Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity

The first thing you see is a larger than life portrait of Ferran Adrià overseeing his domain, the elBulli kitchen, eyes focused on his brigade. A fitting image for a chef whose culinary creativity sparked a revolution and ushered in an era that has influenced every chef since. 

My first memory of Ferran occurred on Feb 19, 2011. When I first began reading recipe books and chef memoirs at the local Barnes and Noble, Ferran’s name was always mentioned so when my friend Steven invited me to attend a screening of the documentary El Bulli: Cooking in Progress at the MoMA I jumped at the chance to catch a glimpse of the elBulli universe. Besides the insider "behind the scenes" look at what went into the R&D sessions, the highlight for me was the slideshow at the end of the film. Bold colors, juxtaposition of textures, odd shapes, whimsical presentations, Picasso/Tim Burtonesque creations that looked like they came out of a dream sequence. I had never seen food by a man who was so disciplined and driven to push the boundaries.

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Thank you, dear readers.

A little background on my journey. Growing up in Tampa, there was a lack of culinary culture. Chain restaurants such as Applebee's, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster dotted the suburban landscape of my hometown. Not that my family ate out a lot - when we did, it was always a special occasion. Most of our meals were prepared by my parents - my dad would come home usually around 5:30pm and begin prep: dicing tomatoes, washing the green snow peas, slicing tomatoes and jalapenos, and marinating the steak in soy sauce, sugar, rice wine.

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