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Ferran Adria's famed El Bulli restaurant to close on Saturday

Spanish chef Ferran Adria at his El Bulli restaurant in Roses, northern Spain, June 16, 2007. The restaurant, repeatedly crowned the world's best, will close on July 30, 2011.


Horror of cookery horrors!

Spain's famous el Bulli restaurant - the epicentre of molecular gastronomy - is closing its doors after Saturday. Legendary chef Ferran Adria says it's time for him and his team to take a break since they are creatively exhausted.

But there is no need for rash actions, el Bulli lovers: They plan to resume their groundbreaking culinary experiments in 2014, with the elBulliFoundation, a gastronomic think tank and research facility, according to the Associated Press.

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But for the next two-and-a-half years, we must ask:

  • Where will food snobs and rich people get their 50-course meals that cost hundreds of dollars?
  • Where will diners go to feast on Gorgonzola balloon, air baguette and roses with ham wonton?
  • Where will hundreds of people flock in vain, only to get turned down since the reservation list fills up years in advance?

No where.

There is no other restaurant like el Bulli, according to its supporters. No other restaurant has earned the top spot on S. Pellegrino World's 50 best restaurant list five times (four of them were in a row!).

Gone will be the days when socialites can name drop the restaurant in their wedding announcements.

So all there is left to do is cry … and pay tributes to it. And they have come pouring in, like the whipped meringue on top of Mr. Adria's gin fizz.

Among them is chef Anthony Bourdain, who decided to film his last visit to el Bulli for his Travel channel show, No Reservations. During the preview, one of Mr. Bourdain's dinner mates declares the dish of tuna belly served on a "delicate pillow" of tuna marrow to be "orgasmic."

Many other chefs have weighed in on Mr. Adria brilliance through a recent New York Times blog.

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Oh, and don't forget about the movie tribute.

And if you're worried that your life will be far less creative without the ability to read about el Bulli's crazy-named creations, don't panic. A name generator, courtesy of, lets you test your ability to determine which out of three dishes was actually featured at el Bulli from 1983 to 2005.

Of course, for the 99 per cent of the world's population who never ate at el Bulli - or even heard of it - Sunday will just be another day.

Are you over molecular gastronomy (or did you think it was silly from the beginning)?

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About the Author

Madeleine White is the Assistant National Editor for The Globe and Mail. She has been with the Globe since 2011 and previously worked in the Globe's Video and Features departments, covering topics ranging from fitness and health to real estate to indigenous education. More

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