El Bulli-I didn’t know ye.

Now, I won’t go into histrionics here, but most people will admit, there’s been some celebrity death or something that has touched them in a personal way. Whether some musician had a song or album that reminds them of a special child memory, or an actor had a role that always brings a smile to ones face, most (or many, I shant speak for the majority, just the majority of that majority) create ‘relationships’ that are almost entirely one way. A restaurant you visited regularly could even strike at something deeper-bonds formed with staff, favourite dishes and what have you. Now, what if you’ve only heard of the restaurant, and its only connection to you is tenuous at best?

As I said, I’m not hysterical over the bombshell that El Bulli, the  “greatest restaurant in the world” would be closing. Still, it does give one pause-a restaurant with a waiting list in the millions (hot damn!), has been operating at a loss for the last decade. Apparently, ten years of losing money finally overcomes whatever artistic statement Ferran Adrià has been making. Fair enough-I’m not enough of an idealist to believe art can exist entirely divided from commerce.

What do I know of molecular gastronomy (or avant-garde cooking, or experimental cuisine, or whatever genre you’d classify it as, as molecular gastronomy is considered something of a misnomer)? Well, sadly, not as much as I wish-yes, I’ve had some flavoured foams on desserts, and tried some food that looked like other food, and I’ve read extensively on the subject. What I do know, is that it seems damn entertaining, and that with El Bulli closing, I’ll have to check out The Fat Duck, Alinea, or one of the other restaraunts of repute that mess around with liquid nitrogen and thematic deconstructions of staple meals, or whatever individual wild stuff they get up to.

Why? Well, I know a lot of people who cluck their tongues at the thought of it, but if I’m paying several hundred dollars for a meal, I don’t care how scintillating the conversation is. I expect atmosphere, and entertainment-make me remember every element of that meal, so I can spend the following nights, and weeks going over it in exquisite detail in my head (trust me, a sushi train restaurant can provide me with hours of entertainment, so something like this would be a bit of a step up). Taking such a unique approach to food nearly guarantees that result.  And also, LIQUID GODDAMN NITROGEN. Seriously, all my boyhood endeavours failed due to a lack of it (I was a weird kid. Now I’m a weird adult. Go figure).  Now, I can play around with it…in the name of furthering my culinary horizons…>_>.

In all fairness, it may be some time before I actually attempt anything so esoteric, as I’m still working on many of the fundamentals (eg. my pan reduction sauces still generally lack something). As well, this isn’t something I’d bust out for a monday night dinner or somesuch-good home cooking is still preferable to something someone else cooked the majority of the time.

Oh well, imaginary experimental food is nearly as good, for the moment-I never said I gave up those boyhood endeavours.


4 Responses to “El Bulli-I didn’t know ye.”

  1. “Obituraries”? Heh.

    I look forward to you perfecting your culinary endeavours so I can see what you come up with when you finally, finally get your hands on some liquid nitrogen. Except I will want you to sign some sort of legal document that you will use liquid nitrogen only for cooking!! (Since most of your plans for liquid nitrogen involved dealing with people who were frustrating you…”and that’s when I would use the liquid nitrogen”)

  2. And, wow, I love the design for The Fat Duck logo–pretty cool.

  3. Hey Kellam! Check out the TIME magazine article http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0%2c8599%2c1964802%2c00.html

    And don’t forget that Toronto has Colborne Lane with Claudio Aprile (See: http://colbornelane.com/welcome ). Not El Bulli by ANY stretch of the imagination but not everyone can take the TTC to the Costa Brava town of Cala Montjoi in Spain, alas! And your chances of scoring a reservation are MUCH better too!

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