C'est bien autre chose que de la cuisine gastronomique, même très élaborée : c'est une performance artistique (et scientifique), produite par une équipe (plus de chefs cuisiniers que de clients), chorégraphiée dans l'espace – du lab au restaurant à la table à l'assiette – et dans le temps – annuel, saisonnier, journalier, enfin du repas lui-même. Une utopie fourriériste. Le restaurant devrait rouvrir en 2018…
For those interested in the cooking itself. No-nonsense extended clips of the chefs at work, both during methodical investigations in the laboratory and at the restaurant. Simple but effective story arch following a full cycle at El Bulli, with a magnificently understated 30+ course ending.
Ferran Adrià recently asked a crowd, "What is wine?" After some silence, "A drink?" someone responded from the crowd. He lit up and replies back with, “Maybe it is a drink if I put it in a cup. But what if I make it into a sauce and cook with it? What if I turn the wine into ice cream? What is it then?” While some call his restaurant pretentious, I call it inspiring, and there isn't a better glimpse into his world..
A chance to see the creative process of the team of one of the most prestigious and inovative restaurants in the world. We get to see the development of new courses, as experiments in a lab, during the months the restaurants is closed, up to the point they are taught by the chefs to the cooks, and then first served to the excited clients. Captures in proximity, the process, the conversations, the complexity, the art.
This immersive, double-door entrance into the hall of food creation turns its lens on the micro experimentation in flavor. There is incredible subtlety in the dishes, the ingredients and the communication between chefs. On a macro level, the institution of El Bulli leaves others wanting: other restaurants their tenacity, other chefs their ingenuity, and leaves other patrons their dishes. Delicious doc.
These guys are boutique food chemists not dissimilar to those designing more mundane breakfast cereals and fried snacks for industry, the major difference being how much the consumer is willing to pay for the end result. Myself, I would only be interested if there were free samples...
Nouvelle cuisine or molecular gastronomy is not everyone's cup of tea. But for those open to sensory exploration, witnessing the toil and wonder of the creative process at Adrià's lab is a treat. Led by the industrious head chef Oriol Castro, the failures are just as illuminating as the flashes of ingenuity. El Bulli may have closed its doors, but Wetzel's film inspires further experimentation in our own kitchens.