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In The Works: Narrative Feature About 'El Bulli' and World Famous Chef Ferran Adrià

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 13, 2013 at 1:28PM

Vendome Pictures will produce and finance "El Bulli," a fictionalized feature based on the the world famous chef Ferran Adrià and his restaurant, elBulli. While no director is currently attached, the script is already written. It comes from David Wilson, who was inspired by Lisa Abend’s book "The Sorcerer’s Apprentices...
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Ferran Adrià
Ferran Adrià

Vendome Pictures will produce and finance "El Bulli," a fictionalized feature based on the the world famous chef and molecular gastronomer Ferran Adrià and his restaurant, elBulli. While no director is currently attached, the script is already written. It comes from David Wilson, who was inspired by Lisa Abend’s book "The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli." The chef and his restaurant were also the subject of Germany's 2011 documentary, "El Bulli: Cooking in Progress," which is currently streaming on Netflix. More on the film and Abend's book below.
 
Vendome's Philippe Rousselet states, “We are excited to be a part of this film and to work with an innovator like Ferran who has revolutionized cuisine by creating his own genre of food.  We look forward to attaching a director to this film that will be able to capture the adventure of training in this iconic restaurant.”

Set in the final year of the iconic restaurant located 100 miles north of Barcelona, the film will mix fact with fiction and offer an inside-the-kitchen look at the intense passion, creativity and tedious work unfolding nightly. Adrià abruptly closed this mecca in 2011 at the height of its popularity, triggering global mourning in the gastronomic community. At that time, elBulli was fielding 2 million reservation requests a year, but could only serve about 8,000 guests.
 
In 2014, elBulli will re-open as the elBullifoundation, a center dedicated to culinary creativity and innovation. Located on the site of the restaurant, the foundation will be housed in a new campus that is both architecturally striking, and energy sustainable. While it will preserve elBulli’s historic archive, the foundation will also focus on experimentation, treating cooking as a language through which new ideas can be expressed. One of its first projects is Bullipedia, an encyclopedia of cuisine in which Adrià and his collaborators will trace the DNA of cooking and organize collective knowledge about products, techniques, preparations, and concepts.
 
In her book The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, Abend spent the 2009 six-month season at elBulli showcasing the interpersonal drama behind elBulli’s notoriously rigorous kitchen training program. Each year, 32 accomplished young chefs – culled from 3,000 hopefuls  from around the world – would pay their own way to get to elBulli’s remote Costa Brava location just to work as stagiaire (translation: “kitchen apprentices”). In Adrià’s kitchen, they were pushed to their competitive limits in a 14-hour-a-day Darwinian process designed to sift out the chefs capable of working in a restaurant voted the world’s best five times, spearheaded by a celebrity chef who has three Michelin stars and who has appeared in almost every major publication on the planet.

This article is related to: News, IN THE WORKS, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.