Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Decoding Ferran Adria

Who is Ferran Adria? The reason why there's a TV show called "Decoding Ferran Adria", he's also the man behind the secret codes of gastronomic success of the famous El Bulli restaurant in the outskirt of Barcelona, Spain. In my early entries, I revealed my great admiration for this world famous chef because of his unique way of preparing different dishes through the power of science as part of his cooking stints. Gone are the days when man used to rub two big block of rocks to create fire, when one will be astonished when you see suds in your dessert plate... these things are nothing but natural in the daily serving of food in El Bulli restaurant.


Different techniques and styles were experimented by master chef Ferran Adria. He trained his kitchen people to delicately execute each technique that he will teach them. It takes passion and understanding to be able to come up with something delectable when eaten in a mouthful serving only. In one bite the essence of your concoction should captivate the person eating the food. That's how hard the task is... I truly salute people in El Bulli's kitchen. Though at one episode in Bourdain's "No Reservations" he visited El Bulli and tried to decode the success of Ferran Adria's formula---he was amazed but at the end he did not agree with the science of how food was prepared. He still values the 100% natural method. Bourdain has a valid point and I somehow agree with him. On the other hand I also understand Adria for being inventive and creative in giving new styles in the technology of preparing food.


In El Bulli there is what they call "bullisnack" a small portion of food, dried or fresh, usually mouthful. The symbols above will help you understand the El Bulli's gartonomic language. I will interpret the diagram above based on the things I remember when I watched one of the Decoding Ferran Adria's episodes. The first box is grain, third is vegetable oil, the seventh is water, the twelveth cereals, thirteenth bowls, fourteenth pasta noodles and I'm not sure if fifteenth is legume. The rest I can't remember, I'm still trying to decode them. Hehe! Anyway I'll introduce another word from Bulli, the "tapas or tapear." Acccording to Ferran Adria, tapas are recipes that, because of their nature or their harmony are best offered in small portions. A different way of eating small, intense, whims, a luxury for your palate. To eat also without the use of knife. This is significant to me because a lot of chefs around the world are trying to imitate this through their serving. In Manila, I observed chefs for hire are also doing the same thing. The trend here nowadays is the 14 course meal with a mouthful serving and yet very expensive. Simply an imitation of the world famous "tapas" in El Bulli.


As stated by Adria, "When food enters the mouth, the tactile feeling perceived after noting its temperature is what is known texture." Now we know how important texture is. In my own conclusion, Ferran Adria's creativity is highly exceptional. He used them to come up with something that will create new trends around the world. Just like fashion every season there are surprising designs that really captivate the crowd. Same with food we have to be inventive and creative. It's not just designing the plate but also designing what is the content of the food that will be eaten. I believe every cook or chef is an inventor or scientist of appetizing dishes.

2 comments:

Lyndon said...

oh adria. do post this again when you decode the rest of the symbols. nice entry. nice passion.

Ferran Adria Design said...

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