Q&A: Ferran Adrià Schools Us on Creative Cuisine with Jose Andrés

September 16, 2014 | by Galena Mosovich

We caught up with famed Spanish chefs Ferran Adrià and Jose Andrés at The Bazaar at SLS South Beach.

Jose Andrés and Ferran Adrià

Jose Andrés and Ferran Adrià

“Perfection is boring,” Ferran Adrià told a crowd of the most recognizable characters in Miami’s culinary scene during an intimate and remarkably academic reception held last week at The Bazaar by Jose Andrés in collaboration with the “Beer of Barcelona,” Estrella Damm

Adrià’s point of view comes as a surprise considering the legendary chef’s rock-solid reputation for redefining the way the world looks at food. At elBulli, the exclusive bayside restaurant in northeastern Spain that closed its doors in 2011, he toiled in its kitchen-turned-lab for more than two decades, inventing outlandish techniques and dishes with a touch so precise they sparked an entirely new movement called molecular gastronomy.

Adrià recently moved on to elevating the study of food and cuisine through the elBulli Foundation, an educational project he launched three years ago with the hope of inspiring a younger generation of chefs to cook more with their heads than their hands.

Though the world affectionately refers to him as the mad scientist behind haute cuisine (think spherification and the liquid olive), Adrià brushed this aside during his presentation, humbly mentioning historical accounts of treasures he didn’t invent, like black truffle ice cream, which surfaced in the mid-18th century.

Jose Andrés with Ferran Adrià and local chef.

Andrés snaps a photo at last week's event. 

When we sat down with Adrià, he told us how he’s helped some of today’s best cooks hone their skills at his now-closed restaurant, including the chef/restaurateur by his side that evening, José Andrés, who’s credited with bringing Spanish tapas to the U.S. in the ‘90s. “His tools help people be better creators and to truly understand what the profession is about,” Andrés said of his close friend and mentor. Read on for more from our conversation. 

You’re starting your next phase of work to influence the culinary industry with major players in cities around the world. Why Miami?
FERRAN ADRIÀ: It’s a city that will be a reference point for food and, coming from Barcelona, that’s a tall order.

What’s it like to watch one of your disciples find success?
FA: José Andrés is the most elBulli of all the chefs.

What does that mean?
FA: It’s a way to understand life.

Do you feel like you have a responsibility to continue teaching aspiring chefs to subvert the status quo?
FA: Once you’ve learned a way of doing things, it’s very difficult to change, but I don’t feel any responsibility to teach. I’m more of a representative [of the culinary world]. I’m doing all of this for young people.

What advice would you give these young chefs?
FA: Patience. You must have patience. I went 15 years without making money.

José, when did you realize you were in the presence of a prodigy?
JOSÉ ANDRÉS: Twenty-six years ago, in 1988, I was in Ferran’s small kitchen frying vegetables. We were making a veggie chip garnish for lobster croquettes. Ferran was cutting cubes of gelatin milk [for béchamel] and he grabbed one as he walked over to the fryer. In my brain, I thought, "This is not going to happen. It’s going to explode!" But he looked at me and said, "If I don’t test it, I won’t know." And that’s how he invented the liquid croquette. Some fellow chefs don’t give Ferran the credit he deserves. Cooking wouldn’t be what it is today without him. By the way, it did explode when he dropped it in the fryer, but he kept trying until he figured it out.

What are the most important things Ferran taught you?
JA: Never take anything for granted. Never follow the rules. Always second-guess yourself. If not, we don’t improve. This was ingrained in me because when Ferran came to the United States, I’d do his translations for him. I had to know how to talk as me and then talk as him in the same breath.



Oktoberfest Dinner at The Federal; Louis Salgar Benefit at Gramps

September 15, 2014 | by Lane Nieset

Eat and drink for Mexican Independence Day, Oktoberfest, or a good cause with this week’s culinary happenings in Miami. 

Porfirio's Miami.

Get your Mexican fix this week at Porfirio's. 

Mexican Independence Day at Porfirio's

Porfirio's, the new SoFi restaurant straight from Mexico City, is celebrating Mexico’s true Independence Day with a special menu. Through Tuesday, September 16, try authentic dishes like Picardía Mexicana, Chile En Nogada, and for dessert: rice pudding with Mezcal. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach, 786-216-7675

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at The Federal

This Thursday, September 18, Oktoberfest starts early at The Federal as the MiMo-district tavern hosts a beer pairing dinner to get locals excited for its annual Oktoberfest celebration September 20-October 5. Local beer aficionados Patrick Lunn and Diego Ganoza will lead guests through five courses and eight Oktoberfest brews. Before dinner, try two pours from Wynwood's new Concrete Beach Brewery during its first public preview. 5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-758-9559; Purchase tickets here >>Read More


Drinks You Should Try This Fall

September 10, 2014 | by Cynthia Correa

Embrace the season by sipping on one of the newest drinks to hit Miami this fall. Below, our beer, wine, and cocktail picks. 

At the Wynwood Brewing Company.

BEER: El Infante from Wynwood Brewing Company

Wynwood Brewing's signature sips—Pop’s Porter, La Rubia Blond Ale, and Wynwood IPA—have already made a name for themselves in Miami. But there's a new beer on the block this fall: a special release for the brewery's anniversary called El Infante. Named after a historic shipwreck off the Florida coast, this wheatwine is the first bottled beer from Wynwood Brewing and the first in its new Shipwreck Series—and in a tribute to the community, South Florida street artist Claudio Picasso created the artwork for its rustic label. Wynwood Brewing Taproom, 565 N.W. 24th St., 305-982-8732 >>Read More

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