El Bulli owner, Ferran Adrià, feels at home anywhere in the world, but especially in London and Barcelona.
PHOTO © CAMERA PRESS
INTERVIEW: LUCY GARCIA
“LONDON IS WHERE I HAVE PICKED UP THE San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant prize five times. What better welcome! This city really appreciates people who take risks, and I’ve always had a great connection with it.
“I have no real sense of home. I spend six months at el Bulli and six months in Barcelona, when I also travel for work, so it’s hard to have a sense of home. It’s like leading two lives. I could live somewhere similar to Barcelona like Sydney or San Francisco. I can understand why people fall in love with Barcelona. It’s the right size, has a great climate, the people are lively, the food is fabulous and it’s beautiful.
“Visiting hotels has become a hobby. I have visited places simply because I wanted to stay at a particular hotel. If you go to a beach resort, your choice of hotel is vital as that is where you will spend 80% of your time. It’s not a matter of how great it is, but whether it suits your requirements. I always say that I’m not a materialist but I don’t mind paying for a good hotel.
“I love travelling to Andalusia, one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has an ideal combination of exoticism and European standards of service. Also because of its historical past: in three days you can visit the Mezquita in Cordoba, the Giralda in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. There’s nowhere else like it.
“Andalusia should be over-booked by tourists, yet it isn’t. It has mild weather even in December, wonderful cuisine and it is where tapas was conceptualised. My ties to Andalusia are through the [el Bulli hotel] Hacienda Benazuza in Seville, and I often go there. I can’t imagine going on holiday somewhere without sunshine.
“One place I’d love to visit is Sweden, and Scandinavia in general. I’ve only been in winter, because that’s when el Bulli is closed. The restaurant has always been open in summer, but when the Bulli Foundation opens in 2014 we will be able to travel in summer.”
REINVENTING FOOD FERRAN ADRIA: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE EAT, BY COLMAN ANDREWS (PHAIDON PRESS) IS OUT NOW. WWW.ELBULLI.COM