Ferran Adrià needs very little introduction. With his seminal restaurant elBulli, he changed the way we think about gastronomy, and now Heart – his unique collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil – continues to push the boundaries of the dining experience. We managed to catch him in Ibiza for a quick ten minute chat to find out more about his unique perspective in the culinary world, and his role as brand ambassador for Estrella Damm.
Can you tell us how the collaboration between you and Cirque Du Soleil came about?
It all started because Guy Laliberté (the owner of Cirque Du Soleil) and I have a long friendship. They wanted to do something in Ibiza, and it took off from there.
How does the theatrical aspect of Heart compliment the dining?
It’s difficult to explain because there’s nothing like Heart around the world. There are similar things, like Moulin Rouge in Paris – but what we’ve come to do is bring everything together, and it’s been hard. It’s not a cabaret, it’s not a circus, it’s not a restaurant – Heart is a unique thing, it’s about innovation.
Is the theatrical element something you’d carry on elsewhere?
This isn’t a typical restaurant. There are over 200 people working every night, from the kitchen to the performers – it would be really difficult to create this concept somewhere else.
Heart offers two dining experiences - Terrace and Supper - can you tell us more?
The Terrace has more detail, more elaboration, and more dishes – and downstairs you have fewer, very special dishes. There are two different ideas which come together to create a unique concept, all backed by the elBulli ethos. Not as elaborate and as provocative, but with that kind of sense and that idea behind it. At the end what we want is for people to be happy.
All of your projects incorporate a sense of fun - why is that important to you?
It’s to make it more accessible. What we do is very innovative. Making innovation fun and happy, comedic – is a way of making them accessible to the general public. Life without humour is very sad.
The project is actually more of Albert [Adria’s] thing, but I’ve been involved in the management – Ibiza is a fun place and that appeals to me. I’m really concentrated on the El Bulli foundation, but Heart interested me so I wanted to be involved.
What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?
There are so many places to eat, drink and party here, but in the end my favourite thing about Ibiza is the sea. I like the mix of the tranquility and the nightlife.
Which side of it do you prefer?
It depends on my mood, but I think they’re complimentary.
Who is your favourite chef?
Of course, my brother Albert. But right now, I think there is more culinary talent than there ever has been before. It’s very difficult to pick out a single person, because the standards are so high.
Can you tell us a bit more about why you created the Inedit Damm beer with Estrella Damm?
I always see people drinking beer when I have lunch, so I wanted to create a beer especially for people to drink with food. Something fresh with a nice texture, not too heavy. I’ve just finished working on a new beer with Estrella actually, one that’s especially designed to accompany Latin food.
What’s next for you and Albert?
I’m really focused on the elBulli foundation, it’s a completely different discourse to what I’m doing normally. I feel like Batman, changing from day to night. There’s also a future project in New York with Albert and Jose Andres, which I’m helping out with. 3,000 square metres, really cultural and intellectual, very cool.