Ever wonder what it must be like to work at elBulli as a stagiare (culinary apprentice)? One of the most coveted positions in the entire cooking world has been examined up close by my friend, Lisa Abend. Many of you likely know Lisa as the Spain Correspondent for Time Magazine. A good number of her articles for Time are food related and she has become extremely well known within the Spanish food community. Lisa is about to publish a book (set for release on March 22nd by Simon and Schuster) called The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià's elBulli. During the entire 2009 season, Lisa was at elBulli chronicling the story of that year's stagiares, coming up with literary portraits of each. According to Ms. Abend's website,
"Taken together, their stories form a portrait of the international team that helps make a meal at elBulli so unforgettable. But they also offer a look at a Ferran Adria few ever see, a Ferran who is not only a genius chef and artist, but also a boss, teacher, taskmaster, businessman, and sometimes flawed human being. And in an age in which food has become the focus of unprecedented attention, ambition, concern, and desire, it explores the strange phenomenon that in less than two decades has turned a once-maligned profession into a source of celebrity. It asks, in other words, a pressing question whose answer Adria himself has been critical in changing: Why cook?"
She has now started a website with a very specialized blog associated with it. In the blog, Ms. Abend shares additional portraits of elBulli stagiares, however, the portraits here are from people who have staged at el Bulli over the course of its existence. The very first portrait/ interview is of Will Goldfarb, the pastry chef extraordinaire currently residing and working in Bali. Goldfarb staged during the 1999 season. Abend promises many more to come. This should be fascinating!