Sunday, July 31, 2011

The doors are closed for good

If you’ve never eaten at the world’s best restaurant, El Bulli, then it is too late because the doors are now closed.

You are in good company though because to get there, you had to join a list of 1,000,000 hopefuls who wanted to make a booking. Your chances were not helped by the fact that the restaurant stopped serving lunches, then cut back to 5 days a week and finally decided to close for six months a year. Even when you had secured a booking, to find the place, you had to follow a narrow winding cliff top path to a place that resembled a pizza bar.

Once there, you'd be expected to pay about 250 Euros per head to sample the menu which would consist of many different courses. Rather than a kitchen, the restaurant had a laboratory where food was deconstructed and rebuilt into capsules and foams that you spooned or atomised into your mouth. Food experts loved it and rated the experiments that Ferran Adrià conducted as world class. Some, however complained of indigestion after their meal –I expect the intense flavours were too much for their delicate stomachs.

Thousands of chefs trained in the kitchens at El Bulli with many going on to run their own acclaimed restaurants, including six of those recognised as the top ten best in the world. A lot of them were there at the end and enjoyed a 47 course meal in celebration.

There have been many who have tried to copy the dishes that Adrià and his team created with little success. And now the original has gone what are we to do? Well it is not all bad news because Adrià recently opened a tapas bar in Barcelona with his brother Albert. It features dishes you might not have thought of as tapas – possibly not even as food. The restaurant reviewers seem to like it but not surprisingly it’s fully booked!

Ah well, back to the BBQ at Casa El Willo where the only foam you will get is squirty cream.

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