Momofuku! Pork Belly Bliss! Inventing Liquid Olives with el Bulli! Mind-Altering Food From Visionary Chefs!

This might be the best-tasting thing you will ever put in your mouth.

It’s a delicious concoction from one of the greatest Chefs working today: David Chang – from his Momofuku empire.

And what you see above this is food, too – a spectacular creation from one of the most visionary artists working in food: Ferran Adria.

One of the greatest restaurants in the world WAS el Bulli – from the visionary Chef/Food Scientist Ferran Adria – a restaurant which is now, unfortunately, closed. However, thank to the books I am about to share with you, you will get an inside at why both Chefs are so acclaimed, and the magic that happens(ed) in their kitchens!

A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià, Albert Adrià and Juli Soler – published in 2010

elBulli was a Michelin 3-star restaurant near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferran Adrià. The small restaurant overlooked Cala Montjoi, a bay on Catalonia’s Costa Brava…

A beautiful restaurant in a beautiful location….

And the food! Often described as “the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet” – using molecular science to create masterworks…like this liquid olive:

The restaurant is closed as of July 30, 2011, but Adria plans to reopen as a creativity center in 2014.

For the first time, A Day at elBulli: An Insight into the Ideas, Methods and Creativity of Ferran Adria allows unprecedented access to one of the world’s most famous, sought-after and mysterious restaurants. Having held three Michelin stars since 1997, and regularly voted ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by a panel of 500 industry professionals, elBulli has been at the very forefront of the restaurant scene since Ferran Adria became sole head chef in 1987.

Aimed at food enthusiasts as well as industry professionals, the book documents all the activities and processes that make up just one day of service with stunning colour photography of the kitchens, staff, creative workshop, dishes, the restaurant itself and its striking surroundings near the town of Roses, north east of Barcelona.

The book starts with daybreak at 6.15 am, then shows visits to the local markets to source ingredients from 7.00 am, Ferran’s arrival at the workshop, his morning creative experimentation session, the arrival of the rest of the brigade at 2.3 0 pm to begin the mise-en-place for the evening, the preparations of each guest’s menu, the daily tasks of the front of house team, and the arrival of the first guests for dinner from 7.45 pm until the last guests’ departure by 2.00 am.

The menu is fully explained with detailed and technical recipes that reveal the full extent of the chefs’ artistry. Innovative text inserts open the lid on the history of el Bulli and Ferran Adria, the creative methods, the secret workshops, the technical processes behind the creation of a dish, the network of sensations and interactions that take place between a restaurant and its guests and the sensory experiences of eating, as well as the formidable reservations procedure and the structure of a meal into four theatrical ‘acts’.

And now a new book takes you inside through the words of one of his Chefs as well…

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices by Lisa Abend – Published in 2011

In The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, Lisa Abend explores the remarkable system that Adrià uses to run his restaurant and, in the process, train the next generation of culinary stars.

Granted more access to Adrià and the el Bulli kitchen than any other writer in the restaurant’s history, Abend follows thirty-five young men and women as they struggle to master the cutting-edge techniques, grueling hours, furious creativity, and interpersonal tensions that come with working at this celebrated institution.

Her lively narrative captures a great cast, including a young Korean cook who camps on the doorstep of elBulli until he is allowed to work in the kitchen; an ambitious chef from one of Switzerland’s top restaurants struggling to create his own artistic vision of cuisine; and an American couple whose relationship may not withstand the unique pressures of the restaurant. What emerges is an irresistible tale of aspiring young talents caught, for good or ill, in the opportunity of a lifetime.Taken together, their stories form a portrait of the international team that helps make a meal at elBulli so memorable.

They also reveal a Ferran Adrià few ever see, one who is not only a genius chef and artist but also a boss, teacher, taskmaster, businessman, and sometimes- flawed human being. Today, food has become the focus of unprecedented attention, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentices also explores the strange evolution–in less than two decades–of a once-maligned profession into a source of celebrity.

Anthony Boudain filmed an episode of “No Reservations” there, and now you can get this documentary about the restaurant as well!

And speaking of mad geniuses:

David Chang and Momofuku!

With experience in various restaurants in New York City, Chef David Chang opened up his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar, influenced by his time spent working in ramen shops in Japan. After about a year of trials, Noodle Bar took off as a success as Chang’s reputation grew has a creative genius int he kitchen…

Momofuku Ssäm Bar opened after Noodle Bar and originally had the concept of an Asian style burrito bar (ssäm is Korean for wrap).

The third restaurant to open was Momofuku Ko. Chang describes the idea behind Ko as a, “cook-centric restaurant with just a few stools, a collaborative kitchen, and a constantly changing menu. There are only twelve seats in this impossible-to-get-into shrine for foodies….

Momofuku Cookbook by David Chang – Publication Date: 2009

According to the description on Amazon: Never before has there been a phenomenon like Momofuku. A once-unrecognizable word, it’s now synonymous with the award-winning restaurants of the same name in New York City: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, Ko, and Milk Bar. Chef David Chang has single-handedly revolutionized cooking in America with his use of bold Asian flavors and impeccable ingredients, his mastery of the humble ramen noodle, and his thorough devotion to pork.


This is the most delicious thing in the world: pork belly buns from Momofuku…when we were last there, we started off with these as appetizers, then moved on to the Ssam signature dish: a while pork butt!

It has been slow-roasted for a day, and it’s served with a plate of oysters as well!

It’s all topped off with a platter of lettuce for wrapping and an array of sauces – and the rest is up to you and a table full of foodies!

Momofuku Ssam was just voted the #36 restaurant in the world for 2012 – so check out this terrific place on 2nd and E. 12th in New York, and check out these books for some great food insight!

Categories: BACON, Books / Media, cookbooks, Food, Food Review, New York, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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3 replies


  1. The World’s Best Chefs! El Bulli And Momofuku To You! « Bite Eat Swallow!
  2. Cooking The World’s Most Scientific Food! el Bulli’s Amazing Molecular Magic! Meet The “Sorcerer’s Apprentices!” | johnrieber
  3. Meet “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices”! Wednesday’s Bookmobile Cooks With el Bulli’s Amazing Molecular Magic! – johnrieber

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