El Bulli and the impetus to create
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El Bulli and the impetus to create

As I was watching last night’s No Reservations episode on the last days of El Bulli, the world’s greatest restaurant, I wondered a bit about the future of Ferran Adria and the foundation that he is working on to continue the groundbreaking work he did at the restaurant.

For those who are a bit in the dark, El Bulli was a restaurant in rural Spain where chef Ferran Adria created and popularized many of the molecular gastronomy techniques that make up the foundation of modern cooking.

The restaurant closed for good this weekend, to be replaced by some sort of creativity center. What I wonder about, though, is whether the closing of the restaurant will, in the end, stifle Adria’s creativity in some way.

For many people, myself included, the greatest impetus to create is the necessity of delivering something. Everything else aside, Ferran Adria knew that every summer when El Bulli opened for the year, the people lucky enough to get reservations would expect to encounter a menu more interesting and impressive than the last. In addition to his annual deadline, Adria’s creativity was always constrained by the fact that the dishes he created had to be replicated by other chefs every night for dozens of diners. It will be interesting to see what he produces without that framework.

As the old saying goes, real artists ship. I’m reminded of this post on the dangers of producing concept products.

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