elBulli: The Book & Creative Next Chapter


This hefty book recently arrived at the shop. A howling wind kept most visitors at bay on this January day in Maine, giving me an opportunity to open the cover on this amazing work, published by Phaidon Press just over three years ago. I was not disappointed.

Its author, famous Spanish chef Ferran Adria of elBulli, the now closed restaurant, on a rural coast near Barcelona,  which he took to the level of 3 Michelin stars. Yes it is about food but it is not a cookbook and while it tells the story of one day at the restaurant, it is about much more than the restaurant itself.

It illustrates the Creative Process of the celebrated chef and artist – marrying the left and right brain actions – from the big picture concept and artistry to the smallest and simplest of details of what made elBulli hum.

It worked its magic on me in under 15 minutes as I found myself expanding an upcoming afternoon of Jazz at Barnswallow Books into a Mediterranean food experience.

For those food lovers who didn’t make it to his table before its 2011 closing, this book offers a vicarious thrill. But to those of us who adore the process of creativity, this work is a gold mine. Adria has been happily toiling away in his chrysalis called the elBulli Foundation and promises to offer the world a whole new model for creativity when he emerges.