Ferran Adria is one of the best known names in the world of food. Salvador Dali is one of the best known names in the art world. Both men challenged what was considered normal in their respective fields, creating masterpieces that led to worldwide acclaim. And, both are from the Costa Brava region of Spain, where Adria’s El Bulli restaurant was located a few kilometers from Dalí’s home.
It therefore makes sense for the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg to dedicate its newest exhibit to Ferran Adria’s creative vision of food in his exhibition ‘Invention of Food’, which will open on September 25, 2016 until September 27. November 2016. “Adria saw this deeply and experimented so fundamentally with what was possible in food creation that, in a sense, she rediscovered it,” said Dr. Hank Hine, Director of the Dalí Museum. Both Salvador Dalí and Ferran Adrià are known for their innovative imaginations, each with the aim of transforming the experience of their environment.
Hine commented: “Ferran amazes your expectations like Dalí, and uses the medium of food to ask questions about the world and the way we see it.”
El Bulli was one of the first restaurants in the world to focus on transformative and avant-garde cuisine. Under Adria’s leadership, El Bulli earned three Michelin stars and was voted the number one restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine. The reservations were made by lottery because only 8,000 seats were sold each year, although the restaurant received almost 2 million requests. The guests considered it an honor to be able to eat at the small restaurant on the Spanish coast. The restaurant closed in 2011 due to monetary losses, but reopened as a workshop center where other chefs could learn about molecular gastronomy and the exploration of creativity.
Since the closure of El Bulli, Ferran Adria has been the co-author of several cookbooks and has developed a Harvard University course entitled “Science and Cooking.” In 2013, Somerset House in England created an El Bulli retrospective show called “The Art of Food,” which featured sketches, drawings, modeling clay, and special plates and utensils created by Adria for the restaurant. Adria said of that exhibition: “Although the elBulli restaurant is closed, the spirit of elBulli is still alive and this exhibition is one of the ways to keep it that way.
For some, I hope it will bring back fond memories, and for others it will give the taste of an excellent dining experience like no other. Overall, it is an ode to the creativity, imagination, innovation, talent and teamwork of everyone at elBulli, but especially the world famous chefs who trained with us and brought these values to their own restaurants around the world « .
Like the Somerset House exhibit, the Dalí Museum exhibit will showcase Adria’s culinary work with images of her creations combined with her inspirations from the natural world, creative notebooks, and Adria-designed tableware and cookware. Dalí was also a food lover and created wonderful utensils and some food-inspired paintings that will be featured in the exhibition.
Visitors who want to experience the genius of Adria first-hand can try a lobster gazpacho served at Dali’s Cafe Gala. The museum is also hosting a paella party where Adria and Michael Mina will be on hand to discuss food, mix, and present their books. The museum is also hosting seven tribute dinners, each focusing on a specific theme and featuring a special guest chef, to celebrate the museum’s food invention exhibition:
- Tuesday 4 October 2016: Chef Michael Mina “has carefully curated [this dinner] to appeal to all the senses.” Mina, one of the best chefs in the country, named “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage” by the James Beard Foundation, is sure to impress at this meal.
- Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – Chef Jeremy Duclut, winner of the Chopped TV show and American Brasserie Helmets, is inspired by this meal from the Dali series of lithographs depicting the signs of the zodiac: twelve wine courses reflecting design of each print.
- Wednesday 19 October 2016: Chef Tyson Grant, chef at Refinery and Fodder & Sons, will present “a dinner that has no rules in the traditional sense, there will be no starters, no desserts, but a blurring of traditional roles.” and placement in the progression of courses «.
- Sunday 6 November 2016: Sea Salt Chef Fabrizio Aielli will present “Venetian World Cuisine”, allowing diners to explore “authentic traditional flavors of the region, but with scripts from distant culinary palates.”
- Wednesday 9 November 2016: Mise en Place Chef Marty Blitz will compile “ingenious dishes that offer a once-in-a-lifetime journey.”
- Wednesday November 16, 2016 – Food and Beverage Lab Chef Jeannie Pierola will present “pedigree ingredients, both indigenous and exotic, designed with subliminal culinary text to heighten the senses and feed the psyche.”