Photo: Mark Von Holden / Getty Images for The International Culinary Center
Spanish Chef Ferran Adrià told Slashfood that he will be showing plans, photos and details of the much-anticipated "reinvention" of his legendary restaurant El Bulli at a press conference in New York City in March 2011.
Adrià said he has signed a deal with the multinational telecommunications company Telefónica to become a brand ambassador, and that he is working on details of the New York announcement with the company.
During an interview October 13 at the Hotel Eventi's Bar Basque after a screening of the documentary "A Day at El Bulli," he did share a few details about the major changes coming El Bulli, the restaurant in Roses, Spain which receives two million reservation requests a year for just a few thousand places.
The new El Bulli will be more like an educational foundation than a restaurant. "There will be no reservations," Adrià said through his friend and interprereter Chef José Andrés. "And everything will change every month."
What it won't be is limited to the cuisine that made it famous, Adrià's mind-bending innovations with molecular gastronomy. "It is going to be a bigger place, but a completely new philosophy. The main mission of the foundation will be to create, and where everything they create, they will be able to share through [the] internet everyday, with everyone around the world," Andrés explained.
"Not a restaurant," Adriá said, "but people will be able to have new experiences through food and around food.
While some details will be announced in January at a Madrid food conference, the more detailed announcement about the changes is planned for the second week of March in New York, Adrià said.
Some of Adrià's thinking about the change in direction is revealed in the new book Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food, by Colman Andrews, in which it explains that El Bulli's final turn as a restaurant will end in July 2011. It will close for around two years and then open in 2014 as something of a "think tank" where scholarships will be granted annually "for a one-year course of study to about twenty-five applicants, to be divided into five or six groups of four or five people each, with each group headed by a member of Ferran's creative team..."
What is served, when, how and to whom is all still to be decided, and Adrià has plans to take up to a year to contemplate it all, time during which he'll also stop giving interviews.
"The only thing he wants to do is be creative," Andrés said. "And to think about creativity."