elBulli sommelier Ferran Centelles, left, with Juli Soler, honorary president… (Sotheby's )
To raise money for his elBulli Foundation, Catalan chef Ferran Adrià is putting the fabled restaurant’s wine cellar up for auction at Sotheby’s. The 50-year-old avant-garde restaurant on Spain’s Costa Brava closed in July 2011.
In a statement, Adrià says, "The elBulli Cellar comprises an exceptional and unique collection of wines, that was created and developed by Juli Soler and the elBulli sommelier team (Agusti Peris, Eloi Sanchez, Isabelle Brunet, Lucas Paya, David Seijas and Ferran Centelles). Due to the transformation of elBulli, from a restaurant to a foundation, we decided this very special and personal collection should be used to make a founding contribution to help ensure the successful launch of the elBulli Foundation."
The foundation is meant to be “an experimental centre looking at the process of innovation and creativity and sharing the results via the new website Bullipedia (coming soon). That site is definitely worth bookmarking in order to follow along with Adrià and his team’s investigations into creativity.
Meanwhile, Serena Sutcliffe, M.W., head of the International Wine Department at Sotheby’s, has scored a coup in getting elBulli’s extraordinary cellar to auction. Sotheby’s states, “The auctions will present collectors all over the world with an opportunity to acquire the wines from his restaurant, some of which were labeled exclusively for the three Michelin star establishment. Over the two sales, 8,807 bottles will be offered, with proceeds benefiting the elBulli Foundation."
The sale takes place next year on April 3 in Hong Kong and April 26 in New York. For more information, check in with the sale site at Sotheby’s.
To learn more, watch the 6 1/2-minute video on Sotheby’s site, which has some wonderful old photos of the restaurant’s beginnings and the young Adrià and his indispensable partner Juli Soler, now honorary president of the elBulli Foundation. The video cycles through the years, shuffling dishes created at the restaurant in a dazzling sleight of hand. A must-see.
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