Life after El Bulli: the world’s best chef will collect all gastronomic knowledge in Bullipedia

Ferran Adrià closed his epochal restaurant El Bulli in July 2011 in order to found the elBulli Foundation, a centre of food innovation. Today Telefonica Digital announced that it’s working with Ferran Adrià to bring his recipes and food innovations to the internet in ‘La Bullipedia’, an ambitious plan to build a database that “holds every bit of gastronomical knowledge ever uncovered.”

Adrià’s approach to cuisine has been around research and the accumulation of data which he has used rigorously and recorded meticulously in order to create a database which underpins his work.

The press release goes on to say that Telefonica Digital “has been working with Ferran Adrià and his team to explore the possibilities of ‘Digital Food’ since 2010″.

Bullipedia: wiki or not so wiki?

From the announcement, it seems that we shouldn’t overestimate the “wiki” aspect of the undertaking. There’s little danger that the wisdom of the crowds will result in a complete and drastic overhaul of Adrià’s recipes:

“La Bullipedia will contain past gastronomic discoveries, rules and recipes, latest developments and creations which will come from Senor Ferran Adrià’s very own gastronomic R&D lab – the taller. The wiki will be interactive which allows users to post their own suggestions for new recipes, flavour combinations and culinary concepts.”

The Bullipedia will have all the technological bells and whistles that one can expect: the press release lists datamining, analytics, API’s and a software development kit (SDK) for third parties to write plugins that can expand the creative toolset of the Wiki.

About Ferran Adrià and El Bulli

Ferran Adria Bullipedia

Ferran Adrià of El Bulli

Ferran Adrià began his culinary career in 1980 as a dishwasher in Castelldefels. The chef de cuisine at this hotel taught him traditional Spanish cuisine. In 1984, at the age of 22, Adrià joined the kitchen staff of El Bulli as a line cook. Eighteen months later he became the head chef.

In 1994, Ferran Adria and his partner Juli Soler sold 20 percent of their business to Miquel Horta (a Catalan millionaire and philanthropist and son of the founder of Nenuco) for 120 million Pesetas. The money was used to finance to expansion of the kitchen and the relationship with Horta opened the door to new clients, businessmen, and politicians who helped spread the word about the creative experimentation happening at the time in Cala Montjoi. El Bulli had 3 Michelin stars and was considered one of the best restaurants in the world.

Adrià is known for his “culinary foam”. In his quest to enhance flavour, Adrià discarded the use of cream and egg; foam is made exclusively of the main ingredient and “air” (combined in a siphon bottle equipped with N2O cartridges).

El Bulli was only open for about six months of the year, from mid-June to mid-December. Adrià spent the remaining six months of the year perfecting recipes in his workshop “El Taller” in Barcelona. The restaurant closed on July 30, 2011. It will reopen as a creativity center in 2014.

via Factsheet: La Bullipedia – The world’s first culinary Wiki.

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Feature photo: Jenny Downing

Portrait photo: Onnoth

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).