El Bulli, the renowned three-Michelin starred restaurant in northeastern Spain, has announced it will be closed to diners for two years from 2012.
The legendarily oversubscribed dining destination on the Catalan coast, run by the fiercely creative Ferran Adria, faces an uncertain future.
Adria went public with the news at Madrid Fusion, an international gastronomic conference.
He cited a combination of creative and personal reasons for the decision while insisting, ‘It is not a sabbatical’ and ‘I am not retiring. It’s just that we’re not feeding anyone at the restaurant for two years.’
‘We will still be working. I don’t want to go and sit on a beach in the Bahamas but I think we deserve to lead more normal lives because for 25 years we have been focusing on the restaurant. Now we need more time with our families.”
Adria has in the past talked about having to close El Bulli, in relation to the strain of having to come up a completely new collection of groundbreaking dishes each year.
The restaurant is already closed for six months of the year to allow Adria and his team to think up new culinary techniques and source new ingredients.
Its opening season, which previously ran April to October, was shifted forward to run June to December last year. It will open again to diners this June and in 2011 before closing until 2014.
What form the re-opening will take is still open to speculation.
Adria says the time will be used, ‘To work and transform things at El Bulli,’ adding, ‘I need to know if there’s something beyond what we’ve achieved at the restaurant so far.’
New video: How to Analyse Colour, with Steven Spurrier
Written by Joe Warwick