Customer Reviews: El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
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on March 16, 2012
If you are a real foodie, chef, and someone involved in the business of food you might like this. If you are expecting a Gordon Ramsey or Bourdain style documentary then you will be disappointed. You will not learn how to cook any of what legendary chef, Ferran Adrià, makes at the now retired El Bulli restaurant. The documentary starts with the closing of his restaurant for the season then turns into a dialogue between chefs on the creativity and science of the creation of new dishes. You are like a fly on the wall. Jose Andres operates arguably the most advanced kitchen in the world, very interesting to see how everything comes together, but this film won't be for everyone
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on July 8, 2012
I really enjoyed Bourdain's documentary about El Bulli,Decoding Ferran Adria: Hosted by Anthony Bourdain (and the episode of No Reservations with Ferran Adria), and in those you really got to see what cooking and eating at El Bulli was like. I also enjoyed Lisa Abend's book The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià's elBulli. This movie, however, was much less interesting to watch.

The movie is 1hr 50mins long, and all dialogue is in Catalan, Spanish, or French, with English subtitles. The first half of the movie is almost all video of Ferran's sous-chefs working in the lab. There is no narration at all, very little cooking, and it is somewhat tedious to watch. Yes, it is interesting to see what they do, but most of the time it is unclear exactly what they are doing and what ingredients they are using. Still, it is quite amazing how meticulous they are in the lab. The second half takes place in the restaurant, where we see them set up for the season. Again, it is usually not clear what exactly they are doing. You might see them making some cool looking dishes, but the viewer has no idea what they are. At one point we watch Ferran eat his own meal, but for the most part, we do not know what the dishes are or how they taste! We just see him make notes quietly. Pretty dull.

If you are really into El Bulli, this is worth watching for the behind-the-scenes look, but in the end it is just ok. Could have been great, with lots of narration and better editing.
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on May 7, 2012
If you classify yourself as a foodie, you have got to see this movie. This is where food preparation is takes to almost a scientific level. I do not believe anyone else in the entire world has done this approach to food preparation.
Too bad if you never got to el Bulli, it closed in 2011. The brothers opened Tickets and 41degrees in Barcelona while the featured chefs opened Compartir north of Barcelona, with Faran's blessings to continue along the same path, and not too far from the el Bulli original site.
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on August 7, 2013
I am a serious foodie and I read a lot of food literature, and try to see a lot of food movies. One terrific foodie movie is about the Japanese sushi chef Jiro. This documentary on El Bulli - to be honest, was boring because it really had no narrative structure. I don't know much about the chef, his story, the story of the restaurant. In fact, that is what this really lacks - a good story. It shows what goes on in the kitchen, some interesting stuff about how they think about their menus or what they try to do to remain creative. I guess the idea is to pretend that we are there like a fly on the wall, but unlike the fly, I need some focus. Not worth watching in my opinion, but I have always wanted to eat at the restaurant just for the experience but I believe it is now closed. Instead see "Kings of Pastry", "Jiro" or the documentary on the Bocus D'or (so interesting).
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on April 4, 2015
Proved to me that, even as a scientist, I do not have the patience to perfect a dish like is shown in this documentary. Amazing! Not exactly like those two silly guys who visit lots of restaurants and just say Yum. Details details details. OMG. Can you stand to see such details??
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on September 21, 2012
The movie is a great look into the creative process behind the El Bulli kitchen. You don't see as much about the work of the stages like the ones referenced in The sorcerer's apprentice book, but you do get a glimpse into the laboratory as well as how that plays out in the development of recipes in the kitchen.
The movie looks more at the food than the people behind it and Adria, himself seems to have little or nothing to do with the development of the food except offering a critique. One thing that was lacking was the trial and error of all the ideas as they are being formed, the beginning of the movie looks into that a little bit, but then it focuses more on the finished dishes and the operation of the restaurant.
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on November 9, 2012
They type of drive shown by the El Bulli team is truly inspirational. Ferran Adria is a genius and continues to impress me with his transitions of creativity. Even though the restaurant has been closed I am looking forward to elbulliFoundation to happen.
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on January 9, 2013
Love having a non-narrated view into both the lab and formerly world's greatest restaurant. To check out the approach, failures, process behind the myth was particularly fun and an education into this now gone pilgrimage site. Highly recommend for all those obsessed with gastronomic adventure, horizons, pleasure!
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on June 11, 2012
This film shows a really interesting side of El Bulli which I haven't actually seen elsewhere: the off-season. The restaurant closes for half the year and the chefs retreat to the lab in Barcelona. The film shows the experimentation and the creative process. Overall, the film was very enjoyable.
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on July 30, 2013
This dvd offers amazing insight into the creative process of Ferran Adria. I was first introduced to his work through watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations episode in season 7. This video is not so much about recipes as it is about ideology and technique. Very inspiring and makes you want to create. This illustrates the difference between a cook and an innovative forward thinking chef. Uber respect for Ferran and his process!
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