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The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season In The Kitchen At Ferran Adria's Elbulli (2011)

by Lisa Abend(Favorite Author)
3.83 of 5 Votes: 1
1439175551 (ISBN13: 9781439175552)
Free Press
review 1: I desperately wanted this to be a five-star book. I have been somewhat obsessed with elBulli since I first learned about the restaurant and Ferran Adria. Sadly, this was not the book I hoped it would be. I thought the editing was poor. I found numerous blatant typos which, frankly, I find terribly distracting. I also had a hard time seeing the connection between the apprentices personal stories and the happenings in the restaurant. I don't actually fault the author for this because a good editor could have solved all of the problems. I did enjoy the glimpse into elBulli. I thought Ferran Adria came across as an interesting, if mercurial, character. I liked reading about the individuals that made up the ever-rotating cast at the restaurant. Adria sometimes seemed like a com... moreplete jerk and totally full of himself and the mission of elBulli. The restaurant ran at a loss, which is so totally counterintuitive to me. For example, the stagiaires (unpaid interns) had to pay 27 euro to attend the closing party. On the other hand, they wasted tremendous amounts of food trying to achieve perfection in presentation. (I clearly don't understand haute cuisine like I thought I did.) In the end, I found myself turned off to the idea of molecular gastronomy and intrigued only by the thought of staff meals (which sound legitimately delicious from the descriptions in the book). I no longer feel disappointed that elBulli is closed.
review 2: A look inside the insular, deeply weird world of El Bulli and its captain, Ferran Adria. The book focusses on the stagiaries - the forty-plus unpaid workers who come to El Bulli to learn how the world's best restaurant works.Abend is an astute, thorough reporter, and her writing is outstanding. While there is a level of respect for Adria and his staff, Abend never shies away from documenting the more unsavoury aspects of the restaurant - particularly the fact that the stagiaires are used as little more than grunt labour, and learn next to nothing. (Adria even has the gall to charge them for an end-of-season staff party).An addictive, beautifully-built book. less
Reviews (see all)
Very cleanly written account of a year at elBulli.
good vacation reading, esp on a trip to spain!
Good so far....
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