The world's first restaurant-turned-museum (in 2023), elBulli1846 opens this year an area entirely dedicated to coffee to celebrate over 20 years of collaboration between Ferran Adrià and Lavazza. It is a union of values, styles, tastes, creativity and different worlds, but above all an ever-evolving partnership in terms of innovation, planning and ideas.

On the one hand, Ferran Adria, the brilliant Catalan rebel of international cuisine, and on the other, Lavazza and its coffee, stand in a long-term partnership based on their commitment to promote experimentation and innovation in gastronomy. A collaboration in the world of coffee in all its forms, which in the context of the museum becomes an opportunity to interact and explore every single aspect of coffee – from its evolution in world cultures to the constant flow of technological innovation.

"Our meeting with Ferran Adria ignited a spark that revolutionized a fairly traditional industry like coffee. At Lavazza, we have always seen coffee as an expression of excellence, but the meeting with Ferran in 2000 gave us new stimuli, launching us into a race for innovation, which led to a synergy between coffee and the world of haute cuisine, to new techniques of crafting, presentation and serving," commented group president Giuseppe Lavazza. "To turn the creative process into a real project, you need teamwork and over the years we have expanded the perimeter of our collaboration, introducing new professions to our company and including Italian and international chefs, as well as culinary critics, entrepreneurs working on the excellence of food, food sociologists and food technology experts. The results of all this continuous research and innovation find their ideal home in various starred restaurants around the world, in the Lavazza Condividere, Bistro and San Tomaso restaurants in Turin, in our two flagship stores in Milan and London, and also in Nuvola Lavazza, whose area represents the entrepreneurial philosophy of our group."

elBulli1846 is the latest step in Adria's extraordinary intellectual adventure, a tribute to his history and the milestones on his road to success. A unique space halfway between an exhibition and a workshop, conceived and designed to protect elBulli's heritage, encourage experimental thinking and generate quality educational content using the “Sapiens” method.

It is open as a museum for three months of the year and then transforms into elBulliDNA, a natural evolution of the Foundation dedicated to multidisciplinary food research. A path to knowledge that also includes coffee as a protagonist in this evolution, as well as offering the sensory experience of taste with the superb Lavazza coffee. 

"elBulli's historic relationship with Lavazza is an outstanding example of how bringing together creative and innovative talents from different disciplines and sectors can lead to a common goal. Thanks to this union, the results achieved over time have made it possible to change the perception of the world of coffee and reveal its meaning in the context of high-level gastronomic experiences, where the goal is not only to address the organoleptic dimensions, sensory perception and memory, but also to other dimensions of the human being: reason, emotions and spirituality," commented Ferran Adria. "And now, in this new phase that began after the transformation of elBullirestaurant into elBullifoundation, our path continues to be united to continue to contribute knowledge and an innovative attitude to the world of gastronomy. In this context, the Lavazza coffee experience becomes another elBulli1846 installation, where visitors can experience coffee in an informative and sensory way at the same time."

Lavazza and Fernand Adria: milestones in a long and fruitful collaboration

Ferran Adrià and Lavazza first met in 2000. The famous Spanish chef was at the Turin food fair Salone del Gusto thanks to Bob Noto – the revolutionary gourmet photographer who died in 2017 – where he came across Lavazza and decided to visit San Tommaso 10 - at that time a cafe and restaurant where Adria chose to enjoy the full menu "The pleasures of coffee", a project that develops new recipes but still in a traditional form.

This is the spark that brought Turin and Barcelona together and started the great adventure that led to the creation of Coffee Design - a concept combining coffee and creativity that transforms coffee into different textures, shapes and temperatures. Lavazza collaborated with Adria for more than ten years, following his work at elBulli, the restaurant recognized as the best in the world at the time, but also at elBullitaller, the research and experimental laboratory in Barcelona. The synergy is perfect: on the one hand, Adria's creativity and technical innovation, and on the other, Lavazza Training Center's deep knowledge of the product. Their journey together is so integrated that coffee is included in the process of developing the elBulli techniques used to create different degrees of liquid, solid, hot and cold, while coffee is transformed into sauce, frappe, cream, flan, mousse, foam, ice cream, powder or jelly and then further processed.

The meeting between Ferran Adrià and the Lavazza training center (founded in Turin in 1989 and now active in over 55 sites worldwide) ushered in a vital period in which coffee crossed the boundaries of its traditional role to become an essential element in the kitchen itself. We see the creation of recipes and the development of completely innovative blends, bold in their shapes and textures such as Éspesso, the first solid espresso ever made, which turns pure coffee into strong coffee. Over the years, other products have been developed in a continuous exchange of ideas and experience: Coffeesphere, Caviale di Caffè, Cappuccino Bite (sent to the International Space Station in 2015). Tasting products becomes an experience that revisits the Italian ritual of espresso, involving and surprising all the senses: taste, of course, but also sight, smell, hearing and touch.

The collaboration with Fernand Adrià also played an important role in deepening the awareness of Lavazza and helping to bring about a real change in the way of working. Since then, the training center is the largest international training network in the coffee industry, seen as a cultural entity and an object of constant study and research. The closing of elBulli in 2011 did not really stop the creative drive of the training center and it continues to develop recipes and tools with the aim of offering a unique and innovative coffee experience and learning new espresso-based beverage preparations. Coffee design and continued experimentation with coffee in its most unexpected forms remain central to Lavazza's history, fueled not least by major collaborations with big-name chefs such as Carlo Craco, leading to the creation of Coffee Lens (a coffee jelly shaped of a contact lens), a study of the structure and consistency of coffee, and Davide Oldani, with whom Lavazza produced a line of accessories designed to enhance the taste experience, one example being the Espoon, an exclusive perforated coffee spoon for mixing coffee and sugar without the foam spoils.

2011 marks the beginning of a new era focused on the organization of gastronomic knowledge

The collaboration between Lavazza and Adria does not stop when elBulli closes its doors to the public, but has become a publishing and cultural project that opens a new decade. In 2015, Ferran Adrià launched Bullipedia, an encyclopedia based on the Sapiens method that organizes knowledge about haute cuisine in the Western world along historical, socio-political and socio-cultural lines.

With the constant involvement of the training center, Lavazza is an enthusiastic partner in the Bullipedia project, which is fully in line with the approach of the Turin company to cultivate its deep roots in history to build a future based on coffee. Ferran Adrià features Lavazza in the release of two books that focus on the enormous cultural and historical significance of coffee and the intriguing complexity of all its different forms and expressions.

In “Coffee Sapiens”, published in 2018, the expanding universe of coffee is a place for knowledge and discussion. The book does not look at coffee simply as a product, but also looks at the ecosystem in which it is generated and processed, from producers to consumers. History, production, consumption and diversity, but also industry and enterprise: “Coffee Sapiens” takes a 360-degree approach, analyzing every aspect and illustrating the concepts necessary to understand the world of coffee in all its complex interrelationships.

An Italian Breakfast, published in 2021, on the other hand, describes the evolution of breakfast, the forms it commonly takes, and its impact on society throughout history. It also explores the modern dimension and importance of health care and offers a perspective involving different types of breakfast.

Lavazza contributes to these two books by sharing over 30 years of experience with the training center and thus becoming an active promoter and communicator of this knowledge.

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Lavazza's relationship with Fernand Adria enables a flow of innovative ideas around coffee and its use in haute gastronomy. It started in the field of scientific research with the participation of the training center and subsequently developed in the field of learning and imparting knowledge. In its most modern form, that of consulting, this led to the discovery and even the very concept of Condividere, the restaurant at the headquarters of the Nuvola Lavazza company in Turin.

Condividere opens its doors in 2018, but the concept, vision and decisions defining its future have much deeper roots, very close to the idea of ​​Nuvola (cloud in Italian) - with the emerging desire to launch a project that gives shape and philosophy to its innovation in taste and quality. And it was here that Ferran Adria, together with Bob Noto, who introduced him to the Lavazza family, played a new role in the collaboration with the company. In fact, Adria suggested the name of Federico Zanassi, who at the time was working as a chef in Cervinia.

Assisted by Ferran Adrià for two years, Federico Zanassi leads the Condividere team and creates a restaurant that reflects a contemporary vision of haute gastronomy while remaining informal and effortless, as well as winning a Michelin star in 2019.

The great collaboration between Lavazza and Fernand Adrià has generated remarkable changes in the way coffee is perceived and used both in the food industry and in people's everyday experience.

Read: 11 times                                                  © Fashion Lifestyle Magazine, issue 128, July 2024

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