Statistically speaking, it’s safe to say you’ll never eat at Ferran Adrià’s Catalonian restaurant El Bulli. (The 50-seat establishment is closed for six months of the year and is already full through 2010.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t vicariously savor the chef’s ingenuity.
Adrià’s most recent cookbook, A Day at El Bulli, is a 20-pound, photo-and-philosophy-filled hardcover exercise in aspirational thinking — and
a peek into a luscious world you’ll probably never enter. But Adrià is less a cook
than an artist, and the book (published by Phaidon) is also an objet d’art — as
well as a chronological description of a typical day at the world’s most
atypical restaurant. Sure, there are recipes — but unless your kitchen arsenal
includes a dehydrator, Pacojet beakers, and algin, you won’t be making much.
You will, however, be awed by Adrià’s mad genius (belly of mackerel in chicken
escabeche with onions and vinegar caviar?!?) and the endlessly creative
things he does with foam.
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