The things people ask Ferran Adrià

As he winds up his Australian tour we round up the most interesting questions and answers asked by the fans
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Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011
Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011

As Ferran Adrià winds up his Australian tour (which took in events, dinners, talks and book signings in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane) we thought it would be a nice idea to let you in on some of the best questions he was asked by the thousands of fans who queued up to meet him, the chefs who asked him for tips, the readers of goodfood.com and those lucky enough to have eaten at elBulli.

What cooking techniques and recipes would you recommend young people starting out, master? Ferran: More than any one technique the important thing is to understand where cooking is coming from, the origins - and what cooking is. If you understand that you will be able to learn new techniques - for example - cutting and slicing, which may seem simple but are fundamental for cooking.

Would you share an easy recipe for afternoon tea cake, as well as your favourite lasagne filling? Ferran: I have never made lasagne - at elBulli. When we would make it for the staff meal we would make it with bolognese filling. And if you want to give it a different twist add crab to the bolognese filling. There is a great way to make cake. You can make it with a siphon. You will probably be able to find the recipe if you search for ElBulli + bizcocho + sifon + microondas because you cook it in the microwave.

Do you miss the daily routine of lunch and dinner service?  Ferran: No I don't miss it. Because at elBulli we would close six months of the year. So I had already lived through this feeling. And I am constantly tied to a kitchen through the Bullipedia project.

 

Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011
Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011

What ingredient are you currently obsessed with? Ferran:I am not obsessed with any ingredient but I do think about the amount of marine spices that will be raised in the future as one would now raise oysters or any sort of shellfish. There are thousands of marine spices that we don't know and some of them will be able to be grown and new technology will make it possible to grow spices that have been impossible up to now.
When you watch a documentary about the oceans or you read about them discovering new spices elsewhere in the world, you say "Wow. What would happen if we could raise these things?"


What is the weirdest but most amazing thing you've ever eaten? Ferran:The concept of weird does not exist for me. And if you have to talk about something "weird" there is no such thing as weird food. There are only weird people.

Which kitchen gadget purchase have you regretted? Ferran: I don't have any at home but I think I bought them all for the restaurant. And I did not regret any of them because at elBulli we were always experimenting with them.

What are some of the quick and simple meals you cook at home? Ferran: If you buy The Family Meal book any of that stuff can be cooked well at home. There's a magic recipe of potato chip tortilla, Spanish potato tortilla. It is made with potato chips instead of plain potato.


 

Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011
Ferran Adrià - elBulli 2005-2011


Who do you think are the most exciting chefs in the world right now? Ferran: Do you want me to make enemies with all the world's chefs!

Why do you believe restaurants like elBulli should not serve bread and butter?
 Ferran: Because when you go to a place like that you are going to eat creativity and the truth is bread and butter is not very creative so the space taken up in my stomach by the bread, I would prefer it to be occupied by dishes. What we did at elBulli was to introduce bread on the menu but we did elaborations with bread. We used it as snacks that were as magical as possible.
But make no mistake I love bread. And in our restaurants in Barcelona we serve it because the main purpose of these restaurants is not creativity. But imagine if a person drove or travelled 3000 kms just to go eat some place and the first thing they serve them is bread and butter.



What would be the most important ingredient a home cook should use to improve their cooking? Ferran: The most important ingredient is logic. Only do what you can do. Don't make life complicated.

Look out for our tour report tomorrow. Browse our online Ferran stories and check out his fantastic books (including elBulli 2005-2011) in the store. And take a look at goodfood.com for more Ferran questions and answers.


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