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A Day at elBulli: An insight into the ideas, methods and creativity of Ferran Adrià [Paperback]

Albert Adrià , Juli Soler , El Bulli , Cillero & deMotta , Equipo de Edicion
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 May 2010

A Day at elBulli: An Insight into the Ideas, Methods and Creativity of Ferran Adrià is an exclusive look behind the scenes at elBulli, the best restaurant in the world, and into the mind of Ferran Adrià, the most creative chef working today.

It is notoriously difficult to get a table, but for the first time A Day at elBulli opens the doors of the restaurant to everyone and documents hour-by-hour the painstaking preparations that take place every day. Illustrated with over 1,200 colour photographs, the book includes insights into the history of elBulli and into the life of Ferran Adrià, as well as recipes and diagrams that reveal the creative secrets behind the spectacular dishes.

A Day at elBulli
provides a fascinating insight into the magical and rare experience of eating at elBulli.


Product details

  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; Reprint edition (22 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714856746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714856742
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 21.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


‘extraordinary, theatrical and often downright bonkers food’
The Times

‘This is just very, very good cooking: intense, and obtusely original’
The Sunday Times

‘El Bulli is a once in a lifetime event’
Observer Food Monthly blog

‘A glance behind the scenes at a pivotal time and place in culinary evolution, this book will delight serious foodies’
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ferran Adriàis recognized as the best chef in the world. His legendary talent, creativity and gastronomic innovations have inspired chefs and food-lovers around the world for many years, and make elBulli what it is today.

Albert Adriàshares the same passion for food and creativity as his older brother Ferran. He specializes in the world of pastry and is creative director of the elBulli workshop, where the pioneering culinary techniques that inform the spectacular thirty-course menu are developed.

Juli Soler joined elBulli as restaurant manager in 1981. He quickly brought the front of house service to a standard never seen before in Spain, and it is characterized by his warmth, generosity and professionalism.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant bible 19 Oct 2008
this book is absolutely maqnificent. i've always been a fan of el bulli but the book has blown my mind open. the things they do there are amazing. i am a chef myself and although 99.99% of the recipes are impossible to do in the majority of kitchens, it just shows you how much they've raised the bar and why they are considered the best restaurant in the world. Even if you are not interested in food the pictures alone make this a perfect coffee table book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the eyes 5 Nov 2008
By sminda
If you have ever wanted to experience the best food in the world (as has been voted), this book is for you. 'A Day at ElBulli' covers a single day in chronological order spanning over 600 captivating pages. Don't expect an extensive narrative or cookbook format from this volume (though they are both included - try his recipes and see how you compare); however, for those interested in experiencing what the world's best restaurant is like this is a must, especially at this price. The book is full of beautiful photographs that fill nearly every page with either shots of amazing food or the behind-the-scenes work in the kitchen.

A Day at elBulli clearly illustrates the genius and passion of Ferran Adria and offers a small glimpse at this world renowned restaurant for those of us not fortunate enough to dine there in person. Simply amazing!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is probably the only 600 page book that I managed to read in 2 hours cover to cover. The book is mainly lots of glossy photos on glossy thick paper with a few snippets of information and occasionally 1-4 pages of text on ordinary paper.
I am not interested in the page after page of photos of chefs in a kitchen this is not very informative. However the real meat is in the recipes of which there are sadly only a few but in them are the secrets to El Bulli's spherification techniques and making of airs etc. These alone are worth the cover price which is low for a great big enormous volume like this. I was also amazed to find that the chemical/extracts needed to achieve these techniques are actually easy to buy online and can come as kits so a whole industry is boooming up around what they do. I highly recommend this to anybody wishing to push the boundaries of their cooking, presentation and most importantly techniques but only once you have taken your ability to cook to the highest level. I only dropped to 3 stars because of the huge amount of useless photos, however I may be a bit unfair there as it is "A day at elBulli" not "Ferran Adria's secrets revealed" and at this price the secrets you do get are well worth it. Oh, and be prepared to spend £100 for those chemicals/extracts.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Bulli Explained 10 Oct 2008
By Topsy
I had read a lot about El Bulli and Ferran Adria in newspapers and magazines, but his restaurant always seemed remote and mysterious. This book goes into great detail to show how "the world's number one restaurant" actually works, from 6am when the sun comes up to 2am when the customers have left and the door is locked. It's fascinating (and a little frightening) to see the lengths that Adria and his team go to in order to ensure that every guest has the best experience. There are some recipes, but you'd need a candyfloss machine and various other arcane bits of kit to make them all. The food looks delicious, sometimes familiar and often wierd, but the pictures of the guests eating show that they're having fun. Now that my appetite has been whetted I want to get a table, they are just about to open reservations for the 2009 season. In the meantime I've got the book to keep me dreaming of culinary heaven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great. 24 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not quite sure what I was expecting with this one but I think I might have set the bar a little high by buying The French LaundryThe French Laundry Cookbook, AlineaAlinea and Gordon Ramsay Recipes from a 3 Star Chef Recipes from a 3 Star Chef Limited Edition first.
That said it is still an interesting read/ browse in that coffee table tome genre. The the story is told in very little words just a short little snippet in the corner of the page or at the foot of a photograph, or in the little pamflet sections that appear at regular intervals.
These are very interesting in themselves and mean that you are not overloaded with info that detracts from the pictures, rather it gives you a short sharp fact about the scene, 'The waitor brings food to the table' you look at the pictures and get the narrative then if you really want to know all the details you read the text. Simples. It works very well for this book because It's the pictures that really do the talking, they are informal and intimate reportage style snaps that really work well and do carry the narrative forward on their own merrit.
Informative, interesting and some of the food is even doable in a domestic setting, bonus!
As I said in the outset I think I might have been expecting a little too much from this book but it will still be a regular read and sit along side my other prized foody tomes.
A good book but not great and a good buy at the £16 purchase price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Though it contains recipes, A Day at elBulli is not a cookbook. It is a heavily photographic look at what goes into a day at the restaurant, from sunrise to the wee hours of the following morning when the floors are being mopped. In short, it's a gorgeous book and anyone with a fascination for culinary creativity will get a total kick out of it.
Most of you would have never eaten at elBulli and consider yourselves in a different league both as eaters and cooks. Still, what makes this book such an inspiration is how deeply it goes into the philosophy behind Ferran Andrià's cooking. Put aside any nitrogen tank-inspired intimidation and look for passages like the insert at page 40 titled "Creativity Means Not Copying" and pay attention to the portraits of dinner guests enjoying their meals to see one important tenant of Andrià's style: "The principal aim of a dish is to give pleasure to diners in the conventional ways as well as in more unusual ones." To think, even just a little, the way Adrià thinks would make even an amateur cook an innovator.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great coffee table book that i would aspire to if i was ever that good in the kitchen!
Published 27 days ago by Alisaspain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item
Published 1 month ago by lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away
This book has transformed my way if cooking. It is a nice glimpse of one of the greatest chefs at work and offers some unusual but interesting ideas of modern cooking. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantatsic
Brought this as a christmas present for my other half and he loves it, it is a fantastic insight in the day at elBulli restaurant. fansinating for everyone
Published 18 months ago by A reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Totaly useless
Lots of pictures, tellings about elBulli, but not a book I can recommend. Boring and useless. Dust saver on my shelf.
Published 19 months ago by Tove
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice presentation and a good coffee table book!
Nice book and nice idea for a corporate gift too. Strange concept, but that is what makes it interesting to pick up and read.
Published 21 months ago by Vivienne
4.0 out of 5 stars love elbulli
excellent value - softbound book with great pics, stories, recipes - the perfect gift for a lover of food beyond the norm
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by foodlover
5.0 out of 5 stars When is a cookbook not a cookbook?
When is a cookbook not a cookbook? Perhaps when most of its target audience could never be expected to be able to make any of the recipes in it. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by Danny Marbella
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab book
I love this book for it's sheer decadence. I will never be able to experience a 'live' visit to El Bulli but this must be the ultimate coffee table book. Read more
Published on 17 April 2011 by Mrs. Lynda Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Not a big read but a perfect insight in to the worlds best resturant and what it takes to achieve that honour.
Published on 7 April 2011 by MRF
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