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50 Days By Albert Adrià: Who is this Spanish chef and why does his residence in London deserve to be enthusiastic? | London Evening Standard


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February will see the arrival of Michelin-starred Spanish chef Albert Adrià in London as he begins a 50-day residency at the Grand Hotel Café Royal.

Tickets – which should be bought quickly – will cost £ 150, excluding drinks and service.

The experience will include a cocktail at the hotel’s Oscar Wilde bar followed by a tasting menu at the Domino restaurant. Further details are to be discovered on arrival.

So who is this chef and why is his cooking worth it?

Well, while you might not have heard of Albert, you almost certainly know his brother, Ferran Adrià.

Big brother: Ferran Adrià / Phaidon

Ferran ran a three Michelin star restaurant el Bulli until it closed (at least in its current form) in 2011.

Adrià has repeatedly been hailed as the greatest chef in the world and has been nicknamed the Salvador Dali of cuisine thanks to his revolutionary cuisine and pioneering techniques in molecular gastronomy. Do you know those mousses that often garnish a dish unnecessarily? We can thank him for those for a start.

But surely Londoners aren’t going to shell out £ 150 just because of his family ties?

Well no. Albert may not have the international fame of his older brother, but he is already very important in Spain.

He worked with Ferran at el Bulli for 23 years where he was responsible for creating some of the restaurant’s most famous dishes. While Ferran ran the kitchen, he took on more of a back office role and was heavily involved in development.

After the closure of el Bulli, he set his sights on Barcelona where, with the support of his brother, he opened a modern tapas bar. Tickets, which quickly obtained a Michelin star.

Just the ticket: Albert Adrià‘s cuisine at Tickets in Barcelona

In the same part of town, he has since launched his approach to an old school tapas bar in the form of Bodega 1900, Pakta which serves Nikkei cuisine that mixes Japanese and Peruvian influences, and a two-part Mexican restaurant Hoja Santa Claus / Nino Viejo.

These last two of these three restaurants have also won Michelin stars, while the chef, long specialized in pastry making in el Bulli, was crowned this year the the best pastry chef in the world at the 50 best prices in the world.

Albert has another restaurant in Barcelona, Enigma, slated for 2016, which, given those credentials, is likely to be another smash hit.

While the price may seem steep, Londoners willing to shell out should be lucky that he is spending here a few months in advance.

Rumor has it that once the residency is completed, we might even end up with a keepsake in the form of a permanent place. – we would be even luckier if this turned out to be true.


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