1673320526 Why chefs Ferran Adria and Jose Andres argued The master

Why chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés argued: The master did not hire the student

Asturian chef José Andrés (Mieres, 53 years old) had not returned to Cala Montjoi in Girona since July 30, 2011, the day elBulli was closed. He recently returned to show his three daughters Carlota (26 years old), Inés (21 years old) and Lucía (18 years old) the place where he lived during his studies at the School of Restaurants and Hospitality in Barcelona started to work. Ferran Adrià was waiting for him there on his return. José Andrés and his family came again to this hidden corner overlooking the Mediterranean Sea that will host ElBulli 1846 from April next year to record one of the six episodes of the documentary series José Andrés and his family in Spain. And subsequently, Adrià seems to welcome the Asturian chef’s family.

“The gastronomic revolution started here, now it’s a museum, but it was a restaurant that had more than two million reservation requests a year,” José Andrés tells his daughters. Although they were small, even on the day that Adrià closed the mythical restaurant, they were at elBulli, accompanied by his mother, Patricia Fernández de la Cruz, and they even distributed trays of appetizers to the guests. “Ferran is the god of cooking, my mentor and one of my best friends,” the chef admits to the cameras, before melting him into a hug.

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In another scene from the series released by HBO at the end of 2022, with which José Andrés wants to show the public, especially Americans, some of the gastronomic treasures of Spain, two of his daughters innocently comment that if he doesn’t would have quarreled with Ferran Adrià, would not have met his mother and they would not exist. José Andrés remembers the moment but ignores the reason for this argument, which he publicly referred to the day the last dinner was served at elBulli.

On that summer day in 2011, Adrià and his partner Juli Soler (who died in 2015) sat down at a long table under the pine trees at the entrance of the restaurant with some of the most renowned Bullini chefs in the world. That’s what José Andrés explained during the evening, accompanied by Dane René Redzepi – whose Noma restaurant tops the list of the 50 best in the world compiled by Restaurant Magazine – and American Grant Achatz – from the Alinea restaurant in Chicago. He owed his career to one quarrel with the teacher.

The story of José Andrés was as follows. He started as an intern at El Bulli in 1988 and worked in the kitchen for three years. After this training period, he and Adrià met one day in December 1990 in a bar in Barcelona to talk about work. The renowned chef wanted to sign the outstanding student. He arrived at the meeting point minutes earlier and confirmed the chef wasn’t there yet. José Andrés waited a while and went out into the street to find a phone box to call him – cell phones were a real rarity back then – and when he returned to the agreed meeting point, Adrià was already seated at the table. He was strict with forms and punctuality, and resented the student’s informality. He let him know and didn’t hire him. José Andrés, unemployed and with nothing to keep him in Spain, boarded a plane and flew to the United States. Days later he called Adrià from New York to say he had a job.

Jose Andrés and Ferran Adrià at an event in Los Angeles in October 2008.Jose Andrés and Ferran Adrià at an event in Los Angeles in October 2008.Alexandra Wyman (WireImage)

Thus began the American adventure of the Spanish chef, who started working at Paradis Barcelona, ​​​​​​El Dorado Petit and El Cid before moving to Washington, his headquarters and where he founded ThinkFoodGroup, the company that brings together a group of Manages restaurants that are spread throughout the capital of the United States, through cities like Miami, New York, Las Vegas or Chicago. He also founded the NGO World Central Kitchen in the North American country, with which he covers the food needs in emergency situations such as the war in Ukraine. Although his gastronomic empire is also expanding in his native country: in Spain he is a partner in the Bulbiza Holding gastronomic project with several locations on Calle Ibiza in Madrid, which also involves the Riberas brothers: Jon, President of Gonvarri Steelworks , and Francisco, President of the automotive supplier Gestamp.

Despite that clash that ended with José Andrés making a career on the other side of the Atlantic, the two are now good friends. Together they have participated in the science and cooking course taught at Harvard University and even a few times when the Catalan chef has offered a conference or training program at this prestigious university center in Massachusetts, it was José Andrés who trained as Translator. Together with Albert Adrià, they are also partners of the Mercado Little Spain, a space of more than 3,200 square meters in Manhattan (New York).