AdriÃ at the “De Dietrich” presentation
|Born||Ferran AdriÃ Acosta
May 14, 1962
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Chefs have only been able to work in restaurants, high-end cuisine. Why? Why haven't they been able to find other scenarios? For those chefs who want to do avant-garde cuisine, should they be finding their income in a restaurant?
Ferran Adria making hamburgers… some thought it was crazy. But getting them perfect was a challenge. Plus I'm fascinated by all aspects of food.
I am not a multimillionaire. I don't own a yacht or a Ferrari. I live in a 60-square- metre flat. My needs are simple.
For me to go to a restaurant and eat something that is not only good, but totally new, is a double thrill. Double the enjoyment.
Everywhere the sky is blue. There are a multitude of cuisines and dishes. I think of them as the languages and dialects of food.
In a city, it's very hard to do a restaurant, an avant-garde-cuisine restaurant, where each year you need to change the whole menu.
It's very hard to be an innovator at the highest level in any discipline. For some chefs it's merely about combining ingredients, but that's something you can do with your eyes closed.
If I were a customer, and I was given a dish with peppers, I would hate it. I also don't like blood sausage.
I don't dream at night; life has given me the stuff I need to be able to dream during the day. I'm very lucky.
I wanted to take nouvelle cuisine further, to the point where we were breaking down the essence of taste and sensation, reconfiguring food as a series of really intense hits on the tongue.
I don't read books regularly, because I'm always writing them. I've written 30 books, thousands of pages.
When I was a teenager, my idol was the Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff. He's the only person I've ever asked for an autograph.
I was 18 when I first started working at a restaurant. I was a dishwasher. I only got the job because I wanted to go to Ibiza for vacation, and washing dishes was the only job I could find.
If a child plays sport early in childhood, and doesn't give it up, he will play sport for the rest of his life. And if children have a connection with, and are involved in the preparation of, the food they eat, then it will be normal for them to cook these kind of meals, and they will go on cooking them for the rest of their lives.
We never have business meals at El Bulli. If it's about business, you're probably not paying much attention to the food.
Friends are really important, especially when you've had the successes that I've had. I've gone really far in my career, so they're the ones that keep you humble, keep your feet on the ground.
I cook more theoretically than I do practically. My job is creative, and in the kitchen, the biggest part of my creativity is theoretical.
When we're ill, one of the last things we have that we can enjoy is food.
When people arrive at El Bulli, everybody goes through the kitchen. It's a way of making them feel at home. When they leave, the only thing I ask is whether they've been happy. Everything in between, I don't particularly care.
Why not mix this and that? If soy goes well with fish, how come no one does beef carpaccio with soy? Why do we have such a taste and not another? It's all about culture. There is something, however, that I really don't like: bell peppers.
I have a driver's licence, but the truth is that I hardly ever drive. I prefer to get around by taxi.
Monkeys don't enjoy or appreciate flavours. Experts have told us that human beings are the only beings that can appreciate food at this higher level and the only living beings that cook.
There are many cultural prejudices. For instance, even though fresh fish is a regional staple, Catalans don't like sashimi.
When you talk about avant-garde cuisine, the surprise factor is really important. For example, I love looking at blogs and the photos, but I'm not that keen on other people taking photos of my dishes.