Since July 30, 2011, the day elBulli closedthe Asturian chef José Andrés (Mieres, 53 years old) had not returned to Cala Montjoi, in Girona. She recently returned to show her three daughters, Carlota (26 years old), Inés (21 years old) and Lucía (18 years old), the place where she started working while studying at the School of Restaurants and Hospitality in Barcelona. There was Ferran Adrià, in this hidden corner overlooking the Mediterranean —which ElBulli 1846 will host starting next April— and where one of the six chapters of the documentary series has been recorded José Andrés and family in Spain. The Catalan chef appeared to receive the family of the chef who has lived in the United States for more than three decades.
“The gastronomy revolution began here, now it is a museum, but it was a restaurant that had more than two million reservation requests a year,” José Andrés advances to his daughters, who, although they were very small, were also accompanied by his mother, Patricia Fernández de la Cruz, and they even passed trays with appetizers to the guests the day Adrià closed the mythical restaurant. “Ferran is the God of the kitchen, my mentor and one of my best friends,” the cook admits before the cameras, a moment before melting into a hug with him.
In another scene from the series, premiered by HBO at the end of 2022 and with which it intends to show the public, especially the Americans, some of the gastronomic treasures of Spain, two of the daughters comment to the father, in the most innocent way, that if he had not argued with Ferran Adrià he would not have met his mother, and they would not exist. José Andrés remembers the moment, but ignores the reason for the dispute, which he did refer to publicly the day the last dinner was served at elBulli.
Next to Adrià and his partner, Juli Soler (died 2015)at a long table placed under the pines at the entrance of the restaurant where some of the cooks were sitting bullinianos most renowned on the planet, José Andrés, guarded by the Danish René Redzepi —whose restaurant, Noma, was at that time the best in the world, according to The World’s Best 50 Restaurants—, and the American Grant Achatz —of the Alinea restaurant in Chicago— , explained that he owed his career to a discussion with the teacher.
The story was as follows: José Andrés had been an intern at elBulli. After that training period, they met in a bar in Barcelona to talk about work. Adrià wanted to sign the outstanding student. He arrived at the meeting place minutes before and verified that the cook had not yet arrived. Jose Andres He went out into the street to look for a booth to make a phone call —at that time there were no cell phones— and, when he returned to the agreed meeting point, Adrià was already seated at the table. Strict with the forms and with the precision of the clock, he was annoyed by the tardiness of his disciple. He let him know and did not hire him. José Andrés, jobless and with nothing to keep him in Spain, caught a plane and went to the United States. Days later, he called Adrià from New York to tell him that he had a job.
Thus began the American adventure of the Spanish chef, who began working at Paradis Barcelona, El Dorado Petit and El Cid, before moving to Washington, his headquarters and where he created ThinkFoodGroup, the company that manages a group of restaurants spread across through the capital of the United States, through cities like Miami, New York, Las Vegas or Chicago. In the North American country I also believe la ONG World Central Kitchenwith which it covers food needs in emergency situations, like the war in ukraine. In Spain, it is a partner of the Bulbiza Holding gastronomic project, with several locations on Calle Ibiza in Madrid, which also includes the Riberas brothers: Jon, president of Gonvarri, dedicated to steel, and Francisco, president of Gestamp.
Despite this clash, Ferran Adrià and José Andrés are great friends. Together they have participated in the course science and cooking, taught at Harvard University, and even some of the times that the Catalan chef has offered a conference or some training program at this prestigious university center in Massachusetts, it has been José Andrés who has worked as a translator. They are also partners, together with Albert Adrià, of Little Spain Market, a space of more than 3,200 square meters in Manhattan (New York).