Avant-garde restaurant El Bulli to become non-profit foundation

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd February 2010

World-famous restuarant El Bulli is to become a non-profit foundation from 2014 after a two-year closure, announced chef and owner Ferran Adria on Monday at the Santiago Gastronomic Forum.

The Catalan restaurant, with three Michelin stars and winner of the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant four years running, is set to become a “foundation for all avant-garde gastronomy lovers… a breeding ground for new ideas and for new talents.”  Adria will offer scholarships for chefs and others in the industry, plans to create an “exhaustive and detailed” encyclopedia of contemporary cuisine for free distribution, and is considering expanding into traditional cuisine, cocktails and breakfasts.

The restaurant, famously avant-garde, combines gastronomic innovation with exclusivity.  Waiting lists of many months, six-month closures for new menu planning, and dinners around 200 euros per head, combined with deconstructed dishes including truffle cappucino, seawater foam, hot ice cream and oyster meringue, have made El Bulli a hit with the intrepid diner.

Speculation that Adria would close El Bulli was rife, with he and partner Juli Soler losing $750,000 a year on the business. However, as a non-profit foundation, El Bulli can receive tax breaks and accept grants.  Adria told the Forum that El Bulli would continue to serve “a certain number of customers” as part of the foundation’s operation.