Ferran Adria, named by many as the most influential chef in the world, is undoubtedly one of the best culinary minds ever.
Adria started his illustrious career as a dishwasher at a hotel where the chef that worked there taught him to make traditional Spanish cuisine. After being drafted into the military he honed his fundamentals as a cook and would join the famed elBulli (buyee not bully) as a line cook in 1984.
elBulli had won its first Michelin Star before Adria joined the kitchen but would win two more with him at the helm in 1990 and 1997. The restaurant was named after the French Bulldogs owned by the Schillings, the first owners. When Adria closed the doors at elBulli in 2011 the waiting list was sitting at 3,000 with an average meal of $325. With a bill like that it might come as a surprise to you that they operated at a loss from early 2000, keeping the ovens warm from their book deals and lectures by Adria.
Adria’s culinary expertise was dubbed molecular cuisine, which he would refer to as “techno-emotional”. A docuseries called “elBulli: Story of a Dream” released on Amazon Prime tells the story of elBulli and Adria. His mission in his own words was “to discover the limits of gastronomic experience” which resulted in a great deal of criticism, which only seemed to spur him on. You have to be pretty cocky to serve people smoke… See: Espuma de humo.
He has been instrumental in the lives of chefs that have risen to the top and there is little doubt that we have not seen the end of his influence.