Ferran Adrià Announces Plans to Hang Up His Apron

The chef, who is known for daring experimentation and who is collaborating with Harvard scientists, says he will close his restaurant and instead devote his time and money to a culinary academy.

Celebrated chef Ferran Adrià mingles cooking and science at elBulli, his restaurant near Barcelona.
Ferran Adrià

Ferran Adrià, who visited Harvard in December 2008 to give a lecture on cooking and creativity (view video) and to establish a collaboration with Harvard scientists, said last week that he plans to close El Bulli, his renowned and exclusive restaurant near Barcelona, at the end of 2011. (The Harvard collaboration will continue despite this news, a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences spokesman confirmed this week.)

Adrià told the New York Times that he had been losing money on operating his restaurant, where he has been head chef since 1985. Over the years, he has become increasingly interested in experimental cooking that veers into science; in the Harvard collaboration, he said he hoped interacting with chemists and physicists would help him tinker with texture and temperature (for instance, he aspired to create an ice cream that could be served hot, yet in solid form). The Times reported last week that he and his El Bulli collaborators planned to open a culinary academy. (A few days later, Time magazine published an interview in which Adrià clarifed that the new model would be more think tank than cooking school, and said El Bulli may reopen, on a schedule yet to be determined, for tastings of creations from the chefs in residence as visiting fellows.)

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