Ferran Adria in Conversation

“If you think well, you’ll cook well.” Ferran Adria

The Bay Area’s food obsessed turned out in droves for last night’s sold-out Ferran Adria event at the Castro Theater. Chef Adria, founder of Spain’s El Bulli and recognized the world over as one of the most, if not THE most, important figure in the culinary world today, charmed the audience of 1,400 rapt enthusiasts as he moved from philosophical quip to video clip all in an effort to set the record straight on creativity and cuisine.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing to come out of Mr. Adria’s presentation was his insistence that he “know[s] nothing about cuisine.” So it comes as little surprise that in the chef’s ethical construct, cooks “have to be humble!” The new book, The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria, while hardly humble, reminds us that creative genius in the kitchen relies heavily on a solid foundation of traditional cooking. Beautifully laid out and organized into three course menus, the photo-intensive work guides the home cook through hundreds of recipes and techniques using tools we’ve all come to recognize as equipment staples. There is no liquid nitrogen or agar agar, no cotton candy or frozen olive oil lollipops here. The recipes in this latest work inspire rather than strike fear in the hearts of the timid home cook. It is a fitting segue to the next iteration of El Bulli and its public mission to educate. We can’t wait to dive in!

A big shout-out to Omnivore Books for hosting and organizing this terrific event and to the folks at Phaidon for supporting the effort. We were inspired!