elBulli is one of those restaurants that has been elevated to a status almost unparalleled. Voted best restaurant in the world too many times to mention, they only ever seated 8000 diners per season, a very limited season, but would receive over 2 million requests. On an average night, the number of staff would equal the number of guests, making the evening an attentive and awe inspiring experience.
Ferran Adrià , described as the best chef in the world, took elBulli from its humble beginning to lofty heights after Jacques Maximin, a leader of Nouvelle cuisine declared at a symposium in Nice that “creativity means never imitating”.
Having such a huge staff complement meant that many chefs passed through the doors at elBulli, often working for free. One such chef, after winning a competition for best young chef in Navarra, Spain, was Andres Conde. The prize was a 2 month stint at elBulli which extended to many years.
Working in the hot and cold kitchens, he moved into pastry, his true love. After a short stay at The French Laundry, he returned to elBulli for another 3 years, where he worked with Albert Adrià in the pastry kitchen developing new techniques. This collaboration resulted in the elBulli dessert book Natura. (click on link below)
After elBulli, he assisted in the development of recipes and menus for 41 Degrees and Tickets Bar in Barcelona. He was head chef at Tickets during 2011 and 2012. He now teaches at the Basque Culinary Centre in San Sebastian. Andres has been at the forefront of Spanish alta cocina, mastering the techniques that made elBulli an icon of modern gastronomy.
Andres will be in South Africa in August and will be doing a class on Desserts at Chefs Warehouse. This once off opportunity is one not to be missed. The class will be a 6 hour demonstration starting at 10am and ending at 5pm with breaks in between. The class is R1250 per person, tentative date is Saturday 10th August 2013, but this will be confirmed.