As the most feted restaurant on the planet prepares to close its reservation book this month, photographer and filmmaker Marcus Gaab gained exclusive access to the kitchen, documenting the magic that goes into a typical 47-course meal. Gaab trailed head chefand his 70-strong staff as they meticulously constructed everything from gorgonzola balls (a frozen sphere of the cheese with a soft center) to chocolate coral (strawberry-powder-dusted warm chocolate molded in the shape of sea coral). “They divide ingredients into their most basic elements, then reassemble: it’s a mix of kitchen and laboratory,” says Gaab. Adrià has led Spain’s El Bulli to the top of San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list a record five times, and since taking the helm in the 1980s, has helped to launch such celebrated chefs as Grant Achatz and the current world’s best,. The likes of Penelope Cruz andMarc Newsonhave dropped by to indulge at El Bulli during the final countdown, as hasPhil Oh, who shares food snaps on his style blogStreet Peeper. Below, Oh offers an aesthete’s review of the molecular gastronomy pioneer, which will be reborn as a culinary academy in 2014.

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