In 1993, we were just beginning to hear about the Spanish culinary revolution, and along with the likes of Arzak, Subijana, and Santamaria, the name Ferran Adrià was coming up frequently. Then El Bulli (not yet spelling itself as elBulli) released its first cookbook. The fact that this book proclaims itself a Pandora’s box seems remarkably prescient. New forces were being released into the world, with unpredictable effects.
People who only know Adrià’s cuisine from the late 1990s onward, when relentless technical innovation sometimes seemed to be its defining characteristic, may be surprised to see how the cooking on which the chef built his initial renown was focused on an approach to flavor and ingredients that would not look at all out of place in a restaurant of 2016.
This isn’t to say that his later creative development was not presaged here. But foams, alginate, and siphons aside, Adrià’s part in the rescue of Spanish cuisine from the lingering doldrums of Franco-era conservatism was driven in part by anticipating changes that were about to take place throughout the culinary world.
There was never an English-language edition of this book: it was released in Catalan, Spanish, German, and Japanese. Printings were small. We cannot find any Spanish-language copies currently for sale anywhere in the world.
This copy is from the first printing (stated) in October 1993. It is signed by Chef Adrià. The jacket has yellowed slightly near the edges, apparently a quality of the paper that was used. The dustjacket has been covered by a protective mylar. Binding is tight and sound.