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My visit elBulli Taller – Ferran Adria’s private workshop

If you have followed my blog for any period of time you know that I get a lot of my creative inspiration from avant guard chefs and probably none more than Ferran Adria and his restaurant elBulli in Spain. The world at large probably first heard the name Ferran Adria in 2003 because of Anthony Bourdain’s TV show No Reservation on an episode called “Decoding Ferran Adria” which was the first primetime look into Ferran restaurant and workshop. I have been such a huge fan of chef Adria and the food because it is wildly creative and challenges the very conventions around what makes a meal.

I personally find a strong link between the creativity in cooking and creativity in design and advertising. I get a tremendous amount of creative inspiration from the work of chef’s like Ferran Adria, Jose Andreas, Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne. I even use their work to teach how to have to break through creative ideas in my studio. I tell my designers here in New York to go to Wylie Dufresne’s restaurant WD50 and have the eggs Benedict to see what I mean. It is a dish we have all had before but to completely re-imagined it into some you have never seen before in a form you have never eaten before the tastes bring back strong memories. It is that play between wild creativity that is contained in something familiar that I love. I think it is what all break through interactive work does. It gives you something completely new but there is something familiar in the usability and the experience when though it is all new.

I don’t know of many people who have been able to cross the #1 item off their bucket list but n the middle of December of last year I did just that. I was given the astounding opportunity to travel to Barcelona to meet Chef Adria, get a private tour of elBulli Taller which is his private workshop and have dinner at his new Tapas restaurant Tickets.

It is not an overstatement when I say that for me being able to spend time which one of the world’s greatest living creative minds and the man who forever changed the face of modern gastronomy in the workshop where he created the world’s greatest restaurant was an experience that had a profound effect on me. This was only the third time Ferran had ever allowed the public into his workshop and hearing about his process and seeing the level of detail he put into every single aspect of the dining experience at elBulli was astounding. The video above shows some of the highlights from that tour as well as showing you Ferran’s philosophy and just what he did to create such temple of creativity. I will more posts in the near future about some of the insights I got from my conversation with Ferran, how to selected his team at elBulli and the techniques he used to lead his team.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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