post gave me a taste to hold me over until I do.

  • mamanpc

    Salut Clotilde,

    Since you go the Vosges sometimes for vacation, I would recommend another fantastic restaurant in Marckolsheim – it’s simply called ‘Le Restaurant’ and the chef’s name is Michel Magada – an Alsatian-Italian chef who worked with Alain Senderens. He’s very adventurous (although more in the Senderens style) and the menus are also a lovely exploration of the senses. He is a member of the ‘Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe’, he’s in his hometown and there is no need to reserve in advance. He’s an incredibly talented chef and definitely worth a visit.

  • http://sucar.blogspot.com/ Sucar

    I enjoy living vicariously through you. Thanks for another out-of-body experience!

  • David

    Clotilde: I’m curious. Having been to El Bulli once, if you had the money and an opportunity to return, would you go back or choose to spend the 200 at a more tradional (or even contempoarty) French restaurant?

  • http://www.parisblagueur.blogspot.com/ Meg

    Wow, Clotilde.

    I become weak every time I try to read this post.

    I have to avert my eyes after a few minutes and sip something cool. I get dizzy otherwise.

    Fantastic food porn. Thanks so much.

  • http://troubled-diva.com mike

    Sounds amazing, and I’d love to go. The nearest UK equivalent must be Juniper in Altrincham, which I have visited – there’s the same kind of mad multi-course tasting menu, with the table being bombarded with small dishes of widely contrasting flavours, before the pace slackens off a bit for the sequence of main courses.

  • http://www.cliffwaterford.wordpress.com cliffwaterford

    Clotilde, this is an wonderful report.

    I was at El Bulli 2 years ago and your report just brought back all the memories and tickled my brain in a way that it feels like I was there yesterday. I agree on the question whether it is the best restaurant in the world- yee or nee, doesn”t matter – but what I think it probably do’s, it leaves one with a most memorable “restaurant” experience ever, whether liked or hated. I have been to other restaurants alike, Crecco Peck in Milan 2*’s and the two brothers, forgot the name, in Gerona that do something similar, but none of theme reached the level of perfection Adrian creates. It just didn”t work for me. What I think contributes a lot to the experience at El Bulli is that by driving over those hills to the final location, lots of excitement is built up, and there you are, in the middle of nowhere, in a lab of a scientist that surely influenced and inspired the style, or one and an other dish or desserts of 1000’s of chefs around the world. For me actually the sweets and desserts worked best. Thanks for your great article.

  • Holland

    Hello,
    thank you for the extended information about this culinary adventure! I’m one of the lucky ones that has been able to make a reservation for 2007!!! Looking at your pictures makes me even more impatient!

  • http://www.pinkmohair.typepad.com pinkmohair

    I have wanted to go here for ages. I really appreciate your detailed description and photos. This was a huge treat!

  • http://www.costa-brava-spain.com Helen Palmer

    Congratulations on getting the reservation! A definite coup! And thanks so much for letting us into the secret of how to get a reservation.

    I will defintely have to try for next year, as I am only just down the coast in Barcelona. Trouble is who should I take with me … hmm. Considerations could make the intervening time pass more quickly!

  • CJ

    I am looking for an agent who can help me secure a reservation at el bulli. Any suggestions??

  • Audrey

    Bonjour,
    Je connais moi aussi le Buli et j’ai eu la chance d’y diner chaque année le week end du 14 Juillet (donc pour moi …. demain) étant donné que nous connaissons ce restaurant depuis plus de 17 ans !!! et pour etre tout a fait honnéte, il n’y a pas 1 année, pas une seule, sauf peut etre lorsque j’étais enceinte de mon 1er enfant où un met m’a déplu (et encore)! C’est fantastique, le restaurant est superbe, l’accès par la mer lorsque l’on s’y rend en bateau est encore plus beau, mais il ne faut pas oublier de faire une petite pose en arrivant ou avant de partir pour admirer par la baie vitrée les cuisines du restaurant qui offrent un superbe balai de cuisiniers à l’oeuvre ! Aucun mot ne peut décrire effectivement cette expérience culinaire si ce n’est ABSOLU ! Mes papilles commentcent déjà a s’émousser à l’idée que demain soir j’y serais … et pourtant ce sera mon 9ème repas là bas … On ne s’en lasse pas et c’est toujours la meme fete !

  • Nick

    Hey Clodilte,

    Thanks for posting this. I only discovered your site recently (after passing up a SIGNED copy of your book at Barnes and Noble in Chicago!) I just couldn’t mkae myself pay without knowing that much about your work. I see that made a mistake. I’ll be referring my fellow culinary students to this site and showing them these pictures soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Edoardo

    hi there,
    I am desperatly looking for a possible reservation to el bulli in 2008… I know it’s like “mission impossible”… but worth the try :)

    Who ever has 1 spare place and would like to have a nice and funny italian guy with him… just drop me a line via email…

    Or if you have a reservation to sell away :)

    Thanx!

  • Ramon

    Edoardo,

    Yes, I’m afraid is almost impossible to find a reservation for this year. It usually takes 2 years.

    But I know a guy that got one because he was prepared to go at once. He was registered in something similar to a waiting list.

    By the way, the new Spanish cuisine is rough these days. Santi Santamaria (“El Racó de Can Fabes” chef) has criticized the experimental dishes and ingredients, pointing directly to Ferran Adrià.

    Telegraph.co.uk wrote “Famed El Bulli chef Ferran Adria accused of ‘poisoning’ his diners” last week.

    I don’t understand Santi. Why can you love both styles, classical and modern? Or a super-elaborated dish and a simply wonderful spanish iberian ham (jambon ibérique).

  • http://imoralist.blogspot.com/ Michael Buitron

    Thanks for a wonderful post. It inspired me to request a reservation, and as luck would have it, I got in on my first try!

  • http://dininghalldigest.blogspot.com/2009/04/molecular-gastronomy.html Michael Karelis

    I just edited a blog post about Molecular Gastronomy for Dining Hall Digest. It links back to this post. Check it out!

  • Dainty

    This was an extraordinary and delightful read, thank you so much

  • Meghan

    Clothide, I was reading a Harvard Business School case study for my business school creativity class on el Bulli (The Taste of Innovation), and noticed some of the excerpts, which the case writers attribute to “a patron”, sounded very familiar and are in fact taken from your review of the restaurant. I’m curious whether you knew about this.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for letting me know, Meghan, I wasn’t aware of this. I’m not sure what the proper way of doing this would be — it probably falls under “fair use” — but it would have been nice to notify me.

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