Ferran Adrià: The Alchemist of the Senses

ferran-adria1.jpgFerran Adrià is featured in the current edition of the IDEAS magazine, the IE Business School Alumni Magazine. Read this interesting interview with the considered to be best chef running the considered to be best restaurant in the world, in Spain!

Today, he has become a living legend of the gastronomic universe. His proposition? Demonstrate that cooking is the best expression of intelligence and creativity.

There is a clear connection between Ferran Adriàâ??s work and the various artistic and philosophical trends of the 20th century, from surrealism to the new critique of the theoretical movement of deconstruction… His gift can be compared with that of other Spaniards, such as the painters Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, or the film director Luis Buñuel.â? These have been the arguments put forward by the Scottish University of Aberdeen to award Ferran Adrià the title of doctor honoris causa in Humanities â??for his contribution to contemporary thoughtâ?. The comparison Aberdeen made between Adrià and artists who have stood out -but until recently of minor importance as far as the Spanish public is concerned- is surprising at the very least. It would appear that eccentricity is more recognized than excellence, as if both qualities were incompatible and the â??fusionâ? never happened.The son of a plasterer, he preferred not to do a degree in business and launched himself on the adventure of finding summer work in restaurants and tapas bars on the Spanish coast. However, destiny had already outlined his name in capital letters. During his military service in the Navy in Cartagena, he decided to accept a friendâ??s proposal to start work as the kitchen hand in elBulli, a restaurant already of known prestige of which, interestingly, he had not heard until that moment. The restaurant was located in Cala Montjoi, 6 km from Roses (Gerona).

Today, elBulli has three Michelin stars, opens only seven months a year, and offers almost zero possibility for booking a table. All thanks to the genius of this masterchef, a simple man of few words, but owner of a brain that is constantly simmering.

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