The Spanish chef who brought the world such treats as ravioli made from squid and freeze-dried foie gras is closing his acclaimed restaurant for a while to tinker with new ideas for molecular cuisine.
Ferran Adria said Tuesday his restaurant elBulli, which boasts three stars in the Michelin guide, will close to the public in 2012 and 2013 but continue to serve as a research lab, and then reopen in 2014.
"With a format like the current one it is impossible to keep creating," Mr. Adria, 47, told reporters at a gastronomic fair called Madrid Fusion. "In 2014, we will serve food somehow. I don't know if it will be for one guest or 1,000."
elBulli, in Gerona province a few hours north of Barcelona, was voted the world's best restaurant last year by the British magazine Restaurant. It was the fourth straight year it received that honour.
Mr.Adria says his goal is to break the moulds that determine what food should look or feel like.
He is known for trailblazing, high-tech cooking methods in which ingredients are "deconstructed" and reassembled in unexpected ways, creating dishes like Parmesan ice cream sandwiches or Mr. Adria's trademark foams - airy reincarnations of solid food. The chef has made them from such things as tea or seaweed.
His tapas have included blood orange foam with tomato sorbet. And for dessert, how about some pea gelatin with banana and lime ice cream?
elBulli said the 2012-13 stretch "will be devoted to think, plan and prepare the new format for subsequent years."
"During this time, all the know-how about elaborations, techniques and styles acquired after 30 years of creative research will be analyzed, and the results of said work will be compiled in a comprehensive a thorough encyclopedia," the restaurant said in a statement.