This is it. July 2011 has reached its end, which means that El Bulli (or elBulli, as it likes to be called as of recently) is closing its doors forever – at last until it’s reborn as a culinary institute in a couple of years. In a statement of utter finality, the opening page of the website now reads: “elBullirestaurant has now closed and has been converted into elBullifoundation.” For those in love with molecular gastronomy or just singular dining experience, it’s an emotional day indeed.
Though the secluded restaurant opened on Spain's Costa Brava in 1961 and gained its first (of three) Michelin stars in the 1970s, Chef Ferran Adrià and his pioneering endeavors in molecular gastronomy are what launched El Bulli’s reputation into the stratosphere as a world-class foodie destination.
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The fact that the restaurant has been slated for close has been known in the culinary community for a while now, with Chef Adrià already making plans for the future. As such, the internet has been ablaze with both fanciful stories from those who had the privilege of being there, as well as weary essays from those who can’t wait for food writers everywhere to have something new to focus on (not to mention tangential speeches from the likes of Alton Brown wondering whether the whole foam-and-caviar molecular gastronomy craze might be going too far and obfuscating the need for basic cooking skills).
The Huffington Post in particular has an impressive round-up of everything the collective internet hive mind has been saying about El Bulli for the past few months. More importantly, however, it reminds woeful readers that there’s life after El Bulli – as long as progressive restaurants like Noma and Alinea keep opening, there’s always something new to look forward to just around the bend.