For years, Adrià was the head chef of elBulli, the world’s most famous restaurant outside ofBarcelona. The restaurant only opened for six months a year. For the rest of the year, the chef withdrew to his laboratory with a few trusted colleagues to develop new recipes. Ferran Adrià ignited a revolution in the kitchen, not only in terms of food, but also in its design, cooking utensils and menus. Every innovation was accompanied by drawings, diagrams and formal experiments, through which Adrià translated the vocabulary of taste into the visual domain.

The exhibition that features this work, and was developed in collaboration with The Drawing Center (New York), Ferran Adrià and his team will be exclusively shown at Marres in Maastricht, The Netherlands fromMarch 10 to July 3 2016

The exhibition

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity is a homage to Ferran Adrià’s quest for creativity and how it led to his revolutionary, innovative cuisine. It is filled with hundreds of colourful drawings, sketches, Plasticine models, collages, photos, provocative recipes, wonderful menus, unique cutlery – such as the soup fragrance spoon – and unusual cooking utensils. The highlight of the exhibition is a specially designed hall of mirrors, with an infinite landscape of over one hundred floating, delectable objects: glass tumblers in all possible forms, metal amuse bouche serving dishes, plates made from slate and glass, and Plasticine models indicating the size of dishes. The film Cooking in Progress (2011) by director Gereon Wetzel shines a detailed light on Ferran Adria’s experimental way of working. Finally, the film 1846 – named after the number of dishes which Adrià created together with his team over 20 years – will also be screened. Director Valentijn Byvanck, who worked intensively with Adrià for over two years to prepare and put together the exhibition: ‘The exhibition fits perfectly within the Marres ‘senses’ programme, which is in turn inspired by Maastricht and Limburg, perhaps the only region in the Netherlands where the senses are not only indulged but also trained.’

The creative process

The exhibition takes you behind the scenes of Adrià’s (born 1962) search for ingredients and new ways to prepare and serve food. From the very beginning, that process of reflection has been visible in the drawings he makes: Adrià always had a pencil and a sketchbook at the ready during the 20-plus years in which he worked with his team on his innovative, investigatory cuisine. He didn’t write his recipes down, he drew them first. ‘Drawing is the basis of my creative process,’ Adrià has said. I use these drawings to help me visualise what the final result will look like; often, drawing helps trigger a work in progress.’

Book your ticket onlinemarres.org/adria.