El Bulli: Cooking in Progress Review

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A documentary that follows the chefs of the El Bulli, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Spain. It serves 8000 diners between June and December – and then shuts for six months to create an entirely new, themed avant-garde menu. The camera is invited into


Less a documentary than an act of worship, this is a valedictory paean to a fabled restaurant that overlooked Catalonia’s Cala Montjoi until July 2011. The 30-course taster meals earned El Bulli three Michelin stars, but the hard work was done by unsung chefs in a Barcelona kitchen-cum-laboratory, where they experimented with tastes and textures under Gereon Wetzel’s watchful lens. But the fascination dissipates once the scene shifts back to the coast and owner Ferran Adrià instructs his staff and clientele how the dishes should be consumed.

A mix of the fascinating and the frustrating: some of the dishes are exciting and interesting, however, 108 minutes of detail causes this documentary to fall short of its potential.