Set on an isolated beach on Spain's Catalan coast near the town of Rosas, El Bulli has become a pilgrimage site for foodies brave enough to make the dizzying drive down for the experience--not really a conventional meal but a series of 25 to 30 small courses, some no more than a bite-size morsel or slurp. They are presented on a silver spoon or on a stick or in a tiny fluted glass, often with suggestions about how things should be eaten--in one go, in separate bites or in a certain order.
Adria's recipe for innovation, he says, is "cold and methodical." Adria starts with "information, information, information"--garnered by traveling, tasting and above all reading. He has an extensive gastronomic library installed in his new "laboratory workshop" in nearby Barcelona, and claims to have memorized thousands of tastes on his "psychological palate." He says, "What I hate most is monotony." He doesn't have to worry. Says superstar chef Paul Bocuse: "He's doing the most exciting things in our profession today."