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El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (3 stars)

Meticulous documentary about the exclusive Catalonian restaurant

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El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

Ferran Adrià commanding his kitchen

This German documentary about the most famous restaurant in the world is the closest you will ever get to sitting at a table in El Bulli, given it closed its doors on 30 July last year and bearing in mind only the rich or famous or extraordinarily well-connected were able to command reservations at the exclusive Michelin three-starred Catalonian eatery.

The restaurant, which opened in 1961 on a remote mountaintop above the sea, functioned as a tasting paradise for the avant-garde cuisine of owner/head chef Ferran Adrià. Its short annual season ran from July to December, at which point Adrià and his colleagues would relocate to a hi-tech laboratory-kitchen in Barcelona and begin anew with their gastronomic experiments, the results of which would be introduced at El Bulli the following season.

The first two thirds of director Gereon Wetzel's film meticulously documents the rigorously scientific gastronomic experiments undertaken by Adrià’s team of chefs, while the last section switches location to El Bulli itself. Although we get little of the flavour of the man behind the restaurant, Wetzel captures the essence of Adrià’s process of sublime culinary creation.

Selected release from Fri 27 Jul.

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • Germany
  • 108 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Gereon Wetzel
  • Written by: Gereon Wetzel, Anna Gnesti Rosell
  • Cast: Ferran Adrià, Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch
  • UK release: 27 July 2012

Documentary following chef Ferran Adrià owner of El Bulli, reportedly the best restaurant in the world, as he closes its doors for six months to prepare next season's menu. A meticulous exploration of the process of culinary creation, but with little on the man behind the restaurant.

Elsewhere on the web

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011) Official HD Trailer

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