Spanish celebrity chef Ferran Adrià has announced he will close his three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Bulli for two years.
Adrià made the unexpected announcement today at a press conference at international culinary congress Madrid Fusion, where he had earlier performed a cookery demonstration and shown a short film to sum up the 2009 season at the restaurant.
Sat beside business partner and El Bulli's general manager Juli Soler, the chef said he will temporarily close the iconic restaurant on the north Catalan coast near Barcelona during 2012 and 2013.
Adrià claimed the decision was for a combination of personal and creative reasons. "I'm not retiring," he said.
"It's just that we're not feeding anyone at the restaurant for two years. We will still be working. I don't want to go and sit on a beach in the Bahamas but I think we deserve to lead more normal lives because for 25 years we have been focusing on the restaurant. Now we need more time with our families."
El Bulli, which currently only opens for only six months a year and last year shifted its opening season which previously ran April to October, forward to June to December, will open this year and in 2011 before closing.
According to Adrià the time will be used "to work and transform things at El Bulli" although he said he couldn't yet say exactly what that would mean when the restaurant re-opens in 2014.
- Look out for Caterersearch video coverage of the Madrid Fusion congress next week.
By Joe Warwick
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