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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
This fascinating illustrated narrative takes you inside Ferran Adria’s elBulli, the Spanish avant-garde eatery regarded by many experts as the best restaurant in the world.
Shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef may be all the rage, but if you really want to know how the world's best cooks get their start, turn off the TV and grab hold of this revealing new book. Veteran food writer Abend spent a year following the action at elBulli, considered by some industry insiders to be the best restaurant in the world, and her look into the lives of its stagiaires, or apprentices, is unlike any other account of restaurant life. Located in northeastern Spain, elBulli is the creation of Ferran Adrià, the legendary and provocative chef, and it is unique by any standard. Its small, beachside venue is open only six months of the year, and there are no menus — customers simply eat whatever comes out of the kitchen. Dishes are exotic and avant-garde, as Adrià straddles the worlds of science and art, inventing foods that often bear just the slightest resemblance to their primary ingredients. As Abend tells us, would-be chefs from around the world yearn to enter this rarified world. The competition for apprenticeships is fierce, and the life of a stagiaire is even fiercer, as Katie, Andrea, and Gael — three of the recruits Abend profiles — find out. The hours are long; the work, monotonous; the environment, militaristic. Still, these young hopefuls will make tremendous personal sacrifices for the chance to learn from a master.