Ferran Adrià, the 51-year-old head chef of the now-closed El Bulli restaurant in Spain, approaches cooking as a scientist would approach a series of experiments. His kitchen is a lab where he analyzes and deconstructs flavors, serving them in mystifying and unconventional forms such as dirty martini spray, popcorn clouds that shrink dramatically when you touch them, spices in the form of pills, and ravioli that disappears before your eyes.
Though Adrià works with siphons, syringes and other tools that aren’t usually found in the kitchen, his experimental process always begins with the simplest exercise: drawing. Three years after the culinary dreamer closed El Bulli to start a foundation that pursues his innovative culinary techniques, the public can once again appreciate Adrià’s artistry—this time by visiting the Drawing Center in Soho.
For the exhibition, curators culled dozens of sketches, diagrams, and notes from Adrià’s collection of hundreds of notebooks and loose drawings. The result is an impressive and enlightening commentary of his innovative thought process, boundless creativity, and unswerving devotion to food.