Page 1

11 0


Ferran AdriĂ Notes on Creativity

The Drawing Center January 25 – February 28, 2014 Main Gallery | The Lab ACE MUSEUM Los Angeles, California May 4 – July 31, 2014 Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Cleveland, Ohio September 26, 2014 – January 18, 2015 Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, Minnesota September 17, 2015 – January 3, 2016 Marres House for Contemporary Culture Maastricht, The Netherlands March 20 – June 12, 2016

Ferran AdriĂ Notes on Creativity

Curated by Brett Littman

D R A W I N G P A P E R S 11 0

Conversation between Brett Littman and Ferran AdriĂ Essay by Richard Hamilton

“Notes” on Notes on Creativity: Ferran Adrià and Brett Littman in Conversation

Brett Littman: Ferran, I think many people are going to come to The Drawing Center thinking that they are going to see finely rendered drawings of the dishes you made at elBulli. But instead we titled this exhibition “Notes on Creativity” and are going to focus on the sketches, charts, lists, creative notebooks, and diagrams that underpin the practical, intellectual, and philosophical breakthroughs you have made in gastronomy. I want to ask you, what does the term “creativity” mean to you? Ferran Adrià: For me, creativity is not a job; it’s a way of understanding life. I have used cooking as a language to develop that creativity and also to have a dialogue with other disciplines like design, science, art, and architecture. To get up every morning not knowing what is going to happen during the day is what inspires me to continue creating. Why has creativity been so central to your thinking? In 1987 I decided that reproducing the same dish again and again wouldn’t be the driving force behind my career. I wanted to create new dishes. Logically speaking, creativity in cooking is something that has to be developed in a restaurant. This is what we did at elBulli. On the one hand, there was the creative process, which evolved over time. On the other hand, there was the subsequent reproduction of our creations. To make an analogy, the first part (the creative process) would be the composition of a piece of music. The second part (reproduction) would be equivalent to the interpretation of this work by an orchestra. You have said “creativity means not copying.” This idea of creativity, in a way, forced you to re-organize the whole concept of how elBulli would operate. The essence of elBulli was not to run the most commercially successful restaurant in the world but to support the development of, what in the end, turned out to be 1,846 new dishes added to the history gastronomy. Can you talk about some of the innovations you introduced at elBulli to help foster such a creative environment? When we say “creativity is not copying” we are using a metaphor but, in fact, we are talking about honesty. Every creator sometimes uses the ideas of other creators. However, it’s crucial to be honest and if these creations


are used to propel your own creations, you have to admit this fact at all times. For me, this is being honest. Furthermore, at elBulli we tried to continually reinvent for 25 years and I think that we managed to do it. Many business schools and creatives from other fields have investigated how this was possible. In fact, the genome of the creative process, upon which this exhibition is based, was born from our trying to understand how it was possible for us to work with so much efficiency and effectiveness. Fundamental among the points we identified as producing this level of efficiency are the following: For certain, the format of our calendar—i.e. the restaurant being open for six months and then the restaurant being closed for six months— was fundamental, considering that we could approach every year as a new start. It’s easier to apply this calendar format to disciplines such as art, music, painting, where the creator can decide to stop working for a period. In other fields, like industrial design, this format is more difficult to reproduce. Also, we were very aware of the necessity to avoid falling into monotony. For this reason, we constantly changed timetables, calendars, and the people on our our team. This last fact is very important: I don´t create alone, but as part of a team. To be able to count upon Albert Adrià, Oriol Castro, Albert Raurich, Eduard Xatruch, and Mateu Casañas, among others, resulted in our ability to innovate more, due to the multiplication of talent. Not being afraid to take risks and to believe in something was another important factor. At elBulli, financial profit was not our objective. In fact, the objective was to break even. It was a philosophical matter: creative pursuit shouldn’t make money. We had other businesses that did: consultancy and assessment, advertising, etc. This purity of ideal was vital to maintain our level of efficiency. You are very analytic in the way you approach cooking. Research, experimentation, analysis, and documentation seem to be primary to developing new dishes. How do you balance all of that rationality with the chaos that usually accompanies unbridled creativity?


I love chaos and anarchy, but in order to be efficient and effective it is essential to have order. This is our philosophy when we are in the creative process: anarchy only works in a framework of order. The investigation, that is to say, our research about developments throughout history was vital in this process for us, otherwise it would happen as it has many times—we could have copied things that already existed. In our case, research was more and more bound together with creativity. Do you think that creativity is valued in society today? Without a doubt. But you have to keep in mind that this process dates back some 40,000 years, that is to say, when the human mind was sufficiently intelligent to create. All human evolution is based on creativity, which is why it’s important not to magnify this as if it were something new. Creativity has always existed. The difference is that we’re much more intelligent now, there are many more of us, and we can rely on many more tools. What do you tell students about creativity? Do you think everyone can be “creative”? The most important thing, not only for students but for anyone, is not to give creativity excessive importance. When we hear the word creativity associated with the word genius, we can be suspicious. There are many people that can develop work without being creative that are marvelous, and others who dedicate themselves to creativity but we are not better because of it. The most important thing is the human perspective, one’s personality, and the proximity to the creative act. If one treats creativity as something normal, without believing it to be something divine, it will be much easier for this creativity to be long-lasting. Having said that, there are always creatives who are very talented, but leave a lot to be desired on a human level. In an interview in GQ in July 2011 you said, “I don’t have a favorite cooking tool. In the kitchen, I always have my pencil and notebook in my hand. I cook more theoretically than I do practically. My job is creative, and in the kitchen, the biggest part of my creativity is


theoretical. The pencil has a symbolic meaning for me. The type of person who carries a pencil around is the type of person who’s open to change. Someone who walks around with a pen isn’t; he’s the opposite. I always have a pencil with me, to the point where it forms a part of me. I write a lot during the day.” This is very true—every time we have met and worked together on this exhibition you always have a pencil and paper ready to illustrate a point. When did you first start to carry around a pad and pencil in the kitchen and elBulli Atelier? From the beginning we used a pencil and notebook because there were no computers. I belong to the generation that lives between the past— the era of the pencil and notebook, and the present—represented by computers. Why a pencil? Because it gives me the sensation that I can change what I have written. Furthermore, it’s a humble tool that I love, and it reflects a little bit our philosophy in the kitchen—a potato is as good as caviar. One of the most interesting aspects of elBulli, from an art perspective, is that you, Alberto, Oriol, and Marc were all able to use visualization techniques (drawings, sketches, notes, charts, photography) to communicate in the kitchen and Taller (workshop). How did the elBulli team learn to express themselves in visual terms? Alberto started to create together in 1987; Oriol joined us in 1996. The three of us worked together for fifteen years. When we were immersed in our creative sessions, such as can be seen in the film elBulli, Cooking in Progress (2011), just a glance between us was sufficient to understand each other. We used the drawings as a record, like the minutes of a meeting, of everything we were doing. This also gave form and order to what we created. This was the orderly and non-anarchic part of the creative process. Although we started using computers later, there was always an initial phase in which we used notes. We could term this our visual alphabet and drawings were used to accompany these notes. What is the origin of the series of drawings that you made about the “History of Cooking” and why did you choose to draw this?


When we decided to take a sabbatical period of a few years to investigate and try to understand what had come before and investigate the origins of cooking, we started to look back through history, all the way to the evolution of mankind. Although history is a subject that we all studied at school, continual discovery of new finds and breakthroughs goes on modifying the story we have known. Furthermore, I was given a paint box as a gift and decided, one day, to create a visual storyboard of the history of cooking. My idea was to do it by using drawings, almost like cartoons. Thanks to this process I was able to mentally imagine what had happened because, of course, none of us were there. What we are going to present in the exhibition is a certain aspect of our work. The first we refer to as “theory of the evolution of food and cooking,” which corresponds to the period from the beginning of humankind through the Neolithic age. This, together with the “relative theory on the evolution of culinary art” (corresponding to various civilizations up to 1370 in the Middle Ages, the publication date of the first book that contains important documentation) and the “verified history of the evolution of western culinary art,” form part of a much greater project—the “evolutionary analysis of western culinary art,” through which we want to determine the history and evolution of our discipline. For this exhibition we are premiering a new body of research that you have just completed called “Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking.” You have said to me that this is one of the most important projects that you have ever worked on. Can you explain the basis for this research and how this can be used by future chefs and cooking students? One of the principal motivators when we initiated the Bullipedia project was to understand what cooking is. To that end, we went through all the definitions of cooking and asked ourselves, “When did cooking begin?” There is no clear boundary of when cooking began because some very primary manipulations exist that could be considered as non-cooking.


As a result we decided to do a scientific and evolutionary analysis of cooking. As a result, in terms of Bullipedia, we decided to name the act of cooking: the gastronomic process—that is to say, the gastronomic process means: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Pick a product. Decide whether or not to apply technology. Use culinary techniques. This becomes an elaboration that may be an intermediate or final elaboration. This produces a final result, which we decide to serve or preserve.

This is the basic process, which has many variables. In order to carry out an exhaustive and complete analysis of the gastronomic process, we’ve decoded its genome to enable us to analyze each of its constituent parts in a detailed manner. Consequently, the genome of the gastronomic process is the system by which we put together the products, tools, techniques, elaborations, and other aspects that form part of the gastronomic process. You are also very enthusiastic about technology and the Internet. Specifically platforms like Wikipedia, Google, and Twitter. In response you have been developing BulliPedia in collaboration with students at Barcelona University and chefs around the world. What is BulliPedia and how do you think it will be used to further innovations in gastronomy? Bullipedia is one of our most ambitious projects. The initial idea was to create a thematic encyclopedia of elBulli, taking advantage of all the information we had in the General Catalogue. In fact, in the press release of January 2010 in which we announced the transformation of elBulli, a decision to create an encyclopedia of techno-emotional cuisine had already been undertaken. In order to carry out this project, we started to thematically produce work on the evolutionary analysis of the culinary families. But in February of 2012 we realized that in order to do the evolutionary


analysis correctly we would need information that preceded elBulli. At that moment we decided that Bullipedia would not only be about elBulli, rather we would broaden the scope of the project to include all western culinary arts. This is how the project Bullipedia was born. It is intended as a professional tool based on a codification of a creative discipline. The objectives of Bullipedia are: 1. 2. 3.

Organize all culinary knowledge in a clear, orderly, and concise form. Create an Internet tool that allows access, sorting, use, and exchange of all this knowledge. The idea was inspired by search engines like Google and Yahoo and Internet encyclopedias — Wikipedia is the perfect expression of this. Propose a model that can also be incorporated by other disciplines.

Bullipedia will serve as a way of informing oneself in a quick and reliable manner, to accumulate knowledge, and to help in the process of creation. However, we are sketching out other uses, for example, how this knowledge can be used in the field of education. In effect, Bullipedia can be a model of how to organize knowledge and teach it in an educational setting. Can you talk a bit about your relationship with the husband-andwife graphic and industrial design team Luki Huber and Marta MĂŠndez Blaya? I would imagine that there are no other kitchens in the world that have ever worked as closely with professionals in these fields. Above all, one of the interesting things we did at elBulli was to work in an interdisciplinary way, and, in this sense, the design world was very important. On the subject of graphic design, our relationship with Marta Mendez was very close. She did all the graphic design for the General Catalogue. It was also Marta who generated the pictograms of products as well as a many of the definitive graphic elements that represent our work. We shared such a good understanding with her it is possible to say that between 2002 and 2011, we jointly created the visual world of elBulli.


Our working relationship with Luki was never the typical one with an industrial designer. We worked together for many years in both the restaurant and Taller and produced many important results. I am interested in how Marta developed the original pictograms, as we have several of her sketchbooks documenting them in the exhibition. Can you talk about how the pictograms came about, what need they served, and how the elBulli team used them in the Taller? These pictograms are extremely important, considering that for us they signified the first stage of our work of giving order to the cooking elements and specifically to the products. In 2001, our classification was basic: Marta transferred it into visual imagery creating an iconography that is very much identified with elBulli and typified by the General Catalogue with its austere, black, minimal pictograms. Today, when we’re working with the classification for Bullipedia, Marta’s work has been the starting point. We also have Luki’s industrial design notebooks and prototypes in the exhibition. Why did you think it was important to develop new tools and special serving dishes and utensils for elBulli? Most chefs would just use what was commercially available. On a technological level, Luki worked at creating the utensils we asked for, so we would be able to develop techniques and new concepts (for example, the candy spiral and its drill adaptor, the parmesan spaghetto with its PVC tube and siphon adaptor, all the spherification materials). Many times these utensils were what enabled us to achieve the desired result, others greatly facilitated the regularity of production. In terms of the tableware, the process was different because there were occasions when our objective was to create a fusion and harmony between the food container and its contents. We also worked with Luki on the snacks and, as in 1997 (the year of our first collaboration with industrial designers, creating the serving dishes for the follies), when we created the tableware of the petit-fours. These have come to be regarded as one of the symbols of elBulli. Without this tableware the petit-fours concept could not have been understood.


Over your career you have had long-term friendships with artists. Last year we had a nice dinner with the Catalonian sculptor Xavier Medina Campeny in Barcelona. Can you talk a bit about the time you spent in his studio, which is documented in the large sketchbook you both contributed to the exhibition? In the winter of 1991–1992 I spent several weeks with Xavier Medina Campeny in his studio in Palo Alto in Barcelona, in what was to be a very important experience—my first with an artist. In effect, this was the first time that I had observed a creative artist working, in this case a sculptor. This led me to contemplate whether the creative process of making a dish had similarities with his creative process of making a sculpture. Given that we’re talking about a discipline in which one works with physical materials, both cases have many similarities. Above all, the experience in Xavier’s studio represented the first time I had undertaken the creative process without using it immediately for the dinner service. I dedicated myself to creativity alone. Both of us worked free of pressure or obligation. Although, in retrospect, I did have to cook dinner for both of us every day. Richard Hamilton was another artist you knew well and who might be one of the only people in the world who ate at elBulli every year it was open—even before you were the chef. Can you talk a little about your relationship with him? That’s true. Richard was the only diner who visited elBulli from its founding in the early sixties until the year of the transformation in 2011. He had come accompanied by Marcel Duchamp, who had a house in Cadaqués and, on occasion, would also come to eat at elBulli. After that, he attended every year without fail. The most incredible thing is that I didn’t know of his status as an artist until 1999 when we did the picture for his Polaroid portraits. From that point on he became the person who made me understand that cooking was a language, and he made me see it as a creative expression. Without a doubt Richard was a very important figure in my career.


Richard described your creative approach to cooking as follows: “Ferran’s genius lies in his intention to develop and perfect a language from what we eat… Ferran’s art is linguistic because he manipulates ingredients like a language which he can model and revitalize so that his creations take a place among other artistic forms.” Do you feel that your work is linguistic or visual? As I said before, Richard always explained that cooking was a language, and that we, at elBulli, had been successful in creating a new semantics and a new alphabet, with new letters and words that didn’t previously exist. In this sense, cooking could be understood from this more linguistic perspective. Well, if we only concentrated on the final result then we would have a more visual approach. However, cooking is not only visual, which is what makes it unique. It is the only creative act in which you use all five senses. This gives it an incredible complexity. The visual context is certainly important, but its tactile sensation or the sense of touch, through temperature and texture, along with taste and flavor, are fundamental. This characteristic is responsible for the great difficulty of cooking in the context of art, which is that it can’t be exhibited or displayed, except in a restaurant. Because of that, this exhibition is meaningful only if we speak of the creative process, not of elBulli’s work itself. Ferran, in your career, you have been very open to learning from and instigating dialogues with other disciplines. Why is sharing knowledge important to you? Initially, the dialogues I established in order to learn were with other chefs and with people from the world of catering. But there was a moment in which we opened ourselves up to other disciplines, because otherwise we considered that it would be a very closed relationship. These dialogues provided new paths when it came time to create: with industrial design we opened up a whole new world related to dishes, technology, etc. The dialogue with science allowed us to understand what was happening at the time of cooking and understand our products from


a new perspective. Photography made us reflect on the presentation of our dishes. Architecture made us see how the kitchen and the dining room in a restaurant should be. Without a doubt this is one of the most important episodes in our trajectory—it created many interesting opportunities for us that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.. How will these dialogues be carried on in the new elBulli Foundation you are creating? Within elBulliDNA, as well as in Bullipedia or elBulli1846, we will be in dialogue with all the creative disciplines. With the creative team of elBulliDNA we will have a team of provocoteurs (designers, artists...). In elBulli1846 we want a group of artists, designers, and architects to work on how to show the history of cooking, articulating it in a way that transforms it into a workshop. In the case of Bullipedia, experts in other disciplines (botany, history…) will be enormously useful in pushing the project forward. The motto of elBullifoundation is significant in this respect. It is a motto that encourages creativity and expresses that we want to use creativity on the inside as well as when looking outside. That is to say: while we want to nourish other people, we also want them to nourish us. The last time we saw each other in June 2013 you took a napkin and wrote “Why Why Why...” many times on one side. You then told me this should be the first page of this catalogue. What do these words mean to you? The “why” is the driving force of all of our work. It means to take nothing for granted, and to ask ourselves if everything, absolutely everything, can be changed, developed, or improved. The “why” is a symbol that reminds us that we don’t know anything, that we have much to learn, and that this is a marvelous fact, since it gives us the strength to continue. It is also important to maintain the necessary degree of humility, better yet, of normalcy, in the face of creativity. I always say that we don’t know anything about cooking, only a little more than those who aren’t dedicated to this trade.


Thought for Food Richard Hamilton

Ferran Adrià’s achievements have taken him from his first humble employment at elBulli as a chef de partie to international stardom. He was voted number one chef for the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award in 2004, number two in 2005, and gained the top award again in 2006. From 2005 to 2008 his ranking as the world’s greatest chef has remained unchallenged and the Pellegrino number one accolade has now been awarded to him for these three successive years. Unassailable in his inventiveness he has been rated by many of his peers as the greatest culinary artist of his generation. His art is of such renown that the world’s most important international art exhibition, Documenta, held quadrennially in Kassel, invited him to contribute to the event in 2007. After months of consideration he came to a very wise decision. Rather than compete with the visual artists in the halls of the Fridericianum he would exhibit his art in his own elBulli kitchen at Cala Montjoi, an isolated bay on the Costa Brava. His restaurant would become a pavilion of Documenta—at a distance of some 860 miles from Kassel but worth a detour. The link would be a daily trickle of art lovers from Kassel selected by the Documenta organizers to experience Adrià’s unique genius to the full. Cuisine does not fit easily into what is accepted as art in the normal sense of the word. One dictionary defines “art” as “the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.” That does not get anywhere near describing whatever it is that Adrià does; another definition, “a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice,” covers a great deal but hardly does justice to Adrià’s sublime skills. A definition that takes us a little closer is, “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” Marcel Duchamp preferred another definition, “etymologically speaking the word art means make”— Duchamp liked to think of himself as an artisan but while making his Large Glass he bought a readymade urinal, titled it Fountain, submitted it for an exhibition in 1917 and inadvertently created one of the most famous artworks of the twentieth century. Definitions are not helpful in determining Adrià’s area of competence.


The questions raised by Adrià’s inclusion in Documenta make it necessary to figure out what kind of artist he is. I remember telling Juli Soler several years ago what I thought was extraordinary about Adrià was his poetic sensibility, and that there is a lyrical quality in what he does. Now that I’ve had time to think about the question more analytically I’ve begun to ask myself what constitutes this poetry and what kind of relationship there can be between poetry and the nature of the life enhancing epics he creates. The meals, long sessions filled with a precisely timed sequence of sensations are closer to literature than any other art form. It is not simply that he has taken the best of ingredients and cooked them to perfection, nor that he has created a unique style of preparing and presenting a string of oral pleasures: Adrià’s genius lies in his developing and refining a language of food. Writers use a given language to tell a story or to communicate information. The greatest writers find a need to adopt, change, and reinvent words; they have a propensity to bend the meaning of words in such a way that the language itself is changed. Great wordsmiths like Chaucer and Shakespeare extended the vocabulary of English and refined its syntax so that we recognise the merit and beauty of a text through its inventive rigour as much as the emotional content of its narrative. Ferran’s art is “linguistic” in that he manipulates food as a language that can be remodeled and revitalized so that his creations take their place among other art forms. His genius is directed by an ambition to redefine and develop a medium; from monosyllabic grunts he has created a means of discourse, with all the necessary components: vocabulary, syntax, grammar, and rhythm. When elBulli closes each October, Ferran Adrià retreats to his Barcelona laboratory to conceive a menu for the year to come. It is not a matter of shuffling the dishes and revamping the ingredients: returning to Montjoi for a new season, elBulli’s regular guests are greeted by an entirely new opus, as different as Puccini’s La Bohème is from his Butterfly. As the menu progresses a recurrent theme evolves. I remember the year that oils were at the heart of the story line: olive, walnut, sesame, almond, hazel, pistachio, coconut. All emerged with subtle references and in a variety of guises, the form offering no hint of the experience on the palate.


An opposite, yet related, experience comes to mind. In 1979, while working in Japan on a project with the Lux Corporation, the foremost manufacturers of hi-fi equipment, I was taken by my minder, a company executive who never left my side, to a less than modest restaurant underneath a group of railway arches in Osaka. My friend informed me that the chef was a great and much respected master. There were two or three diners sitting at small tables and an empty counter at which we sat on high stools. The master chef, an elderly sage, sat on a high stool in a corner and did nothing but silently watch a younger man whom I supposed to be his son. A discussion took place between my friend and the young chef and agreement was reached that we would eat the flat fish being presented for inspection. The chef drew a razor sharp knife lightly across the soft dark skin in meticulously parallel lines. With each diagonal cut a strip of skin rolled itself into a perfect curl which was carefully placed upon a plate and put aside. The knife then lifted the unbroken flesh from each side of the bone leaving a perfectly clean, intact, skeleton. The flesh was cooked and we ate our fish with serious pleasure. Meanwhile a gentleman had arrived at the counter and after discussion with the chef had placed his order. A few minutes later I noticed that our neighbor had been given the plate containing the uncooked curls of skin from our fish—over which I felt some proprietary rights. I whispered to my companion, “He’s eating our skin.” He replied, “I know. It is more expensive than our flesh.” I was speechless. My companion went on to ask, “Would you like to try the bones?” Intrigued by this once in a lifetime opportunity I welcomed the challenge. The pristine trellis of the skeleton was brought back to the counter, the spine was removed by the young chef with two deft cuts to leave a pair of latticed sheets which were cut into one inch squares of bone. Deep fried for a moment in very hot oil and drained, they produced deliciously crisp morsels that melted like fragile flakes of pastry in the mouth. On the following day, a magnificent party took place to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of Lux and the opening of a large new building to house the company. The event was attended by executives of Lux distribution agencies throughout the world who were flown in by Lux for the occasion. The elderly chef I had met


under the railway arches the night before had been commissioned to provide exquisitely prepared sushi and other dishes and to act as master of ceremonies for the several hundred guests. No longer silent, and colourfully dressed in traditional costume, he greeted me with warmth. It seemed sacrilege to take his fragile flowerlike creations, so different from the purist offerings of the previous night, and to destroy them in an instant with a cruel bite. My meeting with a fish under railway arches in Osaka, in an unprepossessing restaurant with an atmosphere of ascetic detachment and reductive clarity, takes us far from the sensuous luxury of elBulli. Ferran Adrià’s approach to food, though allied to the gastronomy of Japan, has a hint of Catalan anarchy that makes it quite distinctive. What elBulli has in common with a noble Japanese restaurant is its aesthetic motivation, its ambition to provide a wonderment similar to that found when looking at a great painting, listening to an unaccompanied Bach cello suite or reading a Shakespeare sonnet. A master chef must conceive, compose, imagine, and present a sequence of sensations that excite a similar wonder, but the ephemeral nature of food imposes a serious disadvantage. A great meal is prepared, presented, and consumed: it lives on only in memory, and the residues of the experience suffer an ignominious end. There is no score, no paint on canvas, no page of text to be repeatedly relished, just a menu, a souvenir, to prove that the experience was not a phantasm. Knut Jensen, collector, founder, patron, and director of Louisiana, a great museum of modern art in Denmark, had a large collection of plastic facsimiles of Japanese food in his home. Would he have tolerated a fake painting in the museum he loved? Artistic photographs of food spread like a disease through fashion magazines, but an image of something gobsmackingly edible is not necessarily art. Several postmodern artists have approached the subject of food obliquely. Marcel Broodthaers’ Casserole et moules fermées has nothing to do with the taste of mussels, and although it is conceivable that some visitors coming across the assisted readymade in a museum might be reminded of the experience of eating a dish of steamed mussels, that is not the point of Broodthaers’ work, which falls into the category of “common object.” Is Claes Oldenburg’s enormous


Burger soft sculpture likely to induce salivation? The often performed fluxus event, Make a Salad, was created by Alison Knowles in 1962 and presented as an iconic work at Tate Modern in May 2008. The giant salad, of lettuce, tomato, carrot, and cucumber all dressed with olive oil, herbs, and balsamic vinegar, was made in front of and served to an audience of 300 people. Alison Knowles was not demonstrating her skills as a chef but her authority as an artist. Dieter Roth often used food as a medium; salami, minced meat, yogurt, and his favourite pigment, chocolate, were used in prints, books, paintings, and sculpture. The risks were great because organic matter decays rapidly and little of his work was purchased by museums for fear of contamination spreading throughout their collections. An enthusiastic Swiss collector of Roth’s work, desperate to stop the rot, stored his most vulnerable pieces in a deep-freeze. Daniel Spoerri classified one aspect of his work as Eat Art. In 1967 Spoerri opened the Restaurant Spoerri, itself an artwork, in Düsseldorf. From this small beginning a more lucrative product developed, to which he gave the name snare-pictures. Special clients, often artist friends spending an evening enjoying dinner in the restaurant, found themselves collaborators in Spoerri’s art. When his guests had gone the tabletop was preserved: the tablecloth with stains and spills, the plates, cutlery, glasses, bottles, the ashtrays with cigarette butts, every item carefully glued to the surface exactly as left. These picture-traps were entitled Eaten by …, an example of which is Eaten by Marcel Duchamp. A dinner takes place over a set time, as does a musical composition or the performance of a play in a theatre. Experiencing a painting or sculpture takes as much or as little time as the viewer is prepared to give it. Food, at the level of high art, is not interpreted in the manner of a musical performance when each rendition depends upon the personality of an interpreter. Eating is more demanding than listening because physical participation and individual reactions require a greater degree of involvement. It also necessitates the covert presence of the artist, the auteur, to attain consummation. While the debate on the question of Ferran’s classification as an artist unfolds, it becomes clear that elBulli is a troupe of players operating at


the top of its form, writing scripts and staging the event superbly, in a theatre of its own making. Performance of the presentation of the artwork in the auditorium, the restaurant is as labour intensive as the backstage activity in the kitchen. At elBulli the combined number of chefs and serving staff greatly exceeds the number of diners; a ratio of 1 guest to 1.4 staff is necessary if the standard of service at the table is to equal that of the technical achievements in the kitchen. The talents of the maître d’hotel are of great importance not only as the leading player but also as director of the ensemble; Juli’s role, shaped over many years, softens elBulli’s increasingly awesome reputation. To be welcomed into the unpretentious atmosphere created by the stars of the show, Juli Soler and Lluís García, is a promise of enchantment. The scene is set as the sun dims over the Mediterranean and the terrace overlooking the cove of Montjoi is alive with expectation. Originally published in Food for Thought: Thought for Food, eds. Vincent Todoli and Richard Hamilton (Barcelona/New York: Actar, 2009). Reprinted in this volume by permission.


I. Drawings, Diagrams, Wall Graphics


Theory of Culinary Evolution At what point can we say that cooking exists? Perhaps since fire was discovered and harnessed? Or since the time man was capable of combining different flavors? Hypotheses regarding the different phases of human development during the Paleolithic era are, in many cases, always evolving. Even so, paleontologists and archaeologists, in addition to aiding progress at a technological level, contribute to finding and explaining new discoveries. This selection of sixty drawings aims to advance a theory of culinary evolution. Symbolically, beginning with the Big Bang, the formation of the solar system and the earth, and the appearance of life, these drawings sketch a theory of how and what early humans fed themselves: the gathering of vegetal species and the consumption of meat, first from dead animals and then from hunting. This act brought about an increase in cerebral mass and, as a consequence, the evolution of intelligence. After the discovery and control of fire, man took ownership of his surroundings until, by the Neolithic period, he established himself in stable settlements and, with the appearance of agriculture and the husbandry of livestock, “domesticated� nature. The point of departure for cooking as we know it today is the Neolithic period.


PLS . 4– 63

Theory of Culinary Evolution, 2013

Pictograms These pictograms, conceived of by the graphic designer Marta MÊndez Blaya in 2001 for elBulli’s General Catalogue, are the visual representation of the classification of products used at the atelier and restaurant. In the proceeding years, the pictograms proved very useful when it came time to group the different families of products; they also served as the evolutionary analysis of the recipes. As the starting point for the classification of products, the pictograms are currently being elaborated more thoroughly for the online database Bullipedia.


PLS . 64 / 65

Pictogram (Fish Offal), 2001/2013 / Pictogram (Furred Game), 2001/2013

PLS . 66 / 67

Pictogram (Seeds), 2001/2013 / Pictogram (Dried Pulses), 2001/2013

Map of the Creative Process: Decoding the Genome of Creativity At elBulli, the efficiency of creativity became paramount. This is the reason that, if one notes the dates on calendars, schedules, flowcharts, spaces, creative methods, and logistics from the late 1980s until the closing of the restaurant in 2011, every year produced significant changes, some of great importance: closing the restaurant for six months of the year, having a single dinner service, eliminating the menu, taking a year-long sabbatical in creativity but not in production, and the creation of different studios. Analyzing how to improve efficiency required the identification of the “genes� that form the genome of the creative process: how to establish the most appropriate calendars, methods, and team models; how to motivate attitudes; how to encourage potential. At the same time, this genome served as a creative audit, which is embodied in the production of elBulli’s annual book, beginning with Evolutionary Analysis.


PL . 68

Map of the Creative Process: Decoding the Genome of Creativity, 2013

Creative Pyramid The Creative Pyramid represents the four different degrees of creativity. From the perspective of cooking, the first level is the lowest, copying a recipe, for example, in which there is barely any creativity. The second level is a version of a known recipe, where there is a creative attitude, but one that stems from an existing dish. The third level is the invention of a new recipe. In this case one has the desire to invent something that didn’t previously exist. The fourth level is the creation of new techniques and concepts that enable the invention of multiple recipes.


PL . 69

Creative Pyramid, 2013

La asociación (The Association)—The Origin of Bullipedia The ways of creating at elBulli, known as la asociación (The Association), were the start of Bullipedia. Initially la asociación dealt with producing lists of each of the elements that constitute cooking and subsequently using them, as the name indicates, to make associations and to arrive at combinations between tastes, preparations, techniques, garnishes, etc., that might give rise to a new dish. Beginning with these lists, which were converted into alphabetical drawings, one can sense the encyclopedic predilection and organization that became a crucial tool to analyze cooking. Bullipedia was born, therefore, from the intention to embrace all the elements that constitute cooking, and to arrange them in the most rational way possible. With the introduction of new technology, this system of lists and classifications became an ideal tool with which to access the knowledge of culinary products, techniques, and preparations, while also facilitating creativity.


PLS . 70 –71

La asociación (The Association)—The Origin of Bullipedia, 1987–88

PL . 72

La asociación (The Association)—The Origin of Bullipedia, 1987–88

PL . 73

La asociación (The Association)—The Origin of Bullipedia, 1987–88

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking The genome of the culinary process lies in the evolutionary map of the General Catalogue, which was produced in 2001 and already identified some of the elements that indicate what cooking is. Years of testing this map has refined the awareness of what it is to cook.


PL . 74

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking, 2013

PL . 75

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking, 2012–13

PL . 76

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking, 2012–13

PL . 77

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cooking, 2012–13

Map of the Gastronomic Process: Reproduction, Decoding the Genome of Gastronomy AdriĂ consistently used drawing as a tool in the process of creating his cuisine, and he continues to use pencil and paper to give form to his thinking. As a synthesis of his creative process, AdriĂ  worked with the graphic designers Bestiario to develop a unique visual language used to construct a new cartography, with which to communicate the immense richness of the world of cooking throughout its history.


PL . 78

Map of the Gastronomic Process: Reproduction, Decoding the Genome of Gastronomy, 2013

Bullipedia Bullipedia is an internet database based on the codification of the culinary discipline. It will serve to obtain information in an ordered, quick, and reliable way, accumulating knowledge while navigating and helping to create new recipes.


PL . 79

Screen shot from Bullipedia, beta phase

II. Vitrines


Creativity Over the years the chefs at elBulli filled notebooks with the ideas that emerged in the studio and from which they would create new techniques, concepts, dishes, and innovative preparations. Creative ideas could emerge in the studio but also at any moment during daily life. These sheets of paper form part of the legacy of elBulli’s methodology for creating.


PL . 80

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 81

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 82

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 83

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 84

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 85

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

PL . 86

For Dom Perignon Rose, 2011

PL . 87

Dom Perignon Dinner at elBulli Restaurant, 2011

Plasticine Molds for Handmade Repetition In cooking, dimensions and proportions are very important, and the more sophisticated the style of the cuisine, the more decisive these can become. Conscious of this, elBulli needed a model that would allow the accurate reproduction of each dish. For a time the kitchen resorted to photographs, but these did not completely solve the problem, because the proportions of each element continued to be difficult to determine. Plasticine was then used to make molds of each element and of each dish to ensure accuracy. La Menestra (Textured Vegetable Panache), the Iconic Dish of Change La menestra de verduras (textured vegetable panache) is a dish that is made in various regions of Spain. In the early eighties, Michel Bras created one of his legendary dishes, the gargouillou, which brought together a multitude of vegetables and herbs. From that point on the challenge was to create a vegetable dish that responded in elBulli’s style of cooking. Three years of work resulted in La menestra, a dish that is an icon of elBulli’s cuisine. This dish is the one that marks the boundary between nouvelle cuisine and “techno-emotional” cuisine. It is composed solely of different textures: cauliflower mousse, tomato puree, almond sorbet, beetroot foam, basil jelly, corn mousse, peach water ice, and the buttery texture of avocado in its natural state.


PL . 88

La Menestra (Textured Vegetable Panache), 1994 (top–bottom: plasticine molds; final dish; notebook drawing)

Industrial Design In 2001 elBulli began its collaboration with the Swiss designer Luki Huber, which represented a revolution in the dialogue between cooking and industrial design. The collaboration began with the dishes for the snacks, thinking about the container and its contents at the same time. The collaboration led to dozens of correspondences between dishes, silverware, utensils, and appliances for cooking, which were awarded with the Raymond Loewy Foundation’s Lucky Strike Design Award in 2006. Candy Nylon Adaptor, 2005 The solution to the problem of producing an edible candy thread was to invent this adaptor for a drill. Cocktail spray, 2003 Inspired by a bottle of cologne, this dry martini is sprayed into the mouth as opposed to sipped. Draining Spoon, 2003 These spoons were created in order to be able to pick up and drain the chef’s spherical edible creations. Dragon Kan Spatula, 2004 Halfway between a Chinese spoon and a spatula, this object is used to hold and to place. Compressed elBulli Menu, n.d. An entire elBulli menu contained in a pack of pills made from spices. PVC Tube Mold 2m Spaghetto, 2003 Using a tube and siphon, this device transformed cheese into spaghetti.


PLS . 89 / 90

Candy Nylon Adaptor, 2005 / Cocktail Spray, 2003

PLS . 91 / 92

Draining Spoon, 2003 / Dragon Kan Spatula, 2004

PLS . 93 / 94

Compressed elBulli Menu, n.d. / PVC Tube Mold 2m Spaghetto, 2003

Graphic Design Graphic designer Marta MÊndez Blaya joined elBulli in 2001, from the beginning of the General Catalogue. She is responsible for the drawings, pictograms, and diagrams that explore elBulli’s creativity.


PLS . 95 / 96

Pictograms Notebook, n.d. / Red Pictograms Notebook, n.d.

PLS . 97 / 98

Style Sheets Notebook, n.d. / Profile Notebook, n.d.

PLS . 99 / 100

Apple Notebook, n.d. / “Box Books” Notebook, n.d.

Architecture elBulli Kitchen The kitchen for elBulli, designed by Dolors Andreu in 1993, marked elBulli’s first great architectural collaboration. Until then, the kitchen had been no larger than five-hundred square feet. With elBulli’s aim to carry the concept of cuisine through to its end, the architecture of the kitchen needed to physically manifest and enable this type of cooking. The result was a sprawling kitchen of 3,400 square feet with very modern lines and enough surface area to do the kind of cooking that elBulli has become known for. The New Space, elBullifoundation These are the first drawings for the elBullifoundation, a space where one can reflect on what it means to cook and upon the origins of the creative process. It will also be the new home of the elBulli archive, which houses all of the knowledge and culinary breakthroughs made at the restaurant and studio over the years. elBulli1846 The architectural project of elBulli1846 is based on the concept of a stage set, which allows for maximum flexibility in defining spaces and corresponds to elBulli’s basic motto: “freedom, freedom, freedom.”


PLS . 101–102

Plans for elBulli Kitchen, 1992

PLS . 103–106

Plans for elBullifoundation, n.d.

PLS . 107–108

Model for elBulli1846, 2013

III. Working Boards


PL . 109

Pepo Segura, Interior of elBulli Atelier, 2013

Working Board N째 1: 1998 Menu


PL . 110

Working Board N째 1: 1998 Menu, 1998

PL . 111

Page from Working Board N째 1: 1998 Menu, 1998

PL . 112

Page from Working Board N째 1: 1998 Menu, 1998

Working Board N째 2: 2005 Menu

PL . 113

Working Board N째 2: 2005 Menu, 2005

PL . 114

Page from Working Board N째 2: 2005 Menu, 2005

PL . 115

Page from Working Board N째 2: 2005 Menu, 2005

Working Board N째 3: 2006 Menu

PL . 116

Working Board N째 3: 2006 Menu, 2006

PL . 117

Page from Working Board N째 3: 2006 Menu, 2006

PL . 118

Page from Working Board N째 3: 2006 Menu, 2006

Working Board N째 4: 2008 Menu

PL . 119

Working Board N째 4: 2008 Menu, 2008

PL . 120

Page from Working Board N째 4: 2008 Menu, 2008

PL . 121

Page from Working Board N째 4: 2008 Menu, 2008

Working Boards N째 5, 6: How to Create a Dish The process of creating a dish is meticulous but very simple: first jot down an idea, then develop it; if it works, develop it further.


PL . 122

Page from Working Boards N째 5, 6: How To Create a Dish, n.d.

PL . 123

Page from Working Boards N째 5, 6: How To Create a Dish, n.d.

Working Boards N° 7, 8: Plating Diagrams When elBulli began to invent its own dishes in 1987, it relied on a method of expressing ideas on paper—drawing the placement of food on the plate without knowing exactly what the food was, or what its ingredients were.


PL . 124

Page from Working Boards N° 7, 8: Plating Diagrams, c. 2000–2004

PL . 125

Page from Working Boards N° 7, 8: Plating Diagrams, c. 2000–2004

PL . 126

Page from Working Boards N° 7, 8: Plating Diagrams, c. 2000–2004

PL . 127

Page from Working Boards N° 7, 8: Plating Diagrams, c. 2000–2004

Working Board N° 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish) The number 1846 is both the number of dishes created at elBulli and also corresponds to the entry for Melocotón Melba (Peach Melba), a recipe based on this classic dessert. It is a tribute Auguste Escoffier (b. 1846) who was the author of the original Peach Melba. These are drawings derived from the suggestions of elBulli’s stagers.


PL . 128

Page from Working Board N째 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

PL . 129

Page from Working Board N째 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

PL . 130

Page from Working Board N째 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

PL . 131

Page from Working Board N째 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

PL . 132

Page from Working Board N째 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

Working Board N° 10: The Creative Methods These visual diagrams were designed by Ferran Adrià and Marta Méndez Blaya for the publication of A Day at elBulli: An Insight into the Ideas, Methods and Creativity of Ferran Adrià (2008). They capture the various methods that the elBulli team used to approach the creation of new dishes.


PLS . 133–152

Pages from Working Board N° 10: The Creative Methods, n.d.

IV. Films


1846 1846 is a new film produced by elBullirestaurant, The Drawing Center, and the graphic design firm Mogollon. Conceived of by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, the film presents every dish that Adrià served at elBulli from 1987 to 2011. There are four soundtracks that can be heard during the film, the opera Le livre des illusions (homage à Ferran Adrià) by Bruno Mantovani, which is based on the composer’s experience dining at elBulli, and three ambient recordings including sounds from the elBulli kitchen and dining room, and from the water lapping against the rocks in the cove near the restaurant.


PLS . 153–156

Stills from 1846, 2013

Documenting Documenta A documentary that captures Adrià ’s participation in Documenta 12 (2007), a quinquennial art exhibition that takes place in Kassel, Germany.


PLS . 157–159

Stills from Documenting Documenta, 2011

V. Dialogue with Art


Dialogue with Art The exhibition that this publication accompanies also includes the following selection of artworks and related ephemera: A polaroid of the British artist Richard Hamilton, taken by Adrià in 1999 in the kitchen at elBulli for Hamilton’s series Polaroid Portraits. It was the last in the series, which Hamilton began in 1968. Unable to attend the closing day at elBulli, Richard Hamilton sent Adrià an original artwork that was accompanied by the message: “On the 30th of July, 2011, elBulli’s last day as a restaurant, Richard wanted to be present in his way,” and he sent another letter with another visual poem. Subsequently Hannah Collins edited the two items into one piece. It was the final communication between the artist and chef before Hamilton’s passing in September, 2011. Richard Hamilton created the design for the book Food for Thought: Thought for Food (2009). He thought it would be a good idea not to have a single image of Adrià in the entire book, with one exception, the cover, which would be a drawing by cartoonist Matt Groening. As a result of a visit to elBulli by James L. Brooks, the producer of The Simpsons, Adrià and Brooks shared in a long after-dinner conversation, during which Adrià gave Brooks an explanatory drawing of elBulli. In return, Brooks asked Matt Groening to make portraits of Adrià and his partner Juli Soler. A map on which the different headquarters for Documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany appeared; Pavilion G corresponds to elBulli. Richard Hamilton’s drawn rendition of Velázquez’s Las Meninas. A self-portrait by Richard Hamilton. Shortly before his death, Richard Hamilton was working on a series of computer generated and painted images based on Le chef d’oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece) by the French author Honoré de Balzac. On his last visit to the restaurant, in April of 2011, Hamilton gave the painting to elBulli.



P L . 74

Map of the Culinary Process: All works by Ferran Adrià unless

Decoding the Genome of Cooking, 2013

otherwise noted.

Ink on paper Dimensions variable

P L S . 1– 3

Francesc Guillamet and Bob Noto

P L S . 7 5 –7 7

Interior of elBulli Kitchen, 2005–2011

Map of the Culinary Process: Decoding

Four archival photographs

the Genome of Cooking, 2012–13

Dimensions variable

Ink, graphite. and colored pen on paper and inkjet prints

PLS. 4–63

Twenty drawings, each: 11 11/6 x 8 1/4

Theory of Culinary Evolution, 2013


Crayon, paint stick, and colored pencil Sixty drawings, each: 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 inches

P L . 78

Ferran Adrià and Bestiario PLS. 64–67

Map of the Gastronomic Process: Reproduction,

Marta Méndez Blaya

Decoding the Genome of Gastronomy, 2013

Pictograms, 2001/2013

Inkjet print

Archival pigment print on Moab paper

39 3/8 x 27 9/16 inches

Fifteen prints, each: 12 x 12 inches PL . 79 PL. 68

Bullipedia, beta phase

Map of the Creative Process: Decoding the

Video (English version)

Genome of Creativity, 2013

Duration: 2 minutes, 56 seconds

Ink on paper Dimensions variable

PLS. 80–85

Albert Adrià, Ferran Adrià, and Oriol Castro PL. 69

Notebooks Related to Creativity, 1987–2011

Creative Pyramid, 2013

Ink and graphite on paper

Ink on paper

Dimensions variable

Dimensions variable PL. 86 P L S . 70 –7 3

For Dom Perignon Rose, 2011

La asociación (The Association)—

Ink on paper

The Origin of Bullipedia, 1987–88

11 11/16 x 8/14 inches

Mixed media Nineteen drawings Dimensions variable


PL. 87

PL. 93

Dom Perignon Dinner

Luki Huber

at elBulli Restaurant, 2011

Compressed elBulli Menu, n.d.

Ink on paper

Notebook and tablet prototype

11 11/16 x 8/14 inches

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

PL. 88

PL. 94

Ferran Adrià, Marc Cuspinera,

Luki Huber

and Francesc Gullamet

PVC Tube Mold 2m Spaghetto, 2003

La Menestra (Textured Vegetable Panache), 1994

Notebook, 1/2 liter Spray can,

Plasticine molds, notebook,

two adapters, and tube

and color photograph

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

Dimensions variable PL. 95 PL. 89

Marta Méndez Blaya

Luki Huber

Pictograms Notebook, n.d.

Candy Nylon Adaptor, 2005

Ink on paper and collage

Notebook, nylon spiral adapter,

8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

and mini drill 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

PL. 96

Marta Méndez Blaya PLS. 90

Red Pictograms Notebook, n.d.

Luki Huber

Ink on paper and collage

Cocktail Spray, 2003

8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

Notebook and spray bottle prototype 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

PL. 97

Marta Méndez Blaya P L . 91

Style Sheets Notebook, n.d.

Luki Huber

Ink on paper

Draining Spoon, 2003

8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

Notebook and spoon prototypes 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

PL. 98

Marta Méndez Blaya PL. 92

Profile Notebook, n.d.

Luki Huber

Ink on paper

Dragon Kan Spatula, 2004

8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

Notebook and silver spatula prototype 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches


PL. 99

P L . 10 9

Marta Méndez Blaya

Pepo Segura

Apple Notebook, n.d.

Interior of elBulli Atelier, 2013

Ink on paper and collage

Four archival photographs

8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

Dimensions variable

P L . 10 0

P L S . 110 –112

Marta Méndez Blaya

Working Board N° 1: 1998 Menu, 1998

“Box Books” Notebook, n.d.

Mixed media on cork board

Ink on paper and three booklets

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

in cardboard sleeve Book: 8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

P L S . 113 –115

Booklets’ sleeve: 5 3/8 x 4 1/8 x 1 5/8 inches

Working Board N° 2: 2005 Menu, 2005 Mixed media on cork board

P L . 101

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

Plan for elBulli Kitchen, 1992 Notebook

P L S . 116 –118

12 x 16 1/2 x 1/2 inches

Working Board N° 3: 2006 Menu, 2006 Mixed media on cork board

P L . 10 2

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

Plan for elBulli Kitchen, 1992 Agenda

P L S . 119 –121

6 1/2 x 10 x 1 inches

Working Board N° 4: 2008 Menu, 2008 Mixed media on cork board

P L S . 10 3 –10 6

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

Plans for elBullifoundation, n.d. Ink on paper

P L S . 12 2 –12 3

Four drawings, each: 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 inches

Working Boards N° 4, 5: How To Create a Dish, n.d.

P L S . 10 7–10 8

Mixed media on cork board

Mireia Luzárraga

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

Model for elBulli1846, 2013 Two archival photographs

P L S . 124 –12 7

© Cloud 9

Working Boards N° 7, 8:

Not in exhibition

Plating Diagrams, c. 2000–2004 Colored pen on graph paper on cork board Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet


P L S . 12 8 –13 2

E x hi b ition W orks N ot P ict u red

Working Board N° 9: Peach Melba (The Last Dish), n.d.

Marta Méndez Blaya

Mixed media on cork board

Cartoon Dolls Notebook, n.d.

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

Ink on paper 8 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 7/8 inches

P L S . 13 3 –15 2

Working Board N° 10:

Luki Huber

The Creative Methods, n.d.

Flying Bowl, 2003

Inkjet print on cork board

Notebook and glass bowl prototype

Overall dimensions: 6 x 4 feet

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

P L S . 15 3 –15 6

Luki Huber

1846, 2013

Fragrance Balloon, 2004

Digital film

Notebook, balloon, and spoon prototype

Duration: 1 hour, 27 minutes

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

Produced by The Drawing Center, elBullirestaurant, and Mogollon

Luki Huber Lattice-work Platters, 2007

P L S . 15 7–15 9

Notebook, rectangular grid part, and pipe

Documenting Documenta, 2011

rack part prototypes


8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

Duration: 1hour, 20 minutes Produced by Visual 13 with the

Luki Huber

participation of Canal +

Passion-me/Lavazza Coffee, 2004 Notebook, Passion-me cup, and coffee cup 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches Luki Huber Syrup Spoon, 2004/Olive Jar, 2005 Notebook, silver syrup spoon, spherical olives, olive pot, syrup bucket prototypes, and olive jar 8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches


Luki Huber

Matt Groening

Gnocchi “Boquilla,” 2004

Portrait of Ferran Adrià, n.d.

Notebook, plastic tube, thread adapter,

Animation cell

and foam head

16 3/4 x 14 9/16 inches

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches Map for Documenta 12, 2007 Luki Huber

Ink on paper

Soup Fragrance Spoon, 2004

7 1/8 x 23 5/8 inches

Notebook, spoon tongs, and blade clamp prototype

Richard Hamilton

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

Self Portrait of the Artist, n.d.

Luki Huber

Color photograph

Caviar Tin/Mini Ice Cream Spoon, n.d.

15 15/16 x 14 inches

Notebook, two caviar tins, and silver ice cream spoon prototype

Richard Hamilton

8 3/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches

Las Meninas, 1973 Black-and-white print

Richard Hamilton

30 13/16 x 14 1/2 inches

Polaroid, 1999 Polaroid photograph

Richard Hamilton

20 7/8 x 19 1/4 inches

Le Chef d’Oeuvre Inconnu, 2010 Color print

Richard Hamilton

24 x 18 1/2 inches

Final Dialogue, Spring 2011 Color print

elBulli Team

18 11/32 x 16 11/32 inches

Plasticine Food Models, 1994 Two hundred and forty-seven

Richard Hamilton

plasticine molds

Final Dialogue, July 2011

Dimensions variable

Black-and-white print 18 x 16 inches

Enric Ruiz Geli Model for elBulli1846, 2013

Richard Hamilton and Fernando Gutiérrez

3D print

Maquette for Food for Thought: Thought for

23 5/8 11 13/16 x 6 5/16 inches

Food, 2008

Scale: 1/200

7x 8 13/16 inches

© Cloud 9 All works courtesy of elBullifoundation unless otherwise noted.



Brett Littman is Executive Director of The Drawing Center. Richard Hamilton (b. February 1922 – d. September 2011) was a British painter and printmaker whose incisive take on consumer culture and advertising made him a pioneering figure in Pop Art. He is credited with being the only person to have consecutively eaten at elBulli restaurant from its opening in 1964 to its closing in 2011.




We offer our deepest thanks to Ferran and

Frances Beatty Adler

Isabel Adrià and Ernest Laporte for their belief

Eric Rudin

in this project and their generosity in providing

Jane Dresner Sadaka

all of the information and tools necessary to mount this exhibition. We are also grateful to


Marc Cuspinera for his incredible knowledge of

Stacey Goergen

the elBulli archive and assistance in realizing this exhibition, as well as to Joanna Romanow for


her curatorial support. Additional thanks to

Dita Amory

Olga Tetkowski and Neil Fleming for help with all translations and Marta Méndez Blaya,

Brad Cloepfil

Cloud 9, Francesc Guillamet, Luik Huber, Bob

Anita F. Contini

Noto, Pepo Segura, and Cathy Carver for their

Steven Holl

expertise in documenting the exhibited works.

Rhiannon Kubicka David Lang

Dom Pérignon is the presenting partner of

Merrill Mahan

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity.

Iris Z. Marden Nancy Poses

Additional support is provided by the Institut

Pat Steir

Ramon Llul, Acción Cultural Española, AC/E,

Barbara Toll

and Lavazza.

Isabel Stainow Wilcox Candace Worth Emeritus Melva Bucksbaum Frances Dittmer Bruce W. Ferguson Michael Lynne George Negroponte Elizabeth Rohatyn Jeanne C. Thayer Executive Director Brett Littman

Special thanks to The James New York.


This is number 110 of the Drawing Papers, a series of publications documenting The Drawing Center’s exhibitions and public programs and providing a forum for the study of drawing. Jonathan T.D. Neil Executive Editor Joanna Ahlberg Managing Editor Designed by Peter J. Ahlberg / AHL&CO This book is set in Adobe Garamond Pro and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk. It was printed by Shapco Printing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I S B N 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 4 2 3 24 - 8 0 - 8 Š 2 014 T he D rawing C enter


Drawing Papers 109: Dickinson/Walser: Pencil Sketches Drawing Papers 108 Drawing Time, Reading Time Drawing Papers 107 Alexis Rockman: Drawings from Life of Pi Drawing Papers 106 Susan Hefuna and Luca Veggetti: NOTATIONOTATIONS Drawing Papers 105 Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962–2010 Drawing Papers 104 Giosetta Fioroni: L’Argento Drawing Papers 103 Igancio Uriarte: Line of Work Drawing Papers 102 Alexandre Singh: The Pledge Drawing Papers 101 José Antonio Suárez Londoño: The Yearbooks Drawing Papers 100 Guillermo Kuitca: Diarios Drawing Papers 99 Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals Drawing Papers 98 Drawing and its Double: Selections from the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica Drawing Papers 97 Dr. Lakra Drawing Papers 96 Drawn from Photography Drawing Papers 95 Day Job Drawing Papers 94 Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway Drawing Papers 93 Claudia Wieser: Poems of the Right Angle Drawing Papers 92 Gerhard Richter: “Lines which do not exist” Drawing Papers 91 Dorothea Tanning: Early Designs for the Stage Drawing Papers 90 Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion? Drawing Papers 89 Selections Spring 2010: Sea Marks Drawing Papers 88 Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary Drawing Papers 87 Ree Morton: At the Still Point of the Turning World Drawing Papers 86 Unica Zurn: Dark Spring Drawing Papers 85 Sun Xun: Shock of Time Drawing Papers 84 Selections Spring 2009: Apparently Invisible Drawing Papers 83 M/M: Just Like an Ant Walking on the Edge of the Visible Drawing Papers 82 Matt Mullican: A Drawing Translates the Way of Thinking Drawing Papers 81 Greta Magnusson Grossman: Furniture and Lighting Drawing Papers 80 Kathleen Henderson: What if I Could Draw a Bird that Could Change the World? Drawing Papers 79 Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings

T O O R D E R , A N D F O R A C O M P L E T E C ATA L O G U E O F PA S T E D I T I O N S , V I S I T D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G


3 5 W O O S T E R S T R E E T | N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 T 212 219 216 6 | F 212 9 6 6 2 9 76 | D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G

Conversation between Brett Littman and Ferran AdriĂ Essay by Richard Hamilton

D R AW I N G PA P E R S 1 1 0

$25.00 US

ISBN 9 78 0 9 42 324 8 0 8 52500



324 808

Profile for The Drawing Center

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers Volume 110 featuring a conversation between Brett Littman and Ferran Adrià and an essay by Richard Hamil...

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers Volume 110 featuring a conversation between Brett Littman and Ferran Adrià and an essay by Richard Hamil...