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Archive for January, 2011

After declaring last month that the famous 3-Michelin star restaurant owned by the star Chef Adrià Ferran will be closed for two years from 2012, he announced at a Press Conference that a no-profit El Bulli Foundation will be created to promote contemporary culinary arts and to encourage new ideas.
At a press conference held on February 23 during the Gastronomy Forum in Santiago de Compostela, capital of the Spanish region of Galicia, Ferran said that this foundation will offer scholarships for up to 25 chefs and front office professionals. These carefully selected recipients of the scholarship will work with the creative team of the restaurant as “a breeding ground for new ideas and for new talents to go together, hand in hand, even further.” 

The dining room of the restaurant will continue in its present shape and set up but a new audio-visual lounge and library will be added as part of his long-term aim to compile an exhaustive and detailed encyclopedia of the contemporary cuisine. The restaurant will continue to welcome a certain number of customers each year to taste the kitchen’s creations, according to Adrià. .

In addition to the avant-garde cuisine for which El Bulli is famous, the foundation will also branch into more traditional cuisine, as well as cocktails and even breakfasts.

Each year the foundation will publish its findings via a series of books, audio-visual productions, on the net, chef conferences and in gastronomy schools, according to a media report.

In the 21 years since Ferran Adrià became head chef at the restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava, his rise to success has run parallel with the explosion in fine dining and the attendant phenomenon of gastro-tourism. During the past two decades, a golden age for the restaurant business, Adrià has become the most significant player in the culinary world, loved and respected by customers, cooks and critics. He has been credited to have invented the molecular gastronomy, a term which he does not recognise and instead likes to call his cooking Avant Garde and deconstructive.

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Ysios winery,
Ysios Winery

Bodegas Ysios is currently participating in an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), until April 2011, as a prime example of avant-garde architecture drawn from the world of wine. The exhibition, HOW WINE BECAME MODERN: Design + Wine 1976 to Now explores, from a visual and artistic point of view, the wine world’s impressive evolution over recent decades. The exhibition includes examples of architecture, as well as label and poster design, together with works of art inspired by wine culture, and discovers the latest avant-garde trends on the wine scene.

Subsequently, the building belonging to Bodegas Ysios, located in La Rioja Alavesa, and designed by prestigious architect, Santiago Calatrava, is regarded as one of the most representative buildings of avant-garde architecture dedicated to winemaking. The philosophy behind the bodega’s design was to harmonise the building with the environment; an environment that is all the more outstanding owing to the majestic Sierra de Cantabria which looms behind a construction characterised by an undulating structure, reminiscent of a row of barrels with its ochre-coloured tones.

The HOW WINE BECAME MODERN: Design + Wine 1976 to Now Exhibition, which is open until 17th April 2011, was organised by SFMOMA’s Architecture and Design Curator, Henry Urbach, and designed in collaboration with architects, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. The exhibition brings together a selection of unique objects, such as labels, bottles, and glassware, with winery design, aerial photographs and artwork inspired by the wine world. In addition, the museum is also screening a series of films relating to wine as well as offering visitors a broad selection of wine-related products, thanks to an agreement with several retail stores.

In addition to Bodegas Ysios, other examples of Spanish architecture, such as Bodegas Baigorri designed by Iñaki Aspiazu, are also featured in the exhibition. Spanish bodegas also boast a strong presence in label design, some of the brands included being: Bodegas Lozano, Ferrer Bobet, Altos de Lanzaga, Julián Madrid, Enate, and Matsu.

Spain is currently one of the countries where, over recent years, the most examples of avant-garde architecture targeted at wineries have emerged. As well as Bodegas Ysios, other outstanding examples are the Marqués de Riscal bodega designed by Frank Gehry, and the new Bodegas Protos building, created by famous design studio, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

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