NewsFlash: Albert Adria to Leave elBulli!

IMG_6217.JPG - 2006-09-19 at 11-09-32

According to an article in Spain's El Periodico, Albert Adria has left elBulli and the world of ultra-creative cooking. It appears that the pressure to maintain constant creativity has caught up with him. It will be interesting to see how elBulli and the Spanish vanguard evolve without his under-rated contributions.

Thanks to Pedro Espinosa for posting this on the eGullet Society Forums.

This entry was posted in Culinary Personalities, Current Affairs, Pastry, Restaurants, Spain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to NewsFlash: Albert Adria to Leave elBulli!

  1. Carey says:

    no way?! really…. I wonder who will replace him as the Pastry Chef. And, i wonder what he will do now??

  2. John Sconzo says:

    My understanding is that he will devote himself to traditional cooking at his restaurant Inopia in Barcelona. As for who will do pastry at elBulli, good question. I have no doubt that they will come up with someone excellent. They have had quite a few talented pastry chefs go through that kitchen in the past.

  3. Ted Niceley says:

    Can’t say that I didn’t feel that there were certain things said or said in a certain way in “Natura” that made me feel it was wrapping up.
    I’m sure there’s more to come out of that Chef!!

  4. John Sconzo says:

    I would think so, Ted. He’s not only brilliant, he’s a real nice guy to boot.

  5. rjwong says:

    I mentioned the news to a chef/friend of mine. My friend wasn’t surprised. Supposedly, Albert wanted to get out for three years. Is this so?
    My friend explained to me that great restaurants can become a victim of their own success. How does a top restaurant improve itself? Even at the end of the article, Albert Adria mentioned that he no longer has to answer the question, “What are you going to do next year?” Does that explanation seem reasonably plausible?

  6. John Sconzo says:

    I prefer Albert’s response to that of Bernard Loiseau. The pressure must be extraordinary.

  7. Ted Niceley says:

    Not to be contrary ‘doc but I’ve never thought that Albert was feeling that they were losing anything like Loiseau did.
    It has to be a drag on you after all of these years to reinvent your food!
    Year after year a new menu of 25 + dishes?
    Who else does this?
    Thomas Keller has his “greatest hits”, Sam Mason could be said to have a repertoire of tried and true dishes ( desserts at least according to Tailors menu), a restaurant would more often be thinking about renovations, etc. but at el Bulli it’s seemingly always been about the food.
    I have to add that I’ve always thought , and maybe it’s been intentional, that Albert’s contribution has never been properly recognized as much more then just pastry.
    But anyways, I found this really great piece on Anthony’s Bourdain’s blog about the “Spain” episode of “No Reservations” that Albert appeared in talking about “Natura” as well as …just being around!
    It certainly seems to bear out your thought’s on what a nice guy he is, John!
    Read this if you haven’t already, you’ll get what I mean.

  8. John Sconzo says:

    I certainly didn’t mean to imply, Ted, that Albert or anyone else has ever felt that elBulli was “losing” anything. My comparison to Loiseau stems from Loiseau’s apparent frustration with constantly having to come up with new ways to dazzle or astonish increasingly jaded diners, which sounds an awful lot like what Albert described in the little snippet in the link above.Of course, Loiseau handled that pressure in a tragic way. I much prefer to see Albert do what he is doing. Of course I hope that someday he will return to the level of amazing creativity that he has here-to-fore maintained. The pressure must be enormous.
    In any case, I contacted Pau Arenos, who did the interview. He is currently in Tokyo at a major chef’s congress currently going on there. He promised to send me the interview when he returns to Spain. I will share what I can here.

  9. Brian says:

    I am gutted about the fact he is leaving, for many years I tried for a stage there and never succeeded, just for the chance to work with Albert. He is one of a kind and even though el bulli will find someone new i dont think he could be replaced, the mans a genious. Im going to spain for a month of stages in September and october and will be sure to stop at Inopia just for the smallest chance to meet him, fingers crossed

  10. Pingback: The Astonishing World of Albert Adriá |

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