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Albert, the Other Half of the Adrià Duo

Albert Adrià



The career of Albert Adrià ties in closely with that of his brother Ferran. In fact, it was Ferran who passed on his passion for cooking to Albert and invited him to join the elBulli team, long before this restaurant was to become the most famous in the world.

Albert Adrià was born in 1969 in L'Hospitalet (Catalonia). At the age of just 16, he started his apprenticeship at elBulli, where his older brother was already working. For two years, he applied his burgeoning skills in every section of the restaurant, but gradually showed an inclination towards patisserie and desserts. During the winters, when elBulli closed Albert went off to work in prestigious pastry kitchens -Turull (Catalonia), Escribà in Barcelona, and Totel in Elda (Valencian Community) with Paco Torreblanca. He also spent short periods working alongside Martín Berasategui and Jean-Luc Figueras.

In 1997, he decided to give up restaurant work for a time to write what was to be the first of a number of books, Los postres de elBulli. After its publication, he returned to the team to set up a new research concept -elBullitaller, the elBulli workshop. At the start, resources were limited – four books, a table and two chairs- one for him and another for his colleague Oriol Castro. But this novel idea soon became one of the cornerstones of the elBulli structure, catching on, and being imitated, in Spain and in many other countries. It is the workshop that draws up the menu to be served the following season in the restaurant at Cala Montjoi. It also devises commercial products, such as the textures used at the restaurant.

Its growing importance soon made a move necessary and, in 1999, elBullitaller transferred to new premises in central Barcelona where Albert, Ferran and Oriol work together. The idea, which from 1994 was already being put into practice in the "development section" of the restaurant, was to separate culinary creation from the everyday requirements of daily restaurant service. In 2003, with the arrival of Pere Castells and Ingrid Farré, the workshop set up its Scientific Department, where research is carried out into new products that can be used in cuisine.

In 2006, Albert decided to combine his work at elBullitaller with another business, the Inopia Classic Bar. This was a tapas bar, offering in a sophisticated atmosphere a variety of classic Spanish tapas -potato salad, fried fish, spicy-hot potatoes, ham croquettes, tripe- all made with only the best raw materials and using the latest culinary techniques.

In February 2009, Albert announced an important decision. He was leaving the creative management of elBulli and haute cuisine in general. The decision closes a chapter in his career but there will be more projects, always on the general theme of gastronomy.

There is always room in Ferran and Albert Adrià's heads for more than one project. At the same time as they presented their future foundation, they decided to open a venue in Barcelona called Tickets, ranging from the most traditional to the most ingenious or cutting-edge. This idea was the brainchild of Albert Adrià, who wanted his brother Ferran to work alongside him and have a role in the project. Other tapas bars and restaurants created by Albert Adrià in the last years are Pakta (nikkei cuisine), Hoja Santa and Niño Viejo (both Mexican cooking) and Bodega 1900 (vermouth bar). In 2017 Albert Adriá and the team of elBarri presented a new restaurant, Enigma, one of the biggest gastronomic surprises in the last years in Barcelona.

Dreaming of NYC with José Andrés

In 2017 Spanish-born US-based chef José Andrés announced that he had has sealed the deal on a massive, 35,000 square foot space at 10 Hudson Yards, located just under the High Line (at 30th Street and 10th Avenue), to be opened late 2018. The food hall will be modeled after Eataly, but it will offer more and will feature Spanish food, running the gamut from formal options to tapas to wine bars. It will be loosely based on La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous market.  The chef is collaborating with Ferran and Albert Adrià to create a groundbreaking venue that will be a Spanish food-lover’s dream. This is the Adria brothers’ first project in the US, and Andrés’s 27th.

 

 

Books
  • Cooking coffee (Lavazza, 2015)
  • Tapas del Tickets (RBA, 2013)
  • Natura (elBullibooks, 2008)
  • A Day at elBulli (Phaidon Press, 2008)
  • Un día en elBulli (elBullibooks, 2007)
  • Léxico científico-gastronómico. Fundación Alicia - elBullitaller (Planeta, 2006)
  • ElBulli, 2005” (elBullibooks, 2006)
  • ElBulli, 2003-2004 (elBullibooks, 2005)
  • ElBulli, 1983-1993 (elBullibooks, 2004)
  • Cocinar en casa con Caprabo y Ferran Adrià (elBullibooks, 2003)
  • ElBulli, 1998-2002 (elBullibooks, 2002)
  • ElBulli, 1994-1997 (elBullibooks, 1998)
  • Los postres de elBulli (Ediciones Península, 1998)
Awards
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