Here's a look inside the creative process at Mugaritz, chef Andoni Luis Aduriz's two-Michelin starred Spanish restaurant that's currently ranked #4 on the World's 50 Best list. Mugaritz closes for four months every year, during which time the team devises their next menu. In a blog post today, Mugaritz explains how the pictures above come into play: "One of the kitchen walls is covered with 81 drawings. Ideas that chefs need to decode and shape into the 50 new dishes for the new season. These culinary proposals go through 3 menu rehearsals." Every year the R&D team devises about 100 dishes. For 2014, the restaurant promises "dishes that make sound, appetizers that disappear in your mouth and the most delicious cream ever made."
This process is similar to Ferran Adrià's creative process at elBulli (where Aduriz worked and spent time on the R&D team) : He would close elBulli for six months of the year and, as a recent exhibit in NYC demonstrated, use visualizations as part of his creative culinary process to develop a new menu while the restaurant was closed. Along with 50 new dishes, Aduriz and his team are also working on developing a smellovision app and opening a new casual restaurant in Spain. Mugaritz reopens on April 9th.