International -- The Stars of Europe -- Innovators
Ferran Adria (int'l edition)
Chef -- El Bulli Restaurant -- Spain
When French food-lovers want something new, they flock south to Spain and sample Ferran Adria's creations. "He's doing the most exciting things in our profession," says Paul Bocuse, the legendary chef.
Adria, 37, has built a reputation as one of Europe's most successful--and outrageous--chefs. At his Barcelona restaurant, El Bulli, rather than using tomatoes to make gazpacho, Adria freezes them into lollipops. Pasta is made from fresh mango. "I'm not confined by French techniques," Adria says.
El Bulli is open only six months a year: Adria devotes the fall and winter to experimenting with new dishes. The average bill comes to about $100, reasonable for a three-star meal. "You don't do this just for money," says his business partner Julio Solar. Maybe--but El Bulli is packed every night.