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Juli Soler

Inspired by our enduring unwritten philosophy, we believed, and continue to believe, that the ambience of elBulli was unique.

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31st May 1949

Juli Soler is born in Terrassa, Barcelona, the son of Paquita and Juli. His father, the maître d’hôtel in a small spa, instils in him a passion for good service and attention to guests, along with the importance of a good relationship with them in the dining room and during their stay at the hotel. Juli shares this passion with his father and spends every weekend at the spa assisting him. At the same time, he starts school in the Escuela Pia and later finishes his Business studies at the Escuela Cultura Práctica in Terrassa.



He enters the restaurant business at a very young age, working for Miquel Ristol, who employs him in 1962 as an assistant waiter at the Gran Casino de Terrassa. In 1963 he leaves home, finding employment as an assistant bartender in the prestigious Chalet del Golf in Puigcerdà. At only 14 years old, following the recommendation of the restaurant’s chef, Mr. Ferrer, Josep Julià employs him in the renowned Reno restaurant in Barcelona. A year later, after considering the possibility of working on a luxury cruise liner, he finally opts to participate in his parents’ new business venture, managing the works canteen of the Josa factory in Rubí, a manufacturer of electrical equipment.



Deciding not to continue his studies and uninterested in sport, Juli follows his principal interests of music and travel. Someone has to look after the music at parties, and so he becomes a club pioneer. Along with running two venues, he opens a record store called Transformer selling the R&B, soul and rock music that he imports, supplying new sounds and influencing and informing for more than a decade. In 1980 he closes the Transformer record store and decides to change his life.



In 1981, the owners of the Hacienda El Bulli, Marketta and Hans Schilling offer him the position of managing their establishment in Cala Montjoi. Juli accepts, undertaking beforehand to travel Europe dining at top restaurants to study the market. These trips help him to understand his role in the restaurant in his new endeavour. He also does a stage in a two-starred Michelin restaurant in Germany to get to know the internal workings of a type of restaurant unusual in Spain.

Juli Soler remembers it like this:

At that time, a table at elBulli was different from those in other restaurants throughout Spain. Even the cutlery, glassware and tableware were imported from Germany and were inspired by the great restaurants of the time, belonging to Alain Chapel, Jacques Pic and others. The table service, the attention to diners, and the way in which the restaurant was managed, were also based on these models.

…Doctor Schilling suggested I travel intensely for two months, visiting the best restaurants in France, Belgium and Germany. Upon my return, in mid-March 1981, I was ready to face my first season as manager.

… elBulli was a lovely place, getting there was an adventure, but thanks to the word of mouth recommendations of our customers, Germans, French and many Catalans came to try our cuisine, which, although very different from today, was already at the forefront of European trends. Jean-Paul Vinay’s menu was much more in the line of nouvelle cuisine, with slight influences from his hometown Lyon, and from the Michel Guérard restaurant, one of the last places he had worked. Added to all this was the superb quality of the products of our region: the best locally-grown vegetables, exquisite fish and seafood, etc. And then, of course, there was our philosophy, our desire above all, to provide the diner with pleasure, so that they would leave satisfied and happy. In fact, inspired by our enduring unwritten philosophy, we believed, and continue to do so, that the ambience of elBulli was unique.

From 1984, Juli’s path joins up with Ferran Adrià’s. Together they transform elBulli into a restaurant that becomes considered a reference in the world of haute cuisine.


30/ 07/2011

elBullirestaurante closes its doors to become elBullifoundation.



elBullifoundation  is created, a private family-run foundation promoted by Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler. Juli Soler is the honorary president until he passes away.

In 2010, the idea of elBullifoundation is born from a desire to transform elBullirestaurante through a vision of the future that continues promoting innovation and creativity using the language of cuisine, leaving a legacy to society.

Married to Marta Sala. They have three children together, Panxo, Rita and Júlia.

He passes away on July 6, 2015 at his home, surrounded by his family.



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

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.



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.



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.



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

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




Best maître d’. Awarded by Academia Nacional de Gastronomía.







Best maître d’ in Spain. Awarded by Gourmetour guide.




2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009

…in addition to the many acknowledgements he received both in his lifetime and posthumously.

The efficiency, effectiveness and creative longevity of the elBulli model has attracted the attention of numerous business schools, which have carried out research and made case studies of Ferran Adrià and elBulli: Columbia, Harvard, ESADE Business School, IESE, Berkeley, London Business School, among others..

He is the co-author of more than 30 books (see annex).








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





  1. The key figure of Juli Soler: a colourful personality who manages the serving staff and defines a style of high-level dinner service with informal professionalism that charms customers in an atmosphere that is discreet, comfortable and relaxed without relying on the strict codes typical in haute cuisine.
  2. The serving staff work hand in hand with the kitchen, in a constant evolution that pushes the boundaries of the gastronomic experience.
    • Serving staff take an indispensable role in the organization prior to dinner service and in the role of setting the stage, transmitting experiences and as guardians of the rhythms through which the food service evolves.
  3. The revolution leads to a structural change in customer experience, in communication with the customer and in the organization of dinner service:
    • The creation of a revolutionary customer offer based solely on a tasting menu that is personalised for each guest, without the option of an à la carte menu.
    • The construction of our own reservation system to allow a detailed control of booking management that takes into account all necessary aspects relating to the customer.
    • The incorporation of the innovations offered by new technologies to complement a personalized customer management.
    • Leading to a revolutionary way of food service.
  4. The delicate nature of many of the elaborations means that the service of food needs to be finished on the table in front of the diner, so that the serving staff become an extension of the kitchen within the dining room.
    • The incorporation of plating and tasting utensils.
    • The symbiosis of kitchen and serving staff culminates, during certain moments of service, in the participation of chefs in the dining room to serve, finish or present the elaborations.
    • In some cases, it is the diners themselves who finish the elaborations, enhancing the interaction with them and turning the diner into an actor in the experience.
  5. New experiences are incorporated into the choice of drinks, which complement the greater selection of wines following development and widening of the offer and developments in our cuisine in this field (which started in 1998 with the appearance of welcome cocktails prepared in the kitchen):
    • Soda siphons: Mojito (2001) and carbonated drinks (2007)
    • The world of coffee: Espesso (2003) and Passion Me (2004)
    • Liquid nitrogen: Caipirinha-nitro (2004)
    • Natural juices prepared in the moment (2007)
    • The world of after-dinner infusions: Jardín de aromáticas (2008)
    • A new concept for ice in cocktails: Nice-projects (2008)
    • The interactive wine list (2005)
  6. A simplified table setting, changing from tables full of utensils and decorative elements, to a minimalist setting where the tasting utensils are placed before the diner in the precise moment in which the experience requires them.
  7. The presentation of dishes to the diners is simplified and naturalized, using a more specific and appetizing language, enabling us to transmit better the information necessary to give a greater appreciation and understanding of the experience.
    • Dinner service employs a language, through which creativity, harmony, beauty, poetry, happiness, complexity, magic, humour, provocation and culture are expressed.
    • The creation of a database with the clear concepts that dinner service requires for each elaboration: explanation, contents, techniques and concepts, table setting and, finally, recommendations to the diner about how to eat the elaboration.
  8. A break with the concept of a dinner service that is structured in a hierarchical/pyramidal way, implementing instead a horizontal structure where, although hierarchy exists, dinner service acts in a multi-functional and collaborative manner.
  9. This same concept of versatility is applied to other parts of the organization, such as the commercial, marketing & communication and infrastructural areas. This allows for an optimization of resources.
    • The service staff take responsibility for functions beyond the dinner service itself.
  10. Dinner service consolidates its position as a benchmark for the dining experience, from the moment in which the customer arrives, to the end of the meal and afterwards. Human values such as warmth, passion for one’s job and a natural manner are allied to professionalism to create an approach that is distinctive in the world of haute cuisine.