Book Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

By , April 6, 2013

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices
By Lisa Abend

Food books are fun. I don’t know exactly why I’m so enamored with them, especially since I wouldn’t eat much of the food described (sea anemone anyone?). The latest entry in my culinary quest is called The Sorcerer’s Apprentices and it is about cooks who give up six months of their lives to work (for free) at the world’s best restaurant, elBulli, in Spain. I’m not exaggerating about being the world’s best. Restaurant Magazine voted elBulli it’s top restaurant for five years (2002, 2006-2009).

What makes elBulli so special? Innovation. Ever heard of molecular gastronomy? This is where it started, along with airs, foams, and spherification. Head chef Ferran Adria never serves the same meals during consecutive seasons and he is always tinkering and tweaking to make his food magical.

Each season, approximately 30 chefs head to Spain to start their six month stage as a stagiaires, working in incredibly strict conditions to perfect the molecular, gastronomical masterpieces that Adria has on his current menu. The process is brutal, rewarding, and captivating to read about.

In 2011, elBulli shut its doors as a restaurant while Adria retools it as a creativity center. It is scheduled to reopen sometime in 2014. If you need something to tide you over until then, check out this book. At least it won’t cost you the €250 Adria charged for each of his meals.

Happy Reading…

:) Amanda

One Response to “Book Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentices”

  1. laurie says:

    If you can’t make it to elBulli, you may be interested in the next best thing on this side of the Atlantic. Curate/tapas restaurant in Asheville. Curate Chef Katie Button formerly apprenticed at elBulli. The proof is in the dishes. After recently visiting Curate, I look forward to reading more about elBulli.

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