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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

‘World’s best chef’ speaks in Lisner


Renowned chef Ferran Adrià speaks to a sold-out crowd in Lisner Auditorium Thursday night about his new book with fellow Spaniard and 2011 James Beard award winner José Andrés. Photo by Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Scott Figatner.

Two million people book reservations for his restaurant. Only 800 get seats.

Culinary legend Ferran Adrià again attracted a full house at Lisner Auditorium Thursday night while speaking about his new cookbook, “The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià.”

“I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be astonishing,” Adrià said, who participated in a discussion with friend and fellow chef José Andrés.

The event included an introduction by The Washington Post’s food and travel editor, Joe Yonan, as well as a Q&A with the chefs and a book signing.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the World Central Kitchen, an organization that aims to help feed and educate environmentally unstable communities, and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an organization dedicated to saving lives by creating a market of efficient and clean cooking solutions.

Andrés, who started working with Adrìa at the restaurant elBulli in Roses, Spain at the age of 17 years old, said he owes a great deal of what he has learned to his friend and mentor.

With Adrià at the helm, elBulli was named the world’s best restaurant by Restaurant Magazine for five consecutive years.

“It is impossible to know everything there is to know about food,” Adrià said. “There are over 2,500 types of citrus fruits. You need an entire life to just know tomatoes.”

Adrià’s cuisine has been called “molecular gastronomy” by some due to his use of innovative techniques such as using liquid nitrogen or foam to cook his recipes.

But Adrià, who does not take credit for inventing new scientific cooking practices, said the highest level of creativity is making a concept, a technique and an elaboration.

“It’s not about being the first, but about being the one that conceptualizes it,” Adrià said.

After the restaurant began to plateau, elBulli closed its doors July 31 in an effort to transform into a creative center called the elBulli Foundation.

While the existing building will remain, Adrià is in the process of building a museum for archival purposes and public display.

Adrià left the audience with his favorite quotation: “Creativity means not copying.”

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