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Albert Adrià

With the perspective of time, I believe I have done many things that had not been done before. I don’t like thinking that I was the first in anything, but it is the case that I was one of the first in some things.

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BIOGRAPHY

20th October 1969

Albert Adrià is born to Ginés and Josefa in the neighbourhood of Santa Eulàlia in L’Hospitalet, Barcelona. His parents instil an interest in everything to do with cooking, but it is his brother Ferran who introduces him to the passion for the profession.

 

1985-1997

In 1985 Albert enters the world of work, abandoning his studies and becoming part of the elBulli team. After an apprenticeship of two years in the different sections that form a kitchen, his interest is increasingly drawn to the pastry section. The thrill of seeing that he learns more day by day, and conscious of working in a special place like elBulli, prompts an interest in Albert that grows by the year.

During the winter when the restaurant is closed, he dedicates himself to completing his training by working in such prestigious patisseries as Turull in Terrassa (Barcelona), Escribà in Barcelona and Totel in Elda (Alicante), alongside the Master Pastry Chef Francisco Torreblanca. He also undertakes a six-week stage at Guy Savoy, in Paris.

 

1997-1998

During 1997 Albert leaves elBulli mid-season, after ten years working there, and dedicates himself to writing his first book, Los Postres de el Bulli, launched in October 1998 following 18 months work. The book gains the award for best patisserie book at the Perigueux Gastronomic Fair. In the same period, the workshop elBullitaller is created in the headquarters of elBullicatering. This first workshop consists of nothing more than one table, four books and two chairs, one for Albert and one for Oriol Castro.

 

1998 -2008

Realising how important a workshop could become, a new site is sought in the heart of Barcelona. Along with Oriol Castro and Ferran, Albert is responsible for devising a new seasonal menu year after year, turning elBulli into a restaurant whose offer changes every year, just like in the world of fashion. Albert then becomes the first manager of elBullitaller, starting a period in which Oriol, Ferran and Albert work as one.

He has undertaken stages in restaurants such as Michel Bras, The Fat Duck, Mugaritz, Martin Berasategui and Charlie Trotter, among others.

In 2006 Albert opens, in collaboration with his childhood friend Juan Martínez, the Inopia Classic Bar, an unpretentious establishment specializing in traditional tapas. This soon becomes regarded as a highly innovative concept, pioneer of both haute cuisine “prêt a porter” and the “gastrobar” concept.

In 2008 he leaves elBullirestaurante, maintaining a very close relationship with all involved in elBulli Galaxy.

 

2009-2010

In 2009 Albert publishes his second book, Natura, and directs a documentary film “Un día en elBulli“, winning awards at several film festivals.

In July 2010 Albert ends the Inopia project to create, together with the Iglesias brothers, a wide-ranging project that brings together various restaurants and gastronomic concepts under the name of elBarri.

 

2011 – The present time

In January 2011 he opens 41º, a new concept aiming to establish a dialogue between the different worlds of cocktails and snacks. He also opens Tickets, taking a new perspective on the world of tapas, in a fun and informal atmosphere.

In April 2012 Albert re-envisages the concept of his cocktail bar, changing its name to 41º Experience, offering a tasting menu of 41 snacks paired with cocktails in an exclusive ambience with a 16-seat capacity.

In 2013 elBullifoundation is formed with Albert Adrià on the board of trustees.

* For more information about projects undertaken by elBullifoundation, consult elbullifoundation.com

Owing to his admiration of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines, in April 2013 Albert opens Pakta, a Nikkei restaurant that fuses both cultures, but also incorporates influences from his own, the Mediterranean.

In September of the same year Bodega 1900 is opened with a modern interpretation of the tradition of vermouth.

On 20th November 2013 he receives one Michelin star for Tickets and another for 41º Experience.

In August 2014 he decides to close 41º Experience after finding that he is unable to evolve the concept to its full potential due to the limited facilities of the venue.

The same month he travels to Copenhagen and does the closing event of the MAD#4 Symposium, organized by René Redzepi.

Also in August, together with his Mexican partner Paco Méndez, he opens Niño Viejo, a friendly, welcoming taco restaurant celebrating popular Mexican cuisine. In November of the same year they open Hoja Santa, a Mexican fine dining restaurant, aiming to reflect the most authentic and contemporary tendencies of Mexican cuisine.

February 2015 sees the announcement of a creative alliance between Albert and Ferran Adrià and Cirque du Soleil, with the Heart project, a multi-space venue located in Ibiza.

At the end of June, Heart Ibiza is officially opened, whose objective is to explore the boundaries between music, art and gastronomy.

In February 2016 Albert makes his first professional venture outside Spain with 50 Days by Albert Adrià in London, a pop-up restaurant at the 5* GL Hotel Café Roya. It is fully booked in less than two weeks, with a waiting list of more than 3,800 people.

In May 2016 Heart Ibiza reopens for its second season, presenting the “Live Dinner Experience” concept and consolidating its reputation as the venue of the year in Ibiza, thanks to the freshness, magic and emotion of both the artistic and gastronomic offer.

In January 2017 Enigma opens, the culminating concept in the elBarri project in Barcelona. The restaurant, an evolution of 41º Experience, offers Albert’s most refined and sophisticated vision of a luxury gastronomic experience.

Currently Albert dedicates his time to the restaurants of the elBarri group, to conceptualizing the evolution of the Heart Ibiza experience and to realising the recently announced multi-space project in New York in partnership with chef José Andrés, which is scheduled to open in late 2018, among other projects.

 

THE ADRIÀ-SOLER GALAXY

The Galaxy is the business model of Juli Soler, Ferran Adrià and Albert Adrià concerning elBullirestaurante. In 1998, a key decision was taken as to how the business model should be, making a conceptual change based on the following premise: keeping elBullirestaurante at the cutting-edge. To give us the necessary freedom to do this, a business model for elBullirestaurante was created, based on consultancy and image work, and the formation of our own business lines.

 

FOOD & BEVERAGE AND DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRIES

1997 – Collaboration with the creative team of Chocovic in ventures related to chocolate.

1999 – R & D, and creation of vinaigrettes, sauces and aromatic olive oils in partnership with Borges

2000 – Study and creation of soups and dairy products for Kaiku, together with Juan Mari Arzak, Karlos Arguiñano and Pedro Subijana.

2001 – Collaboration with Caprabo in several publishing and consultancy projects.

2002 – Collaboration with Lavazza, for the creation of products and concepts related to coffee.

2004 – Innovations in the world of cocktails, with Diageo

2005Texturas, a line of products selected by elBullitaller, to bring new elaborations to the kitchen.

2005 – Working on new creations in chocolate with the architect Jean Nouvel and the team of Cailler, a company in the Nestlé group.

2005 – A new range of potato crisps, and other ideas for aperitif concepts in collaboration with the R & D department of Frito Lays, of the Pepsico company.

2007 – R & D in fruit juices and cookies, with United Biscuits.

2008 – Creation of Inedit, in collaboration with the team of Damm master brewers. A ground-breaking new line of beer that, for its elegance and ability to accompany the great variety of flavours existing in modern gastronomy, offers an alternative to wine.

 

RESTAURANT BUSINESS

1986 – ElBulli Bistrot opens in the Pasarela nightclub in Empuriabrava (Roses).

1989 – Consultancy work for Bel-Air, Chévere, Network and Samoa restaurants (Barcelona), along with Can Bosch (Cambrils).

1990 – Consultancy work for Reina de España restaurant (Puerto Rico).

1992 – Consultancy work for the Bernat II Hotel (Calella).

1993 – The Ñam-Ñam self-service restaurant opens at the same time as Dim-Sum, a European dim-sum concept restaurant. Both at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona.

1993 – A collaboration with Semon begins, which lasts one year.

1994Mas Pau restaurant opens, in Avinyonet de Puigventós (Figueres), run by Xavier Sagristà and Toni Gerez.

1995ElBullicatering is born, in which the cuisine, philosophy and service of elBulli is transferred to the world of catering.

1999 – Creation of elBullihotel, whose first project is the Hacienda Benazuza hotel, where consultancy work is also undertaken for the gastronomic offer of the hotel.

2001 – Commencing a collaboration with NH Hoteles, which bears fruit with two projects: Nhube and Fast Good.

2010 – Tickets. In collaboration with Albert Adrià; a re-imagining of the concept of contemporary tapas.

From 2011 on…

2015 – Heart Ibiza. In collaboration with Albert Adrià and the founder of Cirque du Soleil; a multidisciplinary project which allows us to explore the limits of what a restaurant is.

 

TABLEWARE & KITCHENWARE

1998 –With ICC company, state-of-the-art kitchen utensils and appliances, including the siphon, are manufactured and commercialised.

2001 – Creation of Ola dishware with designer Gemma Bernal, produced by CIM, which became a success in the restaurant business.

2004 – Agreement with Armand Basi to create tablecloths and textile tableware products related to the world of cooking.

2004 – Creation of Faces, producing cutlery, kitchenware and utensils for table service, in a joint collaboration with some great names in Spanish design.

 

 PUBLISHING AND AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTIONS

Printed publications (including for elBulliBooks and material for other publishers)

35 books
More than 15,000 pages of content
More than 8,000 images
6 CDs with 1,846 recipes

Audio-visual publications

Self-published
2009 – General Audio-visual Catalogue in 9 episodes, in collaboration with Televisión Española
2009 – A Day at elBulli
2011 – Documenting Documenta

In close collaboration
2009 – elBulli – Cooking in progress
2011 – elBulli, Last Waltz

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

FILMOGRAPHY

 

…in addition to a large number of documentaries broadcasted on television channels throughout the world.

 

EXHIBITIONS

OUR CUISINE IN 23 POINTS

  1. Cooking is a language through which all the following properties can be expressed: harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humour, provocation, culture.
  2. Two things are taken as given: the use of the highest quality products and the skill and expertise to prepare them properly.
  3. All the products have the same culinary value, regardless of their price.
  4. Preference is given to vegetables and seafood, with a key role also being played by dairy products, dried fruits and nuts and other products that make up a light form of cooking. In recent years sparing use has been made of red meat and poultry in large pieces.
  5. Although the characteristics of the products are modified (temperature, texture, form, etc.), the aim is always to preserve the purity of their original taste, except for processes that call for long cooking or seek the nuances of processes like the Maillard reaction.
  6. Cooking techniques, both classic and modern, are a heritage that the cook must know how to utilise with expertise.
  7. As has occurred in most fields of human evolution down the ages, new technologies are a support for the ongoing progress of cooking.
  8. The family of stocks/fonds is being extended. Together with the classic ones, lighter fonds performing an identical function are now being used (water products, broths, consommés, clarified vegetable juice, nut milks, etc.).
  9. The information given by a dish is enjoyed through the senses; it can also be enjoyed and rationalised through reflection.
  10. Taste is not the only sense that can be stimulated: touch can also be played with (contrasts of temperatures and textures), as well as smell, sight (colours, shapes, trompe d’oeil, etc.), whereby the five senses become one of the main points of reference in the creative cooking process.
  11. The technical-conceptual search is the apex of the creative pyramid.
  12. Creation involves teamwork. Furthermore, research and investigation has become established as a new characteristic in the culinary creative process.
  13. The barriers between the sweet and savoury world are being broken down. A new cold cuisine has gained importance in which the highlight is the creation of the frozen savoury world.
  14. The classical structure of dishes is being broken down: a veritable revolution is underway in first courses and desserts, closely bound up with the concept of symbiosis between sweet and savoury worlds. In main dishes the “product-garnish-sauce” hierarchy is being broken down.
  15. A new way of serving food is being fostered. The finishing of dishes in the dining room by serving staff has been worked upon. In other cases, the diners themselves participate in the finishing of the dish.
  16. Local cooking tradition as a style is a sense of bonding with the local geographical and cultural context, as well as with its culinary tradition. The link with nature complements and enriches this relationship with the environment.
  17. Products and elaborations from other countries are subject to the individual criteria of cooking.
  18. There are two main paths to achieve harmony between products and flavours: through memory (connection with local cooking traditions, adaptation, deconstruction, previous modern recipes), or through new combinations.
  19. An individual language more and more systematised is created that on occasions establishes a relationship with the world and the language of art.
  20. Recipes are conceptualized that give harmony to small servings.
  21. Decontextualization, irony, spectacle, performance, are completely legitimate, providing they are not superficial but are closely bound up with a process of gastronomic reflection.
  22. The tasting menu is the greater expression of avant-garde cuisine. The structure is living and subject to changes. Concepts such as snacks, tapas, avant-desserts, morphings, etc are coming into their own.
  23. Knowledge and/or collaboration with experts in different fields (gastronomic culture, history, industrial design, etc.) is paramount for our ongoing evolution. In particular, cooperation with the food industry and science has resulted in a fundamental shift. Sharing this knowledge between the different culinary professions contributes to this evolution.