El Bulli closing?

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john
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Post by john » Sat 13 Feb 2010 19:14

Well yes,Thumbs. But just in the same way that Allan is entitled to spend his money how he wishes,surely people are entitled also to voice an opinion on the subject?

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Post by polremy » Sat 13 Feb 2010 19:18

Exactement to you too, John.
However much money I had, I could never spend 300 euros on a meal and enjoy it, nor could I spend even 30 euros on a bottle of something and enjoy that.
But that's just me (and you too, I suspect).

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Post by john » Sat 13 Feb 2010 20:39

Correct Pol. I was brought up to know the value of things,not to waste money,and NEVER pay more than I need to. It's something that's served me well in my life so far,I have to say.

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Post by thumbelina » Sun 14 Feb 2010 07:14

john wrote:Well yes,Thumbs. But just in the same way that Allan is entitled to spend his money how he wishes,surely people are entitled also to voice an opinion on the subject?
I was brought up to know the value of things,not to waste money,and NEVER pay more than I need to

Actually, John I don't think they are!

What he does with his life and his money is personal and he has the right to do as he wishes.

If he was a friend of yours then, obviously yes, you would have the right to voice an opinion.

However, this man is a stranger who posts something about a restaurant on a forum and all the world assume they have the right to criticise how he spends his money! Why?

I also think that your intimation that Allan does not know the value of things is verging on rude.

Allan is a stranger to us all. We do not know his background. He may be like my father and have started from very humble beginnings but has worked hard and is now wealthy. If that is the case, surely he should be congratulated and lauded for his achievement, not publicly criticised - by a group of people who don't even know him!!!! - for indulging in something that, clearly, gave him much pleasure.

I'm sorry, I think that this thread is now becoming discourteous and smacks of envy - despite the protestations of everyone!

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Post by rbg » Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:05

Totally agree with you thumebelina.
Allan, I'd love to go to El Bulli. I would forego going out for dinner for a year if I could eat at El Bulli once. As thumbelina says, each to their own.
I don't like jewellery or watches ... spending money on that, to me, is ludicrous, but I'm not going to slate everyone ,or strangers for that matter, for spending their money on what pleases them.
BTW, Allan, how DID you get into El Bulli? Did you plague them with emails , seeing as their waiting list is over 2 million people??

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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:08

Erm, just a minute,Thumbs.Just exactly how have I said Allan does not know the value of things? I have been at pains to say he is entitled to spend his money how he feels fit.

But I still think folk have the right to intimate if they think El Bulli does or does not give value,as they see it,don't you? I find your suggestion that people don't have that right odd and also rather discourteous,frankly.

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Post by thumbelina » Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:20

I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one, John. :D

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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:42

rbg wrote:.
Allan, I'd love to go to El Bulli. I would forego going out for dinner for a year if I could eat at El Bulli once. As thumbelina says, each to their own.
??
rbg, at the risk of incurring Thumbers' wrath again,I'd just be interested in what the rationale is behind such an extreme statement.I guess I'm asking what exactly your motivation is for making ONE trip to ONE restaurant at the expense of whatever social life you have for ONE whole year!?

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Post by thumbelina » Sun 14 Feb 2010 09:46

john wrote: rbg, at the risk of incurring Thumbers' wrath again,?

Not at all! :D It's a fair question

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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 11:12

I agree with Thumbers on this.

What kind of forum do we have when someone gives an honest review and opinion of something and people criticise him because it is something they can't afford and therefore have never done.

Restaurants like El Bulli are not just a fancier version of Pizza Express. They are a completely different experience. It has nothing do do with whether you get a good feed for your money. It is all about how enjoyable, memorable and interesting the experience was. You have to compare it with other, perhaps once in a lifetime, experiences, not with a slap-up dinner in another Emporda restaurant.

I was astounded that El Bulli could lose money but from Allan's review I can see that it is easily possible when they were serving such meals and not overcharging on the wine. I see now that it was his showpiece, not his money-spinner.

We've had similar discussions on this forum before and people justify their insults by saying they are entitled to their opinion. We are all entitled to our opinions. What differentiates the polite from the rude is knowing when not to express them.
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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 11:29

Santiago wrote: We've had similar discussions on this forum before and people justify their insults by saying they are entitled to their opinion. We are all entitled to our opinions. What differentiates the polite from the rude is knowing when not to express them.
Santiago,again you mistake honestly held opinions for "insults". Just where,exactly,in this discussion has anyone been insulted (perhaps with the exception of El Bulli for charging such extortionate prices !)?

Everyone seems to be agreed that an individual has the right so spend his money where/how he thinks fit. Allan,quite reasonably put up a defence for Bulli's proprietors. He must have realised that it would elicit a response from some people. Otherwise he wouldn't have written it,and would have kept the enjoyment of the experience he had there to himself.

If you feel that putting an alternative viewpoint from those mentioned in high class journals is "rude",then I'm sorry. But fora like these live on lots of contradictory viewpoints.

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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 11:40

Allan's opinion was about El Bulli. Others were about Allan's opinion and, more importantly, his level and choice of expenditure.

That's the difference.
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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 11:53

Santiago wrote:Allan's opinion was about El Bulli. Others were about Allan's opinion and, more importantly, his level and choice of expenditure.

That's the difference.
That's precisely the point,Santiago,and where,with respect,you are going wrong here.

No-one has questioned Allan's right to his opinion,or spend his money how he wishes. The "complaints " have all been the idea of a restaurant serving 31 courses,and charging 200 quid a head. I ,and others, have flatly said that we cannot afford it,but if Allan can,then good luck to him. No insults there,surely?

And,as for your earlier point about El Bulli not being like Pizza Express; well,that IS insulting our intelligence. I think we know that. What you (or indeed Allan) are not doing a very good job of is selling this place to me. Why SHOULD I change my mind,and give it a go? All that's been mentioned so far are vagaries,like "exceptional experience". I guess we doubters need far more hard evidence to be swung!

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Post by cufc » Sun 14 Feb 2010 12:00

Slapped wrist accepted. Didn't mean to offend any individual. Interesting discussion though in general terms.

Still like someone to explain what the place offers as an "experience" worth that amount. Is it the setting, service, tastes etc?

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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 12:05

I don't think any of us are trying to sell it to you, John. From what you've said it would be pretty much impossible but in any case, El Bulli don't need your custom (or mine).

They are fully booked all the time they choose to be open, have a waiting list and a list to be on the waiting list. So from an economics perspective, they are underpriced.

The revelation that they lose such large amounts of money seems to suggest that the financial management of the restaurant was poor.
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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 12:47

It appears to have all been either a misundersatnding or publicity stunt. It's not closing permanently but becoming a "foundation".

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cultura/ ... ucul_1/Tes

Even though I've never been I would guess that the experience is to eat at what critics and restaurant-lovers claim is the best in the world and be served food that is definitely at the cutting edge of cuisine.

Like many things at the top of the tree, people generally need to work their way towards it to appreciate it. Like art, wine, classical music and poetry.
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Post by opas » Sun 14 Feb 2010 12:48

I'll give my opinion and I will not be rude!


Restaurants like El Buli smack of snobery, Just like Coutes Bank
:roll:

I will go off subject for a moment to explain.

A few years ago an English lady in our village was selling her house, she told us at every oportunity that the buyer held a Coutes bank account "like royalty you know, he must be monied"
mr O was currious because to be honnest I did not know who Coutes were, he did the online application for an account with true figures and job tittle(lorry driver) and it refused his application: then he did the same application saying he was a company director (25 quid at companies house etc) earning 7K less than the lorry driver...............bingo he had an account if he wanted one.

By the sounds of the 31 courses I would be off to the nearest pizza van at the end or my stomach would be seriously upset with the variety of nothing(says she of the cast iron stomach)
Nouvelle cuisine was the biggest con by the retaurant trade ever, ask Delia.
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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 13:30

opas wrote:Nouvelle cuisine was the biggest con by the retaurant trade ever, ask Delia.
I'd never question anything our Delia says,opas. Honest!

Yes,I totally agree with your other sentiments too. "Con" doesn't cover it.

I really have no idea what Santiago means in the last paragraph of his last posting. Either you do like what's on your plate,or you don't. Either you can afford to spend 200 quid on a meal or 100 on a bottle of wine,or you can't. Simple as that

Goodness knows what all this "top of the tree" stuff is,either.

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Post by Allan » Sun 14 Feb 2010 14:07

rbg wrote:.
BTW, Allan, how DID you get into El Bulli? Did you plague them with emails , seeing as their waiting list is over 2 million people??
The same way as you can always get tickets to sell out shows in London, stay in a good hotel and ask the concierge.

El Bulli reconfirms reservations 10 days in advance so there are always cancellations. Lots of people will accept any date offered to them when reservations are taken but cannot actually get there when the time comes around. Top hotels and top restaurants normally have a reciprocal understanding when it comes to bookings.

I was asked about what made the experience so special; Ferran Adria spends several months each year experimenting with new tastes and finding ways of extracting the optimum flavour from ingredients.

On arrival at El Bulli we were shown around the restaurant and kitchen by Ferran Adria. Most of our 31 dishes were only a couple of mouthfuls but each one was an explosion of taste and consisted of a variety of meat, fish, shellfish, fruit and other ingredients.As an example we had mussels in a form of jelly that sealed in the flavour of the sea - the taste was astounding. Each dish was totally different, beautifully presented and explained by the restaurant staff.

You can see some great examples at http://gourmetfood.about.com/od/chefbio ... -El-Bulli/


Not a meal in the conventional sense and certainly nothing like Nouvelle Cuisine

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Post by graham34 » Sun 14 Feb 2010 14:12

cufc wrote: Still like someone to explain what the place offers as an "experience" worth that amount. Is it the setting, service, tastes etc?
For those into food then it challenges pretty much every conception you have about taste, contrast, textures, food temperature, colour...... It provokes thought in the same way a revolutionary book, film or play can occasionally do.

Few restaurants at this level make any money. In the big cities they are usually propped up by hotel chains. In rural France the local taxpayer has helped out and there will always be seriously pricey rooms that subsidise the diner.

The influence of El Bulli on what restaurants serve us today is on the same scale as the 1970s nouvelle cuisine revolution - a separate debate of course.

Whether it's worth it has to be taken in the context of someone spending €200 plus per head on a meal, something that's been well challenged here.

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Post by mpprh » Sun 14 Feb 2010 14:20

Some golfers regularly paid $15,000 for a nights fun, allegedly.

El Bulli seems quite cheap ?

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Post by john » Sun 14 Feb 2010 14:52

mpprh wrote: seems quite cheap ?
Not a phrase that one would associate with Bulli,Peter,but I take your point. You may be hearing from a Mr T Woods' lawyers imminently.

To give Allan his due,he has gamely given an attempt at explaining what is so good about the place. There are some interesting dishes on offer,it's true.

Santiago probably is correct in saying that I (and I suspect the other doubters) will be sold,not least because I simply cannot afford to spend that sort of money on one meal. Even if I could,whether I'd want the hassle of booking years in advance/scrounging cancellation reservations from hotel concierges is open to question also. I'm more of a "decide on the day as the mood takes me",type I'm afraid.

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Post by Robert Ferrieux » Sun 14 Feb 2010 14:56

Take a look at the pictures on the site Allan provides. They're certainly inventive, colourful and appetizing. Most intriguing, though, (and perhaps this sums up the point of El Bulli) is the dish called "Frozen Air".....

Emperor's New Clothes?
Sour grapes on my part. I just wish I could afford to try this experience! :cry:
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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 18:52

I could do with Ferran right now. I have a Gammon joint and I want to do something exciting with it, as Rachel say she doesn't like gammon. Most interenet searches come up with the old favourites. But I found the weirdest one from normally-normal Nigella.

http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/ch ... e_p_1.html

Unfortunately I don't keep that condiment in my house :D
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Post by cufc » Sun 14 Feb 2010 19:00

Can you get gammon joints over here?!!!!!!!

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Sun 14 Feb 2010 20:50

Santiago wrote:I could do with Ferran right now. I have a Gammon joint and I want to do something exciting with it, as Rachel say she doesn't like gammon. Most interenet searches come up with the old favourites. But I found the weirdest one from normally-normal Nigella.

http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/ch ... e_p_1.html

Unfortunately I don't keep that condiment in my house :D



2 friends and my daughter have done Gammon in coke and thought it was superb, I must say I do fancy it myself, must have a go.
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Post by Santiago » Sun 14 Feb 2010 23:07

From El Bulli to Gammon in Coke in 3 posts.

Shows our class doesn't it!
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Post by rbg » Mon 15 Feb 2010 10:36

john wrote:
rbg wrote:.
Allan, I'd love to go to El Bulli. I would forego going out for dinner for a year if I could eat at El Bulli once. As thumbelina says, each to their own.
??
rbg, at the risk of incurring Thumbers' wrath again,I'd just be interested in what the rationale is behind such an extreme statement.I guess I'm asking what exactly your motivation is for making ONE trip to ONE restaurant at the expense of whatever social life you have for ONE whole year!?
Not a very extreme statement at all John! With two small kids and a shortage of reliable babysitters ( cue violins) my social life aint a hectic one.
However, if the price is 200euros a head in El Bulli and an average meal out is 20euros a head in the PO, I would forego 10 forgettable experiences for a meal of a lifetime in El Bulli.
... And I really don't see why anyone should have to defend themselves for spending their money as they please... unless it is illegal of course!

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Post by cufc » Mon 15 Feb 2010 11:00

I agree in this case, but on a general philosophical point-being legal does not make something ok necessarily.

Now there is a leap, Santiago!! DEEP!!!

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Post by john » Mon 15 Feb 2010 11:59

rbg wrote:... And I really don't see why anyone should have to defend themselves for spending their money as they please... unless it is illegal of course!
Don't think anyone is asking anybody to "defend" anything,rbg. Why do you think of everything in such pugilistic terms!? I don't know how many times I have to reiterate that of course people can spend their own money as they think fit.

In this particular case,I was just interested in what motivation you had in your statement. It's hypothetical ,of course,so your extreme (yes it is) proposed course of action will presumably never be put to the test.

But in your attack on my perfectly reasonable question, you have,of course failed to answer it. Naturally, it is your right not to do so if you so wish.

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