El Bulli: Cooking in Progress


directed by Gereon Wetzel, 113 minutes

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Official selection of the 2011 Independent Film Festival of Boston.

EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS is a revealing look inside the kitchen of renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria. Located in Catalonia, Spain, Adria's restaurant elBulli, closed for six months each year while Adria and his team of culinary experts design a fresh, innovative menu for the next season. Not content with anything ordinary, Adria's scientific approach involves intense research and experimentation to create a variety of dishes that have never been experienced before. Filmmaker Gereon Wetzel goes "behind the scenes" of the kitchen for a glimpse into the creative process of the culinary arts, exploring the methods and approaches that go in to creating the perfect menu. Over the course of six months, Adria pushes himself and his team to develop new recipes, always innovating and never repeating themselves to deliver a thirty-course menu that his guests will never forget. From the inception of new recipes through experimentation and creation, EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS gives audiences the chance to experience the process behind the wide tapestry of cuisine developed each year at elBulli by master chef Ferran Adria.

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1 member found this review helpful Created over 3 years ago.

So Inspiring. To see the actual process of world class excellence is completely inspiring. I learned many concepts and approaches that I will apply to my practice and work. Riveting.

1 of 2 members found this review helpful Created almost 2 years ago.

A slow meditation on the daily life of the world's greatest restaurant. If you are looking for Ferran-worship, you won't find it. You see him here as you would see him if you were an eager line cook who had landed the job of a life time. The film shows the grind, the paper work, the false starts, and the toughness behind the veil. There are smatterings of culinary philosophy, and they are true and right, but they are woven into a larger fabric. "Production" and "Creation" are two different processes, we are told. You see here also why EB was so great, because all were kept fused together in a dynamic symphony, at once connected to the natural world around them, and flowing freely from the creative minds of the key players. The world of EB is a world of hierarchy, structure, and grinding repetition. It is also a world of art and mystery. I admire that the film makers took the time to tell this story right. Its a long, multicourse meal that in the end, leaves you satisfied but not stuffed.

Top reviewer
Created almost 2 years ago.

I saw this film, or an early version, about a year before it appeared on Fandor and am happy to see it made it here. (Should have said so earlier!) It delivers what it promises: a detailed look at how the man who was for years considered the world's greatest chef created dozens of entirely new dishes year after year. That El Bulli is gone in no way diminishes this film's interest: countless chefs around the world continue to follow in Adria's footsteps.

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