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Look Inside Ferran Adrià's elBulli Art Exhibit in NYC

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

[Photos: Daniel Krieger]

On Friday morning, legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià led a tour of his drawings and papers from the now-shuttered elBulli, currently on display at the Drawing Center in New York City. Called "Notes on Creativity," the much-anticipated exhibit showcases how Adrià used techniques like list-making, illustrations, archiving, and visualizations to create new dishes. Among the items on display are an illustrated history of cooking (including key moments in history like the big bang and the discovery of salt), a colorful clay mock-up showing how a dish would be plated, and several diagrams including Adrià's just-unveiled Decoding the Genome of Cooking map. It should be pointed out that "Notes on Creativity" is a distinct exhibit from last year's London exhibition dedicated to the history of elBulli.

During the tour, Adrià conceded that it is "not normal" that he hung on to nearly every piece of paper he used while creating his menus at elBulli. He also said that the process of working on the exhibit — the layout and organization for which he credits the museum — will serve as a template for how he will approach his upcoming elBulli 1846, a 4,000 square-meter "expo/lab" he plans to open under the umbrella of the elBulliFoundation in Spain by 2016. "Notes on Creativity" will head to Cleveland this Fall. Below, photos from the exhibit:

[Photos: Daniel Krieger]

"Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity" is now open.
More information is available here:

· All Ferran Adrià Coverage on Eater [-E-]