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El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Movie

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress 2011

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A German documentary filmmaker takes a heavy gander at the creative endeavours of one of world’s most talented culinary artists, Ferran Adrià. More

“For six months of the year, renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià closes his restaurant El Bulli — repeatedly voted the world's best — and works with his culinary team to prepare the menu for the next season. An elegant, detailed study of food as avant-garde art, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress is a rare inside look at some of the world's most innovative and exciting cooking.” (Official Synopsis) Hide

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53 votes / 3 comments The Talk

  • 26 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • Honey Ryder

      Looks VERY interesting! I hope they show it in Christchurch, not just elitist Auckland!:)

    • Dorka

      Looks good, and the food looks amaizing.

    • Jenny

      This isn't about food - it's about artists creating pieces of art! Wow!!


    Want to see it?

The People's Reviews


2 ratings and 2 reviews


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Extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

TheaterofCommon Flicks Superstar (?)

Extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

Disappointingly, but I guess sensibly, the film stops short of fully breaking down Adria's closely guarded secrets. Instead it focuses on the process of creation and the interactions between those under pressure to invent an unprecedented number of molecular morsels for the restaurants 35 course menu. El Bulli's approach will seem like madness to the uninitiated, during its open months the restaurant hires an army of chefs (up to 45 nightly) to prepare the mountains of elements required for each dish. Though not shown in the film, this evidently led to the restaurant's demise. Although in high demand and pretentiously priced the restaurant could not survive financially with the significant overheads and unorthodox operating structure.

For the most part the process was captivatingly captured by director Gereon Wetzel. At times the film's observational approach lacked narrative and my most aching questions were left unanswered. But this can be forgiven as the visual realisation of the subject's creations were stunningly laid bare.


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freshdude Flicks Superstar (?)

This is such a unique opportunity: to observe a year in the extraordinary and revolutionary school of food preparation founded by Ferran Adria. I just had to take it. But if you're looking for interviews or commentary by food critics and diners or insights into the origin of what has been called molecular gastronomy, then the film will disappoint. The filmmaker simply camp out in Adria's lab and later kitchen to watch him assemble his next dining experience.

The movie lets its audience answer the most obvious questions the whole Ell Bulli experience raises: Is this a culinary freak show? Is this really where fine dining is headed? Adria's influence in restaurant kitchens all over the world is a given. But is the idea of disguising food so that what looks like a raisin is actually pumpkin while the pumpkin is actually a raisin really anything more than elaborate game of hide-and-seek with diners?
The great modern artists tore traditional art apart through cubism, surrealism and finally abstraction. So too does Adria force everyone to rethink the whole notion of haute cuisine. This is beyond fusion, beyond world cuisine. It forces a new approach to flavor, intensity and satisfaction.

I did enjoy it, and wish I would have visited EL BULLI while it still existed, as it has now passed into the culinary history.

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

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Press Reviews

A.V. Club (USA)

For hardcore foodies, El Bulli offers a clear, unvarnished look at the master at work. Full review.

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

A haunting celebration of the human desire to turn food into art. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

A fascinating observational doc about the most famous restaurant in the world. Full review.

Los Angeles Times

A fascinating glimpse behind the scenes at the Spanish restaurant hailed as the most influential eatery in the world. Full review.

New York Times

A treat for chefs and foodies. Full review.

Time Out (USA)

It’s a sluggish portrait that neither captures nor replicates the dazzle, pacing and polish of an El Bulli meal. Full review.