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26 November 2008

Inspiration or humiliation?

Ferran Adrià
Photo credit: Evening Standard

I can't help but feel it was a bad idea to take Ferran Adrià to a pie and mash shop, despite his declaration of love for the place.  Doesn't their extinction, compared to say, fish and chips or kebab shops, demonstrate they're an anachronism?

The pie-man seems a gracious sort:

Manze's pie-maker Hugh Maguire, 38, who turns out 900 meat pies a day, was asked how he would feel if a version of his dish popped up on the menu at elBulli, on the Costa Brava. "I might be a bit annoyed," he said.

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Everything old will be new again eventually. I liked how Ferran talked about and seemed to appreciate the history of things. Just think...whoever came up with the pie was, at some point, a revolutionary.

Some might argue fish and chip shops are disappearing as well. I wonder what would happen if you surveyed young sorts coming out of the bars of Shoreditch in the wee hours and asked them "What are you going to eat now? Fish and chips? Or a kebab?" I bet they mostly all choose kebabs.

Ha ha! Yes, and so he should be. Annoyed that is. I mean, who the hell does that Ferran think he is anyway? I was very disappointed I missed the talk but then who knows, perhaps I will get a table at El Bulli next year?

@Krista, I imagine you're right.

@Helen, I think you might have missed my point slightly. My question was whether the ES' decision to take him to Manze's was inspired or humiliating. I've got a feeling it was the latter. I think they took him there because they thought it would be funny to take him to the most un-elBulli restaurant in London. I may be doing them a disservice - but don't think they did it because they thought he as one of the most influential chefs in the world, would have a great culinary moment.

Actually I think it was an inspired decision, it gave Adria a chance to eat a food he would otherwise be very unlikely to try, an insight into the history of London food so to speak also.

True, but I can't help but feel that they did it out of humour rather than helping him on his culinary journey. Maybe I'm being unfair.

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