It’s rare that I take an actual camera with me to a restaurant, but if there ever was a meal that deserved to be photographed from beginning to end, it was this one. NEXT Restaurant’s tribute to El Bulli — Chef Adria’s amazingly innovative restaurant in Spain’s Costa Brava.
I remember the No Reservations episode in which Anthony visits El Bulli during one of its final services. I watched in awe as Chef Adria served course after course after course of the most beautiful and amazing food I’d ever seen. Dishes like these were beyond my realm of imagination and I could hardly believe that such a place existed. Sadly, El Bulli shut its doors a few days after that episode aired.
While it’s impossible to do justice to something so ahead of its time as El Bulli, Chef Achatz and his team at NEXT faithfully recreated 29 of Chef Adria’s courses in an attempt carry on the spirit of a dining experience that was so much more. It was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful, thought-provoking and inspiring things I’ve ever experienced. I’ll never forget it.
The numbers on the left reference the year in which the original course appeared on El Bulli’s menu. The numbers on the right indicate the order in which the dish fell into the entire El Bulli catalogue.
2004 Nitro Caipirinha with Tarragon Concentrate
2000 Hot/Cold Trout Roe Tempura
1991 Coca of Avocado Pear, Anchovies and Green Onion
2007 Black Sesame Spongecake and Miso
1998 Chicken Liquid Croquettes
2003 Carrot Air with Coconut Milk
1997 Cuttlefish and Coconut Ravioli with Soy, Ginger and Mint
1992 Savory Tomato Ice with Oregano and Almond Milk Pudding
2001 Hot Crab Aspic with Mini Corn Cous-Cous
2000 Cauliflower Cous-Cous with Solid Aromatic Herb Sauce
1998 Potato Tortilla by Marc Singla
2007 Nasturtium with Eel, Bone Marrow and Cucumber
2000 Civet of Rabbit with Hot Apple Jelly
1999 Foie Gras Caramel Custard
1993 Creme Flute, 1989 Puff Pastry Web
WOW! What an ambitious and impressive dinner! I gasped when I saw the Gorgonzola Balloon! You are a lucky lady!
What a wonderful thing that you got to attend this event. I watched the jaw dropping No Reservations episode and couldn’t believe my eyes at the creations. I do appreciate you taking the time to post all of the photos. I’ll live vicariously through you. 🙂 You must still be reeling.
Whoa nelly! Thank you for sharing. It’s almost poetic really. I’m licking my chops at the mere thought of foie gras partnered with caramel. What was your favorite course?
I really loved the carrot air with coconut milk and the trumpet carpaccio. The chocolate donuts were also awesome and they were a one-bite treat that literally bursted in your mouth. So hard to choose a favorite!
There are no words!! This looks incredible. How did you have enough light for those great restaurant photos?
Luckily the restaurant is relatively well lit. Plus, it didn’t hurt that my point and shoot has a pretty low f-stop. I’d never use flash in a restaurant — especially that one!
I hate you for this.
I love you for this.
Haha. That’s fair.
Holy shit this is the awesomest thing I have ever seen! i’m so jealous of you! That gorgonzola balloon is crazy!
What an incredible menu, I want it all!
Om my goodness! Incredibly insane and wonderful all at the same time! Looks like the best night out…
A Bourdain fan myself for many years now… I wish I could have eaten at El Bulli 😦 But it’s great to see this!