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Lavazza & elBulli

20+ years of innovations

By Lavazza Team 2/3 minutes

The partnership between Lavazza and Ferran Adrià has been going on for more than 20 years. 20 years in which we’ve not stopped innovating, designing and coming up with new ideas. These make this friendship truly special. The way in which Lavazza and Adrià found each other is just as special. It was the great photographer and gourmet star Bob Noto, described by Adrià as “the King of Turin”, who brought the two worlds together.

elBulli: a futuristic culinary revolution

Ferran Adrià, the rebel of international cuisine, was born in Spain at L'Hospitalet de Llobregat in 1962. At 18 he began to make inroads in the world of catering, starting small in the humble but nevertheless important job of pot wash in the Hotel Playafels’ restaurant in Castelldefels. Here he learns the history of Catalan cuisine and understands that the future lies in the evolution, and revolution of the traditions. After his military service, where he naturally worked in the kitchen, he started work at a restaurant on the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona which was still unknown: elBulli. 18 months later, Adrià is the chef of the restaurant which starts him on his journey to becoming the most famous chef in the world.

From 1983 to 2011, the year in which Adrià decided to close, elBulli became a cult location for culinary revolution spanning the turn of the century. Thanks for Adrià’s ideas, it won 3 Michelin stars with a surprising and innovative cuisine. This was the so-called “molecular gastronomy”, that puts creativity at the service of the elements, experimenting with unusual techniques and ingredients to create surprising dishes. Adrià’s dishes are considered real culinary masterpieces that redefined modern cuisine and inspired a generation of chefs. His work is characterised by in-depth scientific research and analysis of the ingredients, transforming food into unique multi-sensory experiences.

elBulli was the revolutionary spark. Through the 1,846 recipes (a number which appears many times in his history) designed to elevate gastronomy in a multitude of senses, Adrià created an entire way of thinking which is expressed through food. Speaking of “molecular gastronomy” is simplistic, because the experience of elBulli has truly been the practical manifestation of turning imagination into reality.

From Coffee Design to closing elBulli: “Sapiens” is born

The link up between Lavazza and such a personality was bound to lead to a unique and special project which would push coffee to its limits, and expanded its horizons with plays on its form, material and its infinite possibilities. We’re at the dawn of the new millennium and the future is a blank canvas leaving space for imagination. With Lavazza’s Coffee Design project, coffee officially enters the world of high-class cuisine and becomes an art form: Coffee Design is coffee than meets creativity, it is world to discover, a result of surprising taste combinations. Adrià and Lavazza’s idea is to make Coffee Design a place in which all the innovation and research of the Turin-based company is concentrated, thanks to the expertise of the Lavazza Training Center.

Despite international success, three Michelin stars and a well-deserved place in the history books, Ferran Adrià decided to close the elBulli restaurant in 2011. After nearly fifty years of pushing the boundaries of culinary artistry in the elBulli kitchen, from its inception in 1964 to Adrià taking over as chef in 1987, he embraced a bold new phase of innovation and creativity in his culinary career. In 2014 the elBulli foundation was born. A true research centre concentrating on food as a multidisciplinary cultural enabler. A place which follows the only possible philosophy, that of innovation and experimentation. A place where philosophers, scientists, physicists, biologists and sociologists study all of human history linking it all together with food. It is a method that Adrià calls Sapiens: “a holistic approach to catering”.

One of the most important and monumental projects of this adventure is BullipediaA work of 30 volumes, more than 500 pages which take on all aspects of catering, opening them up to every thought and dissecting them in relation to history, their uses and cultural consumption, their material scope and their evolution across the centuries. Only in this way can we look at food as a tool to build the future. The Bullipedia works are patchworks in a great mosaic, a transversal collection that lends holistic understanding to one of the broadest topics available.

Bullipedia and Condividere: a new chapter in the friendship with Lavazza

Lavazza is an enthusiastic partner in this project which perfectly represents the Turin-based company’s approach: solid roots in history on which to build a future out of coffee. One of the most important gastronomic elements, in particular from a social viewpoint, of all times. The partnership with Lavazza and Bullipedia has developed into two works, Coffee Sapiens and Italian Breakfast, which are even displayed at MoMa in New York due their cultural importance. In Coffee Sapiens, using this holistic research method, we explore the world of coffee through its history to expand its significant horizons and better understand the limitless evolutions of its taste and possibilities. Coffee is not just a quick drink to consume in a café between one meeting and the next.

But there’s more. When Lavazza wanted to demonstrate its vision of the future with the inauguration of its headquarter Nuvola, which isn’t just a place for corporate management but a gateway which brings meaning and experiences through a conference centre, a company cultural museum and a gastronomic flagship, it asked Ferran Adrià to help in the design of a restaurant capable of being a game-changer. From here Condividere . was born, a restaurant in which food is part of the shared, inclusive and informal experience where tradition becomes innovation and where quality comes before all else. Opened in 2018, it gained its first Michelin star in 2019.

The present: elBulli1846

The latest step in this extraordinary intellectual adventure is elBulli1846. The number 1846 comes up again, it’s August Escoffier’s year of birth, the father of modern cuisine. With elBulli1846 Adrià wanted to pay homage to history and all its important milestones. elBulli1846 is a unique location of its kind. In fact, it is the first restaurant in the world to become a museum. Conceived and designed to safeguard elBulli’s heritage, it promotes experimental thinking and creates quality, educational content following the “Sapiens” methodology. A place which stays open for three months of the year as a museum which then turns into elBulliDNA, a natural evolution of the foundation, dedicated to multidisciplinary food research. A path of knowledge which also includes the tasting of an excellent coffee. Lavazza, of course.
Find out more at elBulli1846 - The museum of the restaurant that changed everything

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