Here's an interesting piece of news from Spain, courtesy of La Vanguardia: both the brothers Roca (of El Celler de Can Roca, ranked #2 in the world) and the brothers Adrià (of elBulli and now Tickets and 41 Degrees) are developing new, interdisciplinary concepts they envision as "total gastronomic experiences."
In Roca's case, the plan is to work with the visual artist Fran Aleu to create an igloo-like space adjacent their restaurant in Girona, Spain, where twelve diners will sit around a table to experience a kind of "culinary opera" in twelve acts. There will be video art, as well as different manipulations of smells and colors and sounds. They've already given the idea one test run, and they hope to unveil the project on 12/12/2012. "The more that cooking connects with other disciplines, the better it becomes," said chef Joan Roca. "There is something bold about that dialogue which we should push further."
And nearby in Barcelona, Albert Adrià wants to keep tweaking his 41 Degrees concept, which recently transitioned from cocktail bar to 16-seat tasting restaurant. The project he has in mind is called "Frosted Rain," and it is inspired by the sculpture that will serve as the centerpiece of the environment. The piece is made up of over 20,000 crystals, and Adrià plans to project images on it and manipulate sounds within the space. It's all part of the desire to do something that doesn't "fit into the category of restaurant." He'll also be rolling out a ticketing system, much like the one in place at Grant Achatz's Next in Chicago, whereby people will pay 250 Euro in advance of their meal. He plans on serving the first "Frosted Rain" meal on April 20th.
These developments come only months after Achatz announced plans to "overhaul the experience" at his restaurant Alinea and push himself to "think off the plate."