Ferran Adrià Acosta was born in L’Hospitalet de LIobregat in 1962. He is considered one of the best and the most creative chefs in the world, yet his culinary career began in 1980 as a dishwasher at the Hotel PlayafeIs, in the catalonian town of Castelldefels.
Adria was working and teaching ‘El Práctico’ (The Practical) from the hotel chef de cuisine. He practiced more when drafted and served in the military as a barrack cook and further practice came when he joined the kitchen staff of El Bulli, small restaurant overlooked Cala Montjoi, a bay on Catalonia’s Costa Brava, described later by The Guardian as „the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet” after Ferran Adria became the head chef.
Because innovation requires time and the restaurant is only the background for what is prepared on the other side of the curtain El Bulli is only open from April to October. Adriá spends the remaining six months traveling for inspiration and performing experiments and bringing recipes to perfection in his culinary lab, El Taller. He is famous for his thirty course gourmet menu and creating ‘culinary foam’. In his quest to enhance flavor, Adriá discards the use of cream and egg; foam is made exclusively of the main ingredient and ‘air’ (combined in a whipped cream maker equipped with N2O cartridges). He is often associated with ‘molecular gastronomy, although the Spanish chef does not consider his cuisine to be of this category. Instead, he prefer calling his cooking as deconstructionist.
Often quoted, he likes to say – ‘the ideal customer doesn’t come to El Bulli to eat but to have an experience”. As proof of that, Restaurant Magazine judged El Bulli to be Number One on its top 50 list of the world’s best restaurants a record five times – in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and second place in 2010, the Gourmet magazine referred to chef Adria wrote – „the Salvador Dali – of the kitchen”.