Soup’s On

Special occasion coming up? How about dinner at a nice little hilltop place in Spain?

Image by Francesc Guillamet (

El Bulli is a fifty year old restaurant that has repeatedly been named the top restaurant in the world by an international group of restauranteurs. The top chef is Ferran Adria who specializes in deconstructivist cooking.

What sets the menu apart at El Bulli is how their 48 chefs use science and technology to wring absolutely new tastes from the simplest of ingredients. An apprentice could find herself making edible paper from soybeans and potato starch, creating food foam with an immersion blender, wielding liquid nitrogen to flash freeze or to shatter a glaze and trapping aromas in edible bags for an amusing garnish.

The back story at this restaurant is a crew of science wonks intent on discovering new frontiers on the surface of an egg. A typical meal has upwards of 40 courses, albeit some served together, takes 4 -5 hours to eat and costs the lucky diner $400+ depending upon the wine pairings.

The restaurant is only open 6 months out of the year, at capacity it seats 8,000 diners, and there are reportedly 2 million reservation requests annually. (Wikipedia)

Here’s the bad news.

The restaurant will close its doors for good July 31, 2011. Since it is impossible to serve all of the people who want to eat there, the plan is to re-open as a Culinary Creative Center in 2014. If you still want to try your luck at getting a reservation, scroll the comments on Chowhound or live vicariously through a recent diner’s blog detailing his experience with lots of great photos.

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