A Unique Culinary Experience

What an evening. In September we spent three weeks holidaying in Spain, our time was spent in the North of Spain exploring the treasures of Rioja, Priorat, Navarra and much more. We’d been lucky enough to secure a booking at the World’s best Restaurant – El Bulli.

That day we drove from Gratallops, in the Priorat wine region through to the Costa Brava and up to Cadequez, which is about an hour an a half north of Barcelona. We spent the day looking around this beautiful seaside village and relaxing on the beach. It was 33 degree and the sea was a pleasant temperature. Our booking was for 8.30pm, on arrival we were offered a tour of the kitchens, an obvious ‘yes please’. A quick photo with Ferran Adria and then a look around, we were in for a treat. El Bulli is located on a remote beach between Cadequez and Roses, we started the evening outside on the deck over looking the beach.A glass of Cava first, whilst taking time to review the extensive wine list. We decided on the Aalto 2002, Aalto is a winery located in Ribera del Duero, with winemaker Mariano Garcia (long time wine maker at Vega Sicilia) at the helm. We also selected a very fragrant Albarino to match the first part of our menu – all 35 courses.

Prior to going to El Bulli, there had been many discussions, what to expect, the format, the experience – what was it all about. Ferran is a very talented Chef (an understatement), when you look back at much of his early work and look around Restaurants around the world (and here in Auckland) you realise the impact he’s had on the culinary world. To dine at his restaurant and explore his current creations is a unique experience. It’s a little like going to a Haut Couture fashion show and leaving not sure if you would wear the clothes, dining at El Bulli leaves you wondering how anyone can have the imagination to present food in the way Ferran does.