Molecular Gastronomy

Foodies all over the world know about El Bulli and the revolution in cuisine that it spawned.

To the rest of us, here’s a short crash course.

El Bulli is a restaurant located in Roses, on the Costa Brava, in Catalonia, Spain. Although it has been around since the early 1960’s, today it is associated with Ferran Adrià, one of the best chefs in the world and currently ranked No. 2 according to the European Restaurant Ranking.

Adrià pioneered the culinary genre of “molecular gastronomy“, a type of cuisine that features the application of science to culinary practice and more generally, to gastronomical phenomena. Proponents of the genre include Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck (Berkshire, England), Grant Achatz at Alinea (Chicago), Jose Andrés at Minibar (Washington, D.C.) and Richard Blais at One Midtown Kitchen (Atlanta). In New York, Chef Wylie Dufresne is Adrià’s local disciple at wd-50.

This Sunday, I’ll be having dinner at wd-50 for the first time. I’ve been dreaming of coming here for the past year or so but I’ve never gotten around to doing it. Its food reinvented for the 21st century. I’m quivering in anticipation. (To those of you who aren’t foodies, its almost as exciting as sex.)

Click here for a Q&A conducted with Chef Adrià on eGullet in December 2004.

In the meantime, here are some pix from El Bulli’s photo archives that are representative of the genre.  Think of it as a teaser of things to come.

Parmesan cheese, lemon, macaroon, baby strawberries

Soy angel hair pasta, sesame, miso, wasabi sweets

Pea jelly, banana, lime ice cream

Pink grapefruit soup, tarragon, savory black sesame praline

Pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin seed oil

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