Culinary Cinema | 2017 | 82 minutes
Stranger Says: After the famous sibling-run Spanish restaurant elBulli closed its doors in 2011, younger brother Albert Adrià went on a gastronomic tear, with a plan to open five very different restaurants around Barcelona at warp speed. The frenzied sequences of various opening nights make for fascinating pre-meal viewing, especially when raising the issue of whether the subject’s constant drive for invention stems from creativity—the chef himself compares it to a director making films in different genres—or something possibly less enviable. The hungry should be advised: Even at the height of the chaos, the food close-ups are practically obscene.
SIFF Says:Seven years after its closing, there is little that can be added to the mythology of Spain’s legendary elBulli that hasn’t already been articulated. With three Michelin stars, five RESTAURANT MAGAZINE “World’s Best Restaurant” awards, and over a million reservation requests per year, elBulli catapulted its head chef, Ferran Adrià, into the rarified space of global celebrity, spearheading the molecular gastronomy movement and earning him the distinction of being the World’s Greatest Chef. Yet behind Adrià’s success was a lesser-known if equally important element: the drive and passion of his younger brother Albert, often called the World’s Most Underrated Chef. With elBulli’s heyday long behind him, Albert works furiously to establish his own culinary identity, opening five wildly varied Barcelona-area restaurants in a single year-and winning a pair of Michelin stars in the process. Yet even fresh accolades and a newly minted reputation of his own aren’t enough: Seeking nothing less than a radical redefining of the dining experience itself, the younger Adrià sets out to articulate the paradigm-shifting culinary vision he’s always strived for with bold new restaurant Enigma, driving himself to the brink of emotional and financial collapse in this no-holds-barred look at a modern visionary from directors Laura Collado and Jim Loomis.
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