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Gastronomic tours

Trips, walking tours,visits and activities carefully selected to enjoy with five senses.

20 June 2008

El Bulli 2008

Creating is not to copy.
Jacques Maximin, 1987

I always look forward visiting El Bulli as the gastronomic event of the year, but this time, after the polemic provoked by Santi Santamaría, it was special, not because I wanted to verify who’s right, but to reaffirm in someway, that facing a genius only fits admiration.

So, once more, we drove along the mystical road to Cove Montjoi (from the Latin Monte Gaudi, or mountain of the Pleasure), with that magic light of the late afternoon in the summer solstice.

A paradise of peace, a rough landscape in the middle of Cap de Creus's Nature Reserve and the sea in total calmness received us silently, whereas inside, in the kitchen, we found a disciplined and numerous team of professionals, in total effervescence, led by Ferran Adriá.

Everything was ready, so Juli Soler accompanied us to the terrace, where we had the appetizers.
The simplicity of an arch of stone framing a view of cypress and sea shook us the first fiber. The welcome cocktail Yuzu-sake-tonic, the crepes Pekin, the orchid, and the rest of snacks woke all our senses up.

Once inside in the dining-room, each of the dishes of the Tasting Menu 2008 happened in perfect harmony with an special outstanding of products, pure flavours without disguise, natural perfumes, delicate broths … with numerous oriental touches.

There is no other restaurant in the world like El Bulli.

There is no other chef like Ferrán Adrià.

He itself has declared that his secret is not to have secrets, because he likes to explain everything and all his recipes are fully catalogued since1987.

Adrià has revolutionized cooking with the application of the knowledge from science and technology, has changed the service of dining-room and tables, has blurred the borders between sweetly and salt, has integrated local products (the extraordinary Negrito, this year) with others from other countries … and he has totally transformed the concept of eating.

And Spanish gastronomy, with him on the top, has now, for the first time, a recognized identity, a quality label, which is deeply influencing the whole world.

After so many years of success, resounding international recognition of food critics, colleagues and palates of the whole world, someone still engages in stating Adrià's cuisine as a simple and empty vanguardism opposite to tradition cooking and quality products. Nothing is further from reality. “Haut cuisine” always has sought to surprise the retainer, to thrill him, though it is now when the most spectacular levels have been reached, when the pleasure of tasting a quality dish includes the whole sensory range.

Reactionary or egomaniac people who deny the kindness of everything not following their guidelines, and whose maxim is "with me or against me ".

It is his option. Not mine.

Why must I choose among Mozart and Wagner, or among Diego "el Cigala " and Prince, if I love good music? Among Joaquín Sorolla and Miquel Barceló, if both affect me creating a moment close to the sea or in Shanga's market?

It is neither ambiguity, nor indecision, is my sincere and insatiable hunger of the exceptional things: "Peas 2008" or Caldereta Minorca style,; "Nenuphars" or Beans with cuttlefish.

While I wait for next appointment in El Bulli,
I raise my glass to say:

Bravo Adrià!
Once again, one more year.

Dra. Laura Gosalbo
June 2008


El Bulli desde dentro
Xavier Moret, 2007
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