(Natural News) Ferran Adria, the world renowned chef of El Bulli, has been criticized for inadvertently poisoning customers with his version of the sophisticated culinary art known as haute cuisine. El Bulli, near Barcelona, Spain, has been chosen as the best restaurant in the world by Britain's Restaurant Magazine five times.
El Bulli is open only six months out of each year, and has been booked in advance by international diners for years. This, despite the price of $500 per head. Most in Spain regard Ferran Adria as a national treasure.
However, a year ago another highly regarded chef in Spain, Santi Santamaria, publicly denounced Ferra Adria's approach of "molecular gastronomy" asking, "Can we be proud of a cuisine which fills plates with gelling agents and laboratory emulsifiers?" Most regarded Santamaria's publicized query as professional jealousy. Some even called Santamaria a traitor.
A German food critic and author of The Unappetizing Underside of Molecular Cooking, Jorg Zipprick, recently weighed in with an attack on Ferran Adria's creations. Zipprick calculated that one sitting in El Bulli would give a person 16 percent of his of her annual additive intake! "It would not occur to any fast-food chain to stuff us with 20 or 30 dishes full of chemical additives", he asserted.
Ferran Adria argues that he is not doing anything unusual with his molecular gastronomy. He argues that the chemicals he uses have been a tradition of haute cuisine for years. Adria believes his chemical concoctions cause no harm.
It's easy to assume that the six months El Bulli are closed gives Adria time to devote to his "chemical laboratory". The additives criticized are not off-the-shelf ingredients. A chef has to experiment with different chemical mixes to achieve textures and tastes that would be uniquely appealing.
Not everyone leaves as a happy customer. An American journalist, Bill Buford was quoted as saying his wife almost walked out after a wafer "incinerated her tongue". Another wrote that his meal in El Bulli " . . . was an experience and art. I enjoyed it enormously and it made me vomit". (TimesOnline, source below)
Eating in cheap fast food restaurants or the best haute cuisine restaurant both have one thing in common: toxic food additives.