In an interview with TIME released yesterday, Ferran Adria finally clarifies some of the crucial details about the El Bulli shuttering. During the "two year hiatus" that Adria originally mentioned, the restaurant will be transformed into a non-profit culinary research and training center where Adria and his staff will work with 25 young chefs a year to develop new ideas and techniques. The product of this work will be catalogued in one video and one book to be released each year. Adria is quick to note that this is not a culinary school: "This is about creativity more than cooking...We're not going to be teaching anyone how to break down a cod." The chefs that complete their training will then go on to represent the organization at chef's conferences and culinary schools.
And herein lies the crucial detail about the shuttering. As we know, El Bulli was never making any money serving customers. The profit that Adria and his team do make comes from things like speaking engagements and publications. So, basically, Adria has just revised the El Bulli business model to expand upon the avenues that are most profitable. Despite these changes, El Bulli will continue to serve customers.
When the organization reopens after the two year restructuring, it will do so with the original dining room and kitchen intact. Adria announces that each year, 60 meals will be served in the exact same space, with the likelihood of bonus "impromptu tastings" apart from these dinners. The schedule for these meals has not been announced, but Adria notes: "We're changing the economic model, and we're changing the reservation system... But we're still going to be feeding people."
So there you have it, El Bulli will reopen and probably be even harder to get into than ever. Unless Adria changes his mind in a few hours. We'll keep you posted.
·Ferran Adria and The Future Of El Bulli [TIME]
·All Elbulligeddon Coverage on Eater [-EN-]