Speculation as to the future of elBulli - a restaurant almost as famous for the difficulty of getting a table as for the quality of the food - has been rife since Ferran Adrià, head chef for over 25 years, announced in 2010 that the venture would close in its present form and re-open as a food 'laboratory' and foundation in 2014.
Today (25 January) Adrià announced further details at a special talk held at Madrid Fusión. As well as the two main aims of the foundation - to archive the legacy of the restaurant and to house a centre of creativity which will have wider benefits both socially and gastronomically - the actual building in which it is to be housed will be technologically and ecologically focussed. Tecnalia will be overseeing the engineering of the structure, which will include energy produced by seaweed, with Telefónica in charge of managing a comprehensive online resource.
'The motto of the Foundation is that there will be Risk, Freedom and Creativity,' Adrià told the Spanish newspaper El Paìs. 'Freedom to create.'
The Foundation will not be a school as such, but a place for experimenting. And it will welcome visitors so long as 'this flow does not disrupt the daily work'. About 15 chefs will be employed each season, together with five members of other disciplines, such as design and architecture. It is expected that there will be a daily analysis of what has been created, with progress disseminated to the wider world through the digital archive.
Following in the wake of A Day at elBulli and Reinventing Food: The Man Who Changed The Way We Eat, Phaidon is delighted to announce the release of a new book by Ferran Adrià for autumn 2011. Family Meals: Home Cooking at elBulli (Hardback, £19.95/$29.95) is the first home cooking cookbook by the world-renowned chef. The simple, seasonal recipes are based on the staff menu at elBulli, planned in advance by Adrià and served at 6pm every day before the restaurant opens.