I have been waiting for a few months now on the release of El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. Finally, it arrived via Netflix this evening and had to immediately watch it. At close to two hours, it was a subtle yet interesting look on how this restaurant turned food into an art form. Ferran Adria spent six months of every year in Barcelona working in his test kitchen with his chefs creating dishes and experimenting with ingredients as if they were scientists. The kitchen almost resembles a chemistry lab with the refined pallets tasting and working intricately with food and favors recording their results with meticulous detail. Although this documentary tends to move a bit slow and is tedious at times, one can tell that the artistry and genious of Adria's food lies in the attention to every detail from conception, design to the ultimate execution of the dish. Tempers flare every now and then as the chefs/artists squabble over what plate to use or what photo was taken when. I honestly wonder if restaurant patrons really knew what went into their meals. Yet again, at close to $400 a person, patrons of El Bulli knew that they were going to experience culinary artistry at its best.
Check out the trailer here:
Ferran Adria and his good friend and chef Jose Andres have taught a 13-week "culinary physics" course at Harvard. Would be interested to hear what that was like!