Meet “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices”! Wednesday’s Bookmobile Cooks With el Bulli’s Amazing Molecular Magic!

el bulli food

Bite Into A Starburst Sunrise!

While this looks like a spectacular image from outer space, it’s not a solar system, it’s food! Time to board Wednesday’s Bookmobile and celebrate the molecular wizardry of Chef Ferran Adria!


Chef Adria’s Molecular Magic!

One Chef created some of the world’s wildest food – and his restaurant was the most difficult reservation on the planet.

For years, Chef Adrià’s Spanish restaurant el Bulli was considered the world’s best – and every year, more than A MILLION foodies waited on a list for a chance at a reservation.

What was the big deal? Well, take a look at el Bulli’s “Langoustine with Quinoa” dish:

elBulli_langoustine with quinoa

It’s almost impossible to describe what goes into a dish like this – in fact, there are multiple volumes of recipes and photos that take you inside this creative process – these books were released but el Bulli as a way to document their imagination in the kitchen:

Chef Ferran Adria El Bulli

Chef Ferran Adria El Bulli

peanut ice cream covered in snow at el bulli

Yes, this is “peanut ice cream covered with snow”…the molecular wizardry at el Bulli was unsurpassed….

Wednesday’s Bookmobile tells the story of aspiring culinary artists, vying for the opportunity to get a coveted apprenticeship there.

Lisa Abend Il Bulli book

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices!

New York Time’s Spain correspondent Lisa Abend was given unprecedented access to Chef Adria and the el Bulli kitchen, and she offers an intimate glimpse of life as a “stagiaire” — a cook who agrees to work for almost nothing for a season as one of Chef Adrià’s apprentices.


This is a terrific inside look at the creation of molecular food, and what it means to be a “stagiaire” – a grueling job that gets you inside the kitchen, but you never get to taste the food!

The Sorcerer's Apprentices

That’s right – the Apprentices NEVER tastds the food they were preparing – it’s just one of the many fascinating insights into working at el Bulli – but it was also one of the most coveted jobs in the world…this book is a terrific inside look at life in a kitchen, where even in the best restaurant in the world, the job is a mix of the monotonous and the magic…

El Bulli Kitchen

Ultimately, Chef Adria closed the restaurant, but announced an opening date for elBulli 1846, his ambitious “exhibition lab” taking over the former elBulli restaurant space in Cala Montjoi, Catalonia. “We have passed through some struggles to get all the permissions,” Adrià says. “But now it’s all set.” elBulli 1846 will officially start its work February 2020.

If you love books about food, this memoir is for you…and an apprenticeship at el Bulli was the ticket to success for many Chefs, including Carles Abelian, who worked for Chef Adria for 9 years and now has his own Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona!

Barcelona best restaurants Comerc24

Bravo Comerc24!

My wife Alex and I had the chance to eat at Comerc24, and it was a meal full of magical surprises like this:

Comerc24 monkfish

To get the recipe for this magical Monkfish dish, and to see our entire meal, read my story here:

And el Bulli’s molecular gastronomy has inspired chefs all over the world, including David Chang at New York’s Momofuku:

David Chang Momofuku Ssam

Read about Momofuku’s amazing food, and the inspiration behind it, by clicking on my story here:

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…

Leave me a comment with your most amazing food adventure!

el bulli food

Categories: Art, Awards, Books / Media, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Spain, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food

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14 replies

  1. That starburst looks awesome ..I love food like that, unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t like Pete he likes something more substantial as always a great culinary tour 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These look amazing John. The most adventurous food experience I had was having escargot in NYC.😕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What does Starburst taste like?
    The best meal I ever had was a 13-course meal at a Thai restaurant in Chicago. The price was a special for $75 a plate — back in 2000 –. Four servers stood by while you ate. I felt like a queen. Arun’s Restaurant on Kedzie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This all looks amazing, John. But when I leave a restaurant, I don’t want to arrive home still hungry, and end up eating a toasted cheese sandwich. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t really have amazing food adventures like you do, John. My boys are creatures of habit so it is not worth taking them anywhere interesting.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The Tale Of Two “Potato Chip Egg” Recipes! Chef Ferran Adria’s Wild “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge! Why Did I Make It Twice? – Bite! Eat! Repeat!

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