Exhibitions Ferran Adrià: Auditing the Creative Process
Exhibitions Ferran Adrià: Auditing the Creative Process

With this exhibition, Adrià chronicles his creative process during the 25 years he was running El Bulli with the aim of awakening anyone’s creative potential.

Espacio Fundación Telefónica
C/ Fuencarral, 3, Madrid
Facebook twitter
Oct 2014
Mar 2015
M X J V S D:
10:00 - 20:00

With this exhibition, Adrià chronicles his creative process during the 25 years he was running El Bulli with the aim of awakening anyone’s creative potential.

What is creativity? What do you need to create? Can you audit the creative process?

These are some of the questions that Adrià answers in the exhibition Ferran Adrià: Auditing the Creative Process which is now open at Espacio Fundación Telefónica. This is the Catalan chef’s first exhibition in Madrid and the biggest ever devoted to his work, organized in collaboration with Fundación Telefónica. Three years after closing El Bulli and having raised gastronomy to an unprecedented level, the most celebrated international chef reveals his creative process and the keys to the success of the Cala Montjoi restaurant. The exhibition Ferran Adrià: Auditing the Creative Process, which can be visited free of charge at Espacio Fundación Telefónica from 29 October to 1 March, immerses visitors in the creative universe of Adrià and his team. This is not just an exhibition on cooking but a journey through the hugely successful creative process of El Bulli; success that is rooted in constant reinvention, based on the parameters of innovation and creativity, characteristics that have made it a global point of reference, and not just in the gastronomic sphere. The exhibition devotes almost 1,000 m² to unravelling the creative process and interpreting the El Bulli model, seeking to amaze visitors and inviting them to reflect upon their own creative profile. From huge murals to hundreds of sketches by Adrià himself, not forgetting the objects and appliances that were hallmarks of El Bulli, and even a recreation of the restaurant and the kitchen where the 1,846 dishes that defined the history of this unparalleled temple to gastronomy were created.

The exhibition also includes immersive audio-visual screenings and animations that help to dissect and interpret the chef’s creative universe and provide a deeper insight into his mind-set. The exhibition format features artistic installations as a nod to the latticework structures produced by his great friend, the precursor of British pop art, Richard Hamilton, who never missed a single year of dining at the Cala Montjoi restaurant. A multidisciplinary team worked for more than a year on replicating this creative universe, coordinated by Adrià himself and the team at the Telefónica Foundation. From the maps created by Bestiario, a company specializing in data visualization; the exhibition design by Olga Subirós, to a creative campaign by publicists Toni Segarra and Jorge Martínez and a website developed by Mario Tascón (Prodigioso Volcán), which also invites visitors to discover the exhibition, and everything else that surrounds creative processes in general, with interviews and culinary challenges on the social networks.

“Creativity is not copying”: the cornerstone of the El Bulli revolution
In order to understand this transformation in Adrià’s professional trajectory we need to go back to 1987 when, during a culinary sojourn on the French Côte d’Azur, the great French chef Jacques Maximin asserted that “creativity is not copying”. This utterance marked the start of the revolutionary change that took place in the El Bulli kitchens. Adrià abandoned his cookbooks and embarked on his own journey, which changed the way we view and taste food. From that moment, Adrià started questioning the established status quo. Why couldn’t an ice cream be warm? Who said you can’t mix sweet and savoury? This gave rise to the image chosen to represent this exhibition – a drawing by Adrià himself featuring the handwritten word WHY? Over 25 years, from 1987 to 2011, the team at the Cala Montjoi restaurant worked tirelessly to evolve the language of cooking and find its own unique style, always with the imperative of being as ground-breaking as possible. El Bulli came up with a new culinary departure dedicated exclusively to creativity. There was the meat section, the fish section, the starter section, the dessert section… and the creative section. With the closure of El Bulli in 2011, the task continues at the Bulli Foundation, where Adrià and his team have continued to devote themselves to research and experimentation in the same discipline. They have systematized a ‘formula for creativity’, taking El Bulli as an example, that aspires to serve as a model for other disciplines and as a means of self-analysis for each individual to find their own path. They contend that it is not a single model, but it is a valid model for anyone who wants to improve the performance and efficiency of their company, business or office.

Ferran Adrià: Auditing the Creative Process is the first result of the work of elBulliDNA, a multidisciplinary team of around a dozen people who are studying and deciphering the creative process at the headquarters of the elBulliLa in Barcelona, which will liaise with elBulli1846 in Cala Montjoi. This is the most comprehensive exhibition ever staged on the work of the renowned Catalan chef, a real map of a whole lifetime dedicated to creation.