World-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià recently led an unprecedented conclave to explore the evolution of gastronomy at Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, the historic winery and hotel in Spain’s Duero wine region.
Leading culinary media from around the world convened at the event on March 29-30, which was held within the walls of an award-winning, 900-year-old winery that is emerging as one of Spain’s top culinary destinations.
Chef Adrià, who is considered one of the best chefs in the world, celebrated for his three-Michelin-star elBulli restaurant on Spain’s Costa Brava, presided over the seminal event, dubbed the Culinary Conclave.
“At this historic conclave, leading culinary minds discussed and reflected on the new ideas, approaches and concepts of the past 20 years that have reinvented dining, and explored how continuing innovation and creativity will impact the future,” said Andres Araya, managing director of Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine.
The Culinary Conclave brought together 15 media participants from eight countries, including Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
“LeDomaine was the ideal venue for this momentous event,” noted Araya, “because we merge historic tradition and fine wines with revolutionary cuisine at our Refectorio restaurant.”
With leading international food media gathered at LeDomaine, Chef Adrià also elaborated on the plans for his elBulli Foundation, which include transforming and enlarging elBulli with the addition of a recreational center, workshop, gastronomy laboratory and exhibition explaining his restaurant’s historical and culinary evolution, opening March 2016.
In addition, Chef Adrià is launching Bullipedia, a curated online resource to inspire and teach about gastronomy; and elBulli 1846, a research laboratory with a creative team of 40 experts in gastronomy and other cultural fields, opening May 15, 2014 in Barcelona.
While no grand predictions about the future of food emerged from the conclave, various trends and developments were identified and discussed. The participants, for example, cited historical moments that were gastronomic watersheds in their particular countries that demonstrated how gastronomy affects society, and vice-versa.
There was general agreement that knowledge of good cooking – and of cuisines, ingredients and quality – is growing worldwide. And in large part this is due to the increasing quantity of information shared via the media, from TV food shows to the internet and social media.
Gastronomy is therefore now taken more seriously, with more resources and attention given to it, and Chef Adrià believes this trend could be accelerated if academia gets more involved in teaching gastronomy.
In short, an important culinary evolution is underway that opens up many fields of potential study, topics to discuss and developments to analyze. As a result, Chef Adrià would like to hold the Culinary Conclave on an annual basis.
To see comments about the event, track it on Twitter using the hashtag #FerranConclave.
Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine is a medieval abbey and estate dating back to 1146, located in Spain’s historic region of Castilla y León. Today, LeDomaine is a grand travel experience, overflowing the senses with its 900-year-old history, stately architecture, majestic ambiance, world-class culinary experiences by one of Spain’s most celebrated chefs, acclaimed vineyards and regal accommodations.