Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Foodie Fun.

I recently just read a great review of this exhibition, "Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity" from the wonderful folks at Fine Dining Lovers.  I've become pretty passionate about the idea of getting to see this incredible exhibit in person.  Thankfully, it will be travelling to NYC in 2013- watch out hubbs, we'll be jet-setting next year for sure!  (And yes, that is a Matt Groening drawing of Ferran... Love it.)


The following information comes straight from the Generalitat de Catalunya website, in the Palau Robert section on exhibitions...


Basic data

- From 2 February 2012 to 3 February 2013
- elBulli, 50 years of history
- Ferran Adrià turns 50 in 2012
- Ferran Adrià and elBulli: 1961-2011
- The “keys” of elBullifoundation
- The “seed” of a future Centre-Museum in Roses
- An estimated 300,000 visitors
- 171 confirmed schools
- Open to the public for 365 days
- Room 3 at the Palau Robert
- Exhibition travelling to New York and London

Parallel activities
- Lecture cycle in conjunction with ESADE.
- Audiovisual cycle: A Day at elBulli; elBulli, Last Waltz; Documenting Documenta; and elBulli: Cooking in Progress.
- Educational services: guided tours for the general public on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as school workshops and visits. Starting in March 2012.
- Presentation of Designation of Origin (DO) agricultural products (PRODECA).
- “Thinking about Art Today” master’s degree module at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, directed by Jèssica Jaques.

The Palau Robert unveils the creative universe of Ferran Adrià...

The “Ferran Adrià and elBulli. Risk, Freedom and Creativity” exhibition unveils the creative universe and talent of Ferran Adrià, the late 20th and early 21st centuries’ most influential chef, as well as the comprehensive capacity to innovate that he has applied to gastronomy. Produced by the Government of Catalonia, the exhibition will be open to the public from 2 February 2012 to 3 February 2013 in Room 3 at the Palau Robert in Barcelona.

Over the years, Ferran Adrià has become a global icon of gastronomy. The work done at elBulli –considered the world’s best restaurant for five years running– has received global recognition and has set the direction for the future of cooking. The names of Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, Albert Adrià and of elBulli’s entire creative team are associated with values such as reflection, talent, innovation, leadership, teamwork, a job well done, internationalisation and solidarity. Going far beyond the field of gastronomy, their work embraces areas such as art and technology.

The exhibition comes after elBulli closed its doors in July 2011, a decision that was taken so that it could undergo its transformation into elBullifoundation, a centre for gastronomic experimentation and innovation that plans to disseminate its creations on the Internet from 2014.

The Government of Catalonia has produced the exhibition with the sponsorship of Estrella Damm, ”la Caixa” and Telefónica, and with the collaboration of Casa Tarradellas. By means of this formula, the Palau Robert has enabled the public and private sectors to join forces to develop ambitious, global-reach exhibition projects such as this one.

Bridges between cooking and other areas
Ferran Adrià and his team have established an active dialogue with other disciplines. This desire
to create and innovate has led him to give courses at Harvard and to receive academic accolades, such as honorary doctorates awarded by the University of Barcelona (2007), the University of Aberdeen (2008) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (2010). As a result of his passion for creativity, he received very special feedback from British painter and collage artist Richard Hamilton –a pioneer of pop art and the longest-standing client of elBulli– and an invitation in 2007 to be the guest artist at the contemporary art exhibition Documenta 12 held in Kassel, which awarded him the creator category. Also of particular note are his contribution to the creation of the Alícia Foundation to foster dialogue between education and health; the fact that important business studies schools such as ESADE, Harvard and Berkeley act as veritable observatories of cooking and of Ferran Adrià and elBulli; and that composer Bruno Mantovani devoted an orchestral composition to Ferran Adrià and elBulli’s cuisine.

The exhibition will be presented in New York in 2013

The exhibition will be presented in New York in 2013 and will then travel to London, coinciding with a time when Catalan gastronomy has become one of the top-ranking gastronomies in the global arena. It will also become the seed or basis for the future Centre-Museum devoted to Ferran Adrià and elBulli in Roses. The aim of these and other initiatives that may subsequently arise is to project the image of Catalonia to the world –showing it as a modern, innovative country– and to position it as a leader and point of reference on the global stage of gastronomy thanks to the enormous amount of research that was carried out at elBullirestaurant and will continue to be carried out at elBullifoundation. The exhibition also deems that Catalonia should officially ask UNESCO to designate Catalan gastronomy as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as it did with the castellers (human pyramids).

The spirit of elBullirestaurant –creativity, talent, imagination, innovation, leadership, teamwork, risk, internationalisation– is still alive thanks to the numerous stagers who spent time at the establishment and have since become globally renowned cooks. They were privileged students who are now some of the best chefs in the world. René Redzepi (Noma), Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz), Grant Achatz (Alinea), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana) and José Andrés (Think Food Group).

Parallel to the exhibition, the Palau Robert will be running a programme of educational activities aimed at primary- and secondary-school pupils, catering schools and universities; guided tours for school pupils and the general public; an audiovisual cycle; a presentation of Designation of Origin (DO) agricultural products (PRODECA); and the “Thinking about Art Today” master’s degree module at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Catalonia’s President Mas: “People like Ferran Adrià make it possible to effect the change that Catalonia needs and to project it to the world”

Visit of chefs and representatives of the tourism sector

A fascinating itinerary through avant-garde cuisine

The exhibition offers an insight into the creative thinking of Ferran Adrià and his team. The kind of thinking that has given rise to a series of proposals such as “foams”, “spherifications”, “warm jellies” and “airs”, all of which represent fundamental changes in the history of cooking. By filling the kitchen with good products and amazing ideas, the work pioneered by Ferran Adrià has managed to position Catalonia as a point of reference on the global stage of creative, avant-garde cuisine.

Sections and Content
The exhibition is divided into the following areas: Acknowledgements; elBullifoundation; Origins; Evolutionary Map; The Search for a Style; The Time of Major Change; Moment 0; The Consolidation of a Style; elBullivirus; and The Spirit of elBulli.

Acknowledgements (showcase)
The exhibition itinerary begins with a showcase at the entrance to the Palau Robert, which contains a mosaic of front covers of newspapers, books and magazines –from across the globe– dedicated to Ferran Adrià and elBulli, as well as numerous awards and accolades received throughout their respective career and history, which can be seen on a screen.

After the showcase, the itinerary continues in Room 3 on the second floor. Texts, images and videos explain the objectives of the elBullifoundation project, for which two new centres are planned: a Centre-Museum in Roses containing materials from this exhibition, and a Creative Centre at Cala Montjoi to disseminate creativity and to share the language created by elBulli through new communication technologies.

Origins (The Learning Years)
The history of elBulli is recounted, from its origins in 1956, with the arrival of Dr Schilling and his wife Marketta at Cala Montjoi (Roses), to March 1987, the time when Ferran Adrià took charge of elBulli as its chef. Audiovisuals, documents, photos and objects in chronological order highlight the qualitative jump made by the restaurant through an increasingly sophisticated gastronomic offering that had clear references to nouvelle cuisine. In addition to Ferran Adrià, the key figures in this transformation were Jean-Louis Neichel, Juli Soler and Albert Adrià.

Evolutionary Map (1983-1997)
The evolutionary map (from 1983 to 1997) illustrates the products, techniques, elaborations and philosophy with videoclips. Below the map, visitors can see emblematic dishes elaborated over the same period, all of which have been major milestones in Ferran Adrià’s career and elBulli’s history.

The Search for a Style
Here, visitors can see a recreation of the atmosphere of the restaurant’s dining room through an audiovisual with props (table and chairs from elBulli). Images of an elBulli 40-dish tasting menu are projected onto the table from overhead.

The Time of Major Change
A recreation of elBulli’s kitchen through three simultaneous projections in triptych form. Also presented are documents, photos and a big showcase of Plasticine elements that recreate the colours, shapes and sizes of the different components of each dish.

Moment 0
The first part explains how Ferran Adrià creates neither dishes nor recipes, but rather concepts and techniques that he can subsequently apply to countless elaborations. The second contends, with the support of several audiovisual projections, that elBulli’s innovative contribution is the sixth sense, that is to say, the one that sparks a response in diners, which is expressed in the form of gestures and emotions of surprise, questioning, recollection, desire and happiness.

Evolutionary Map (1998-2011)
This section of the exhibition itinerary follows a similar layout as before Moment 0, that is to say, an evolutionary map with videoclips showing elaborations and techniques. Below, there is a sequence of emblematic dishes from this period, shown using the same lenticular reproduction system.

The Consolidation of a Style
Ferran Adrià’s technical-conceptual cooking requires a team devoted exclusively to creation in an ideal space, and to subsequent cataloguing. Shown here are images of the workshops undertaken by elBulli’s creative team; drawings of dishes done by Ferran Adrià; a display of metal tableware elements used for serving petits fours, of objects and utensils used in the cooking process –a siphon, a dehydrator and a Pacojet, among others– and of cookbooks.

The immensity of the cataloguing process is highlighted by incorporating volumes of the elBulli General Catalogue and other documents, books and objects into the staging of this section. This ensemble is complemented by images from the documentary Cooking in Progress, which shows the workshop in operation. At the back of the space, a large poster reveals the 1,846 dishes elaborated and catalogued by the restaurant.

This section shows the virus/dialogues with art, graphic and industrial design, science, education and health, music and architecture, as well as a space devoted to the relationship with Japan.

The exhibits are rounded off with a unique element: the 23 principles that, as a kind of manifest, summarise elBulli’s cuisine.

The Spirit of elBulli
Here, the chefs, staff and 2,000 stagers –some of whom are now ranked among the world’s best chefs– are mentioned, as are friends who have shared their thoughts. Visitors can also find a tribute –in the form of the last creative dish, number 1,846– that the elBulli team made to Georges-Auguste Escoffier by reinterpreting the Peach Melba, the work of this great chef who consolidated the prestige of French cuisine on the international scene.

The documentary called elBulli, Last Waltz, recorded on the last day the restaurant was open, is projected in this section. At the end of the itinerary, objects connected with the last day are exhibited; in a prominent place are the reproduction of the “Bulli” dog by the patissier Escribà and the Estrella Damm Inedit beer bottle, given that Estrella Damm is the company sponsoring numerous events relating to Ferran Adrià and elBulli.


Booklet [PDF, 7,02 MB.]

 Educational activities programme

The activity consists of a guided tour and then a workshop. School pupils and students will be able to learn about the exhibition contents and get an insight into the world of senses and sensations conjured up by the dishes created by Ferran Adrià and his team.
Participation of over 200 school groups

“The making of” the first major exhibition on cooking
An audiovisual on the process of producing the first major exhibition on cooking, with Ferran Adrià and elBulli as the stars. In this documentary, visitors will be able to see the creative process that involved a large number of professionals, all of whom brought a great deal of creativity and enthusiasm to the project.
Making of 

Film season
Audiovisuals: "Documenting Documenta", "Un dia en elBulli" and "elBulli, l’últim vals"

Gran Achatz offers dishes from the restaurant elBulli
Chicago pays tribute to elBulli 

Sponsors and partners


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