“What inspires me about Ferrán is his philosophy that the old ways should always be challenged, that we should look at everything from different angles,” says Jose Andres, a note-worthy chef from Barcelona who studies with Adria every summer. “The old-fashioned way is to protect the product’s form and taste. He believes that we should change the form of the product but maintain its flavor or even make it more flavorful. He shares everything with other chefs – except the new dishes of the season,” Andres adds.
Adria is most famous for his work with gelatins and the whipped cream canister, but is also known for his other unusual creations. “Bite-size cuttlefish ravioli explode in a burst of coconut and ginger; soft-boiled quail eggs feature a crispy caramel crust; a polenta comprises frozen and powered Parmesan cheese; and almond ice cream sits on a swirl of garlic oil and balsamic vinegar,” describes some of Adria’s dishes. No matter how peculiar Adria’s techniques may seem to outsiders, Adria manages to keep some traditions alive in his cooking through the use traditional Spanish ingredients.
“The most important element to me, is that despite the ‘out-in-space’ thinking that seems to drive the experimentation of the Adria brothers (Ferran cooks with his brother Alberto),” says Norman Van Aken, the chef/owner of the popular Norman's in Miami, “is their loyalty to traditional Spanish ingredients and history that keeps me enamored of them.”