Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food

Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food

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by Colman Andrews
     
 

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The first-ever biography of Ferran Adrià, the chef behind Spain's renowned El Bulli restaurant, by one of the world's foremost food authorities.

Ferran Adrià is arguably the greatest culinary revolutionary of our time. Hailed as a genius and a prophet by fellow chefs, worshipped (if often misunderstood) by critics and lay diners alike,

Overview

The first-ever biography of Ferran Adrià, the chef behind Spain's renowned El Bulli restaurant, by one of the world's foremost food authorities.

Ferran Adrià is arguably the greatest culinary revolutionary of our time. Hailed as a genius and a prophet by fellow chefs, worshipped (if often misunderstood) by critics and lay diners alike, Adrià is imitated and paid homage to in professional kitchens, and in more than a few private ones, all over the world.

In his lively close-up portrait of Adrià, award-winning food writer Colman Andrews traces this groundbreaking chef 's rise from resort- hotel dishwasher to culinary deity, and the evolution of El Bulli from a German-owned beach bar into the establishment voted annually by an international jury to be "the world's best restaurant." With a new afterword for the paperback edition, Ferran brings to life the most exciting food movement of our time and illuminates the ways in which Adrià has forever altered our understanding and appreciation of food and cooking.

Editorial Reviews

-Anthony Bourdain
"An essential biography...about the most creative groundbreaking and important chef of the last decade."
-Ruth Reichl
"A fascinating portrait that everyone who cares about the evolution of food will want to read."
From the Publisher
"An essential biography...about the most creative groundbreaking and important chef of the last decade." — Anthony Bourdain

"A fascinating portrait that everyone who cares about the evolution of food will want to read." — Ruth Reichl, author of Tender at the Bone

Publishers Weekly
Ferran Adrià, the chef responsible for turning El Bulli in Catalonia, Spain, into one of the world's most acclaimed restaurants, has been called a charlatan, an enemy of good sense and real food just as much as he has been proclaimed a prophet and worshipped by fellow chefs and lay diners, and imitated in restaurants all over the world. Before Ferran was featured in a 2003 New York Times Magazine article, El Bulli struggled to fill seats; the Times story about Ferran and his nueva cuisine catapulted the restaurant into the stratosphere and helped to shape Ferran's iconic status. Soon, more than 300,000 people tried to make reservations for about 8,000 slots. In a combination of fan's notes and compulsively readable biography, food writer Andrews traces Ferran's rise to success and his deconstruction and reinvention of food. Ferran has upended the stockpots, snuffed out the wood-fire grill, and let the larder run wild, reinventing food by working with such techniques as caramelization, liquification, emulsification, "spherification," and food-based "foams" and "airs." Thus, included among the 30 or so dishes in one dinner that food critic Andrews (The Country Cooking of Ireland) ate at El Bulli were sake sorbet with yuzu foam and tonic, gorgonzola mochi (pounded Japanese rice paste enclosing a blue cheese-flavored liquid), and coco with caviar (coconut milk and thickened coconut water topped with three spoonfuls of caviar). Andrews's lovingly crafted story wonderfully records the tale of a brilliant and inventive chef. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

Saveur co-founder and former Gourmet magazine columnist Andrews (The Country Cooking of Ireland, 2009, etc.) chronicles and applauds the career of Ferran Adrià, a chef whose El Bulli restaurant became a lighthouse of innovation and experimentation.

The author doesn't conceal his admiration and awe of his subject. He continually refers to Adrià as a genius and the most influential chef in the world—perhaps in history. Andrews received Adrià's permission to write his story—though Adrià publishes his own books and produces numerous videos about his culinary philosophy and practices—and spent two years with enviable access to the chef and to his remote restaurant near the town of Rosas in the Catalonia region of Spain. The author also interviewed many of Adrià's friends, colleagues and rivals. Early in the text, Andrews describes a 40-course meal he ate in El Bulli—it takes nearly eight pages to mention them all—a meal that will be among the last the restaurant will serve in its present incarnation. Andrews then relates the history of the restaurant, telling how Adrià began his career as a dishwasher but studied classic recipes and techniques. While in the army, he began cooking for an admiral, hooked up with future celebrity chef (and now friend) Fermí Puig and went to work for El Bulli with Puig in the late 1980s. The author emphasizes Adrià's ferocious work ethic, his eagerness to share what he has learned and his explorations of the arts and sciences. Andrews tells how Adrià eventually became an owner of El Bulli and how he expanded the business into research, catering and other enterprises. Throughout, Andrews staunchly defends his subject against all detractors.

A wildly partisan paean to Adrià and a celebration of culinary wonders.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592406685
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/29/2011
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Colman Andrews was the cofounder and a former editor in chief of Saveur, and is the author of four acclaimed cookbooks, including Catalan Cuisine, which introduced the now-trendy cooking of Catalonia, Ferran Adrià's home region, to American food-lovers. The recipient of numerous honors (including six James Beard Foundation awards), he was most recently the restaurant columnist for Gourmet. He divides his time between New York City and Connecticut.

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Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ThoughtfulOne More than 1 year ago
This is a very well done story, about a fascinating chef, who really has had quite an effect. I got it because of Ferran's "Power Question", cited in the book Quantum Power Questions, by Cedar Medicine, which was "I know what food is. What else could food be?" That is the core of everything this chef has done, since he asked this question. This chef is a very inventive guy, with lots of interesting ideas. His restaurant used to be one of those places that you had to call in reservations for, at least 6 months in advance, or more. Ferran is a Catalan name, and Catalans are unique, and so is Ferran. I found the story fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chefs around the world critize his work, but they actually try to copy him! The insight to this this amazingly humbled man will keep you reading and won't be able to put it down.
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