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06.06.11 by  

Living La Vida Tapa

Get your ticket to Albert and Ferran Adria’s newest Barcelona restaurant where you’ll create your own tapas tasting menu then wash it down with customized cocktails at their bar next door.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Barcelona’s hottest seat in town is a table at Tickets restaurant, the newest project by the Michelin-starred brothers, Albert and Ferran Adrià. Taking inspiration from Michelin-starred El Bulli, they’ve created a whimsical journey of a meal. Each bite is unique in its own right, from the traditional Spanish Iberian Ham to the ocean-inspired avocado with sea urchin, diners are destined to experience the unheard of while they dine.

After dinner, nab a barstool at 41º for a cocktail from the menu that’s developed by Albert and a team of mixologists. We caught up with Albert to see where he found inspiration for the lofty new restaurant and the customized menus.

served raw: talk about 41º and the ambiance that you set out to create through the beverages you serve.

Albert Adria: We just started a joint effort between chefs and bartenders to offer a new style of menu for our clients — a range of classic cocktails and snacks inspired by El Bulli. New cocktail creations are accompanied by a snack expressly created for the drink, like oysters with our green tomato bloody mary, prepared by the chefs and finished by the mixologists. The atmosphere we are creating is to serve clients who want a new experience.

Miniairbags with Iberian bacon and thyme oil are a crunchy tapa to begin your evening.

your menu seems to draw from many different regional inspirations. where you draw your inspiration from?

It is a combination of regional dishes — inspired by the traditions of El Bulli and from Inopia, my prior traditional tapas bar.

A generous portion of grilled razor clams delicately seasoned with ginger, cayenne pepper and lemon air.

you’re on the cutting edge of innovating techniques when it comes to cooking … what are some of the innovative techniques you are implementing with cocktails?

The utilization of air and spherification have been implemented, but for now we want to go slowly and also introduce new techniques into making desserts.

The most unique bite of the evening: liquid ravioli with payoyo cheese. Eat in one bite, the outer spheres are formed around a savory liquid center.

your food has been referred to as art and the same goes for your cocktails … can you talk about cocktail presentation and how it plays a role in the 41º experience?

I think it’s the client that turns food into art — their senses are excited with what is tasted. The presentation alone is the final part of the process: “If you do it, do it beautifully.”

Tickets’ cotton candy tree, sprinkled with violet flower petals and perfect for sharing with diners seated near you.

when crafting a food menu or dish, do you take wine or cocktail pairing into consideration?

The truth is that it’s very complex to combine all the dishes with the beverages. In Tickets we serve beer and a small selection of wines, at 41º we focus on the cocktails.

do you ever incorporate spirits (whiskey, rum, gin, etc.) into your cooking? how and why.

We have done at El Bulli, particularly applying the technique to dessert. At Tickets we are working on a watermelon that is vacuum packed with sangria.

The only way to wrap up a dinner at Tickets … with a cocktail next door.

we like to encourage our readers to experiment in their home kitchens with what they learn from our interviews. do you have a tip, trick or recipe that home chefs or bartenders could try?

At 41º we like to make our juices for making desserts and cocktails such as a green tomato juice for Bloody Marys, blood orange juice, etc. which you could try at home.

A duo of cocktails made by Mixologist Juan Serrano at 41º.