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.
Albert Adrià, the son of Ginés and Josefa, was born in the Santa Eulalia neighbourhood of L’Hospitalet. His parents instilled in him the interest for everything to do with cooking, although it was his brother Ferran who sparked his passion for the culinary profession.
In 1985, Albert discovered the world of work, abandoned his studies and joined the team at elBulli. After a two-year apprenticeship in all the kitchen stations, he became especially interested in pastry. The pleasure of learning every day and having the opportunity to work in such a unique place as elBulli, stimulated Albert and his interest in his profession, an interest that would be bolstered over the years.
During the restaurant’s winter closure, he devoted his time to completing his training at such prestigious patisseries as Turull, in Terrassa; Escribà, in Barcelona; and Totel, in Elda, where he worked under master pastry chef Francisco Torreblanca. He also held a six-week internship at the Guy Savoy restaurant, in Paris.
In 1997, after ten-plus years at elBulli, Albert temporarily left the restaurant. He devoted the following eighteen months to writing his first book: Los postres de elBulli (elBulli Desserts). It was published in October 1998 and won the award for best book on pastry at the Périgeux gourmet book fair. Coinciding with the book’s release, Albert rejoined the elBulli team, this time in R&D at elBullicatering’s offices.
In 2000, a new location was opened in the centre of Barcelona, close to the popular La Boqueria market, for elBullitaller. Together with Oriol Castro and Ferran, Albert was in charge of designing the menu for the following year’s season, enabling elBulli to change its offering every year, much like a fashion collection. Albert eventually went on to run elBullitaller, profoundly linking his professional life that of Oriol and Ferran.
During this period, he continued to train, including internships at the establishments run by Michel Bras, Heston Blumenthal, Andoni Aduriz, Martín Berasategui and Charlie Trotter.
In 2006, he joined forces with his childhood friend Juan Martínez to open Inopia Classic Bar, in Barcelona, an unpretentious establishment specialising in traditional tapas. It was soon considered one of the most innovative concepts as a promoter of prêt-à-porter haute cuisine and pioneer of the gastropub concept.
In 2008, he left elBullirestaurante, although he maintained a close relationship with it through the ‘elBulli Galaxy’.
In 2009, his second solo book, Natura, was released, and he directed the documentary A Day at elBulli, which earned awards at a number of film festivals.
In July 2010, Albert ended his Inopia project to create, together with the Iglesias brothers, a global project with several restaurants and gastronomic concepts, under the name of elBarri. This is how Tickets, Pakta, Bodega 1900 and 41º were transformed in 2014 into 41º Experience, Niño Viejo, Hoja Santa and Enigma Concept.
In 2013, elBullifoundation was founded, with Albert Adrià joining the board of trustees.
Albert Adrià’s creative talents have allowed him to undertake consultancy projects and high-level collaborations. In 2015, Heart Ibiza was opened as an experiment with the aim of fusing music and art with gastronomy. In 2016, he embarked on his first professional venture outside Spain with 50 Days by Albert Adrià, a pop-up restaurant he opened inside London’s five-star Hotel Café Royal. It was followed in 2018 with the opening of Cakes & Bubbles, a new space for pastries and sparkling wines located inside the same hotel. In 2019, Albert and Ferran Adrià became creative collaborators with José Andrés to create Mercado Little Spain, an authentic tribute to Spanish gastronomy in the heart of Manhattan.
In 2020 and 2021, when the Covid pandemic led to the end of his partnership with the Iglesias brothers, Albert resumed his literary career. The result was the publication of two new books, Vegetales a todo color (Vegetables in Full Colour) and Candy. He also worked on different projects undertaken with food companies and set up outstanding collaborations in which he has been instrumental. One of them was the ADMO project with Alain Ducasse, a 100-day pop-up restaurant opposite the Eiffel Tower that opened in November 2021. It was an exceptional creative alliance between two leading figures of French and Spanish gastronomy.
In 2022, he reopened Enigma Concept, synthesising all of the knowledge, technical skills and experience acquired throughout his career.
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.
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
2005 – Texturas, 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.
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.
1994 – Mas Pau restaurant opens, in Avinyonet de Puigventós (Figueres), run by Xavier Sagristà and Toni Gerez.
1995 – ElBullicatering 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.
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.
More than 15,000 pages of content
More than 8,000 images
6 CDs with 1,846 recipes
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
…in addition to a large number of documentaries broadcasted on television channels throughout the world.