Adios El Bullli! 'World's best restaurant' serves up extravagant 49-course last supper as it closes its doors forever
By ANNA EDWARDS
Last updated at 3:04 PM on 30th July 2011
The doors of El Bulli, one of the world's most famous restaurants, have finally closed leaving 50 lucky diners with the taste of 'clam meringue' and 'gorgonzola balloon' lingering on their tastebuds.
The few diners fortunate to eat at the three Michelin stars restaurant feasted on a 49-course menu which dazzled their palates with gastronomical delights including a 'golden egg' and 'icy quinoa of duck fois-gras'.
Owner and father of molecular gastronomy Ferran Adrià shocked the culinary world in January 2010 with his decision to close his famed kitchen, which is nestled on the Costa Brava bay in Spain.
Closing the kitchen doors: The famed restaurant will now become a 'centre for creativity' under the name the elBulli foundation
The alchemist and his 70 chefs have delighted diners from around the globe with their exotic food composed of gels, foams, shavings and emulsifiers, and have been awarded the title of 'world's best restaurant' five times.
Delighted diners began their meal with a seemingly normal dry Martini - but was actually a dish composing of a spherical globule of reconstituted olive, placed on the tongue and then spritzed with atomised gin and vermouth, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Alphabet soup with a difference had delighted diners at El Bulli in the past
Foodies will no longer be able to enjoy air of honey with flowers and pistachio nuts as prepared at the El Bulli restaurant, Spain
THE 49-COURSE LAST SUPPER MENU IN FULL
They were given 'smoked mousse' which was actually a tobacco-flavoured foam and 'flowers paper', which transpired to be a candyfloss sheet with roses impressed on to it.
Millions of foodies have been left heartbroken as they will never get to sample the unique dishes, as Mr Adrià is now focusing on converting the picturesque site of his restaurant in Cala Montjoi into the elBulli Foundation.
What initially started in 1961 as a site for a mini-golf course owned by Doctor Hans Schilling and his wife Marketta, has been transformed into the world's centre of truly-creative cooking.
The couple turned their mini-golf course into a humble beach bar with a thatched roof, naming their restaurant after their French bulldogs, who are known as 'el bulli'.
By 1964 the pair had installed a kitchen and Dr Schilling's interest in gastronomy led to the kitchen offering more elaborate dishes.
The couple's restaurant employed creative chefs, whose culinary skills began earning the restaurant the coveted Michelin stars.
But since 1994 increasingly unusual techniques have been dabbled with at the restaurant, thanks to Mr Adrià.
Its popularity swelled, with one than one million people annually clamouring to eat at the tables and having to enter a lottery.
It would only sit for one setting a day and closed for six months in the winter.
But only 8,000 people a year were selected and in exchange £240, diners would be treated to a set menu, consisting of up to 50 dishes but not including wine.
Now the acclaimed restaurant will be transformed into a on 'gastronomic think tank' and a centre focusing on stretching the boundaries of the experimental cuisine.
Chefs will be able to discuss their ideas, with many ambitious cooks hoping to emulate the success of Mr Adrià.
The alchemist, often branded a 'genius' and regarded as an icon for experimental chefs like the UK's Heston Blumenthalm, had a humble start.
In August 1983 he arrived on work experience for one month while on leave from his military service.
The promising chef was invited to return the in March 1984 as chef de partie and accepted, quickly rising through the ranks to become joint chef de cuisine along with Christian Lutaud.
By 1987 he was left on his own as chef de cuisine and in while participating in a demonstration by super chef Jacques Maximin in Cannes, Mr Adrià hears the phrase 'Creativity means not copying', which completely changes his conception of cooking.
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