A LITTLE FOOD FLIGHT READING
ADayatElBulli:An InsightIntotheIdeas,Methodsand CreativityofFerranAdria (Phaidon, $75) is a 600-page ‘‘ day in the life of’’ compendium offering a behindthe-scenes look at a typical working shift. Much like El Bulli’s acclaimed 30-course tasting menu (see Curious Cook , above), the book is a visual feast, with more than 1200 images comprising photos, diagrams, sketches, menus and dishes.
It is presented in a timed format, starting with Adria’s 10am arrival at his ‘‘ secret workshop’’ near the restaurant and moving through the working day, covering menu decisions, shopping for ingredients, creative development, reservations checks and more. The book includes a rundown of the menu and photographs of the food being created each night, plus a compendium of recipes for those brave enough to try re-creating the El Bulli experience at home.
Among the line-up of dishes is passionfruit tree, which includes in FERRAN Adria is very much the man of the moment. This master of molecular gastronomy’s El Bulli restaurant in Spain has two million reservation requests a year despite having places for only 8000; he has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and is feted across the globe for his culinary genius.
It seems this chef couldn’t generate more column centimetres if he tried, but next week Australia will experience its own bit of Adria frenzy when he arrives here to embark on his first international author tour, with lectures planned in Sydney and Melbourne.
His new book, its list of ingredients three flowerpots and three ‘‘ attractive branches without leaves’’. Those with the benefit of a garden centre nearby should begin by filling the flowerpots with sugar and sticking a branch in each. After commandeering a fairy floss machine, some extra sugar should be made into a floss and sprinkled with powdered freeze-dried passionfruit crisp. The resultant fluff should be carefully shaped into balls and hung on the branches. No cutlery required.
For those who will never get the chance to dine at Adria’s much feted establishment — and there are many of us— this book is surely the next best thing, providing a remarkable window into the world of a culinary wizard. Michelle Rowe
Out on a limb: Passionfruit tree