Ferran Adria's Notes on Creativity
The Drawing Center in Soho will be home to Ferran Adria's first gallery show Notes on Creativity. The exhibit is not standard art world faire, but then that is Adria's entire ethos – to not be standard. It is impossible to overstate the importance of Adria to modern cooking. elBulli, Adria's restaurant, was not only 5x winner of best restaurant in the world but reinvented the way we cook, eat and think about food.
Aria created so many dishes and techniques that it is impossible to go into them all: foams, specification, reverse specification and edible air. elBulli operated at a loss the entire time Adria was at the helm. He spent half the year experimenting with new dishes, perfecting the menu and then the other half serving a restaurant so full that it was booked 4 years in advance. It is his experimentation and method that sets him apart.
Every year elBulli would release that year's recipes. Us in the English speaking world would have to translate the tomes and buy thousands of dollars worth of new equipment, and then everyone's menu changed. Adria's willingness to share the new techniques with the world reveals him as more of a scientist than a line cook, and the exhibition focuses on his voluminous notes and recipe books.
As well as a wall covered in graphs explaining taste reception in relation to smell, there was a room downstairs that played a documentary that asks “is this food art?” The answer, of course, is yes.
Text by John Hutt
Images courtesy elBullifoundation