October 10, 2008
No one can get into elBulli, Ferran Adrià's restaurant on the northeast coast of Spain. But plenty of people certainly try: every year, the restaurant receives over 2 million requests for only 8,000 seats during the six months it is open. For the other six months, Adrià, who is proud to be called the "Salvador Dali of the Kitchen," travels, dreams, and creates at his "food laboratory" in Barcelona, called elBulli Taller, where his team includes a chemist and an industrial designer who also design plates and serving utensils to go with the food. No wonder, as Corby Kummer wrote in The Atlantic, "making the twisty two-hour drive from Barcelona for a dinner that ends well into the wee hours has become a notch on every foodie's belt—perhaps the notch, given the international derby to get reservations." Following his appearance in the Library's LIVE from the NYPL series, Adrià spoke with The New York Public Library's culinary librarian Rebecca Federman. She also talked with The New York Times' Harold McGree; Bill Buford, a contributor to The New Yorker; Corby Kummer, of The Atlantic; and food scholar Paul Freedman.