It is all about the emotion – Ferran Adrià (Head Chef, El Bulli restaurant)
Ferran Adrià ran a restaurant for 25 years that has been judged No. 1 restaurant in the whole world, 5 times (in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009). El Bulli (from the French bulldogs that the original owners had) is located on the remote island of Catalonia, Spain. It is so remote that it would take you hours to travel there. Yet, to make a reservation at this restaurant is extremely difficult.
In the 2010 season, that ran from June 15 to December 20, bookings for 2011 were taken on a single day after the closing of that season. El Bulli accommodates only 8,000 diners a season, but got more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal is €250.
At El Bulli, the kitchen army is comprised of ant-like human beings who seem to work with clockwork precision, with seemingly unending processes and complex scientific steps of doing cuisine. The sheer magic that happens in this restaurant when the scientific and traditional techniques come together, redefine the very boundaries of gastronomy.
At elBulli tradition is preserved whilst pushing the normalcy of conventional cooking methods and techniques and boundaries of even sheer thought! I mean, how do you transform a block of cheese to a hard shell, shape it like a sphere but it still tastes like soft rich gorgonzola?
How do you make a Mojito into a sandwich? and it still has all the elements of the iced cooler?!
How do you make a Pina Colada into Candy Floss such that it does not lose any of its flavor as a drink?
Why all this talk about Ferran Adria and the remarkable elBulli?
For me, that’s one of the reasons I think we are alive.
I don’t know if I should blame it on the fact that I am a fat kid or I just love and somewhat live for food? But different meals evoke a myriad of emotions within me.
Okay putting my biases aside, really we are human beings. We hunger primarily for food and good food for that matter. Basic food is accepted. I mean in dire times agog, bread and coke would suffice, or maybe some yam and semi burnt eggs with pepper and maybe some palm oil would just be great.
But sometimes basic is just not enough. Imagine that rich Efo Riro with assorted meats and pounded yam; those chicken spring rolls; piping hot chicken noodle with pad thai sauce and some chilli sauce by the side or that simple but tasty spaghetti Bolognese.
Now tell me you haven’t smiled or are now longing for something great to eat. Or by some odd chance, you can’t stop thinking about one of the meals I mentioned above.
One thing is for sure, food elicits emotions; from the good to the bad and then the ugly
A plate of bad food can put you in a bad mood, bad jollof rice for example with strong beef (overlooking the fact that i wont even go past 3 spoons) God knows how many hours of excruciating chewing of fried shin of cow I would have to be deal with. Please how would I not be upset and depressed?
However, give me that perfectly stewed beef (preferably goat meat), with the perfect jollof rice… cooked via the iron ore nested on top coals of fire and timbers of flame… aka ‘faahyah-wood’ Yes!! for that ‘Party Rice flavor’ Did I get you smiling with that? Notice the change? Can you see my point now?
With this welcome to the very first BN cuisine post
I am honoured to be writing this column and I hope to share my passion and love for food with you and the rest of the world.
This column will explore food from Iloko-ijesha to Bangkok; from Los Angeles to Ebute Metta. I’ll share here with you whatever is food related and at the same time excites me
- From food events, where to eat and where NOT to eat!, from restaurants to bukkas (Yes, Amala is my hobby),
- what is healthy, whats bad for you, whats diet is trending and everything that stems from food.
- Links for food blogs I worship!!!
- Recipes and kitchen tips
- What celebrities are cooking….and a whole lot more!!!
So thank you for dropping in today…
Go and enjoy good food that would make you not only full, but that would make your taste buds do the windeck, and invariably push your facial muscles to break into a smile as well as wrap a duvet round your heart to warm your soul!
I’m off to relish my pepper rice with prawns and endless cubes of all parts of the cow… joy in a plate… joy in my heart!
Chef Fregz, as Gbubemi Fregene is fondly called, is a Lagos based Chef with international training and ethnic proclivities. He represents a growing number of young Nigerian professionals who are breaking from the norm and forging new paths creatively. Once a month, he hosts the Chef Fregz Special which lately he has hosted @ Cafelicious, Opebi.