More than just the most influential chef of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Ferran Adriá is arguably the greatest culinary revolutionary of our time. Hailed as a genius and a prophet by fellow chefs, worshipped by critics and lay diners alike, Adriá is imitated and paid homage to in professional kitchens, and in more than a few private ones, all over the world.
In his lively and unprecedented portrait of Adriá, award-winning food writer Colman Andrews traces this groundbreaking chef’s rise from resort hotel dishwasher to culinary deity, and the evolution of his former restaurant El Bulli from a German-owned beach bar into the establishment voted annually by an international jury to be “the world’s best restaurant.” Taking the listener from Adriá’s Franco-era childhood near Barcelona through El Bulli’s wildly creative “disco-beach” days and into the modern-day wonderland of Adriá’s restaurants and cookbooks, Andrews blends sweeping storytelling with culinary history to explore Adriá’s extraordinary contributions to the way we eat. Through original techniques like deconstruction, spherification, and the creation of “culinary foams”, Adriá has profoundly reimagined the basic characteristics of food’s forms, while celebrating and intensifying the natural flavors of his raw materials. Yet, argues Andrews, these innovations may not be his most impressive achievements; instead, Adriá’s sheer creativity and courageous imagination are his true genius—a genius that transcends the chef’s métier and can inspire and enlighten all of us.
Entertaining and intimate, Andrews brings to life the most exciting food movement of our time and illuminates the ways in which Adriá has changed our world, forever altering our understanding of and appreciation for food and cooking.
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