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Ferran Adrií  y José Andrés


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Anyone else attending?

Culinary legend Ferran Adrià and renowed chef and advocate José Andrés discuss the future of food and Ferran Adrià's new book, "The Family Meal".

With Joe Yonan of the Washington Post, this talk with include Q+A and a book signing to follow.

A portion of the proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

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So looks like I may be flying solo unless my brother decides to come. If anyone is interested in my extra ticket let me know because chances are the bro won't come. Also anyone want to grab a bit before or after?

I was thinking of grabbing a bite/drink before. Where are you thinking?

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I was thinking of grabbing a bite/drink before. Where are you thinking?

Wherever, I will be coming from Arlington, will probably metro. Tonic, Founding Farmers? Trying to think what else is close. Is any of that area cordoned off for the IMF stuff? I ate a burger at 1:30 so am not going to starve, but probably would if I didn't eat anything.

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This might have devolved into a demonstration of one or two molecular gastronomy techniques, or a dull admiration-fest for a brilliant chef and his now-closed restaurant, but instead Ferran Adrià spent a little longer than his scheduled hour holding forth on the nature of creativity, on conceptualization, and on the need for exhaustive experimentation (Edison's proverbial 99% perspiration) to produce the occasional winning combination. There was a brief video slideshow recapping the history of elBulli, but also a video describing the organic architecture of the future elBulliFoundation. And it wasn't specifically about cooking: his only food prop was a pear, and he illustrated a different point using an audience member wearing an outfit with a short hemline. Delivered with an often intense and passionate Catalan bearing, this would have made an entertaining TED talk.

A surprising number of the people in the audience around me seemed to be new GWU students who knew little or nothing about Adrià or elBulli.

But perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of the evening was the cookbook. The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adrià is far more clever than its title would suggest. The premise is enticing, but the execution reveals that Adrià applies the same methods and determination to the task of compiling a cookbook. Importantly, this isn't the food that made elBulli famous; this cookbook's roots are in the staff meals served at elBulli to the 75 people working each night during their dining season. You are eating what the staff themselves ate at what was the world's greatest restaurant. For two years, Adrià had part of his staff redact and test portions-for-two of the dinners they produced for 75, using typical home kitchen implements and requiring only a basic level of skill. The dinners (not individual dishes!) are presented as complete three-course meals for two, with a planned cost (in Spain) of four euros per person, the same target used at elBulli for their staff meal. Maybe that was cost-per-portion; I wasn't certain from the translation, and in any case it seems a bit optimistic to me. The dishes are designed to appeal to a broad range of tastes, and were chosen with the understanding that most home cooks cannot dedicate more than about 40 minutes to preparing a meal.

The graphic design of the book is also notable. Instead of the usual compact recipe card, the meals are introduced with a timeline adjacent to the ingredient lists, providing a more meaningful estimate of how 'busy' the preparation is. Each step is clearly photographed to illustrate how the item should appear before moving on. The result is that this cookbook isn't merely interesting, but actually compelling.

Although this particular book is aimed at the typical first-world resident, Adrià's underlying motivations clearly include the role of nutrition in global health policy. It might not be an exaggeration to say that The Family Meal is the most important new cookbook to come out in years.

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I really enjoyed the discussion...I actually found myself thinking about how you could apply the principles he talked about in the context of food to other arenas (business, etc)...and believe they would be able to be applied seamlessly.

I think Adria's discussion re: creativity / motivation would do well in front of any audience, not just those interested in el Bulli and food. I also appreciated that Andres seemed completely comfortable letting his mentor / friend take center stage. It was touching how much he clearly loves and respects Ferran (for those of you who have seen the episode of No Reservations episode on el Bulli, it comes across the same way in person as it does in the show).

Agree with what those above have said on the cookbook, it is a worthy addition to anyones collection.

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Really enjoyed it and have to agree with most everything already posted above save two things:

1. The GW folks weren't around us but we were up in the nosebleeds having gotten there just before showtime (which I know is where one might expect collegiate types to be but...?).

2. Well alrighty, big mistake to not have gotten the book. Hopefully P&P can set me up this weekend.

Amazing how packed it was. Lisner has a 1550 capacity and there had to be at least 1400 there. Maybe 5 to 7 times as many as were there the week prior for the Kojo/Spendid Table talk. I guess not surprising. As much as I enjoy LRK on Splendid Table, Ferran is a different deal.

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Really enjoyed it and have to agree with most everything already posted above save two things:

1. The GW folks weren't around us but we were up in the nosebleeds having gotten there just before showtime (which I know is where one might expect collegiate types to be but...?).

2. Well alrighty, big mistake to not have gotten the book. Hopefully P&P can set me up this weekend.

Amazing how packed it was. Lisner has a 1550 capacity and there had to be at least 1400 there. Maybe 5 to 7 times as many as were there the week prior for the Kojo/Spendid Table talk. I guess not surprising. As much as I enjoy LRK on Splendid Table, Ferran is a different deal.

It was 100% sold out. I felt a little bad my second ticket didn't get used... The book is definitely worth it.

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