Oct 14, 2011

Chef Ferran Adrià in Montréal: honorary degree from the ITHQ and "molecular gastronomy"-inspired menu

Chef Ferran Adrià in Lima, in September, attending the food forum Mistura

by Alexandra Forbes
I've got to admit I didn't see this one coming: chef Ferran Adrià is coming to town. It surprised me to hear the news, because the guy's been kinda busy these days... he's the spokesman for Telefonica, he's overseeing construction of his upcoming Foundation, he's helming this hard-to-decipher food blogging conference in Barcelona oct 17-19, he's helping his brother Albert re-launch their "tecnoemotional" bar 41o (also in Barcelona) as an "El Bulli lite" type place AND he's doing a book tour to promote The Family Meal, which focuses on the staff meals served at El Bulli and how to reproduce them at home.... lots going on.

So why come to Montréal for a visit?!

Even after hearing the official explanation, it still beats me...

Marie-Claude Lortie, the restaurant critic for the city's main newspaper (La Presse),  says "he will come next November 22 to receive an honorary degree from the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) and give a lecture. Mr. Adrià will not cook a meal.
(...) The lecture, entitled "Cuisine as a language" will be addressed at the students and teachers of the ITHQ as well as a limited group of restaurant industry people".

Now here is the part I find corny: Marie-Claude quotes the organizers as saying that "by (giving him this honorary degree) the ITHQ wishes to salute the contribution of this cook and thinker, often associated with molecular gastronomy and his impact on the evolution of contemporary culinary arts". 

Culinary arts? Eeek! Molecular Gastronomy? Double eeeeeeek!

This looks like an easy shot at promotion (on the part of the cooking school) if I've ever seen one...

To top it off, the ITHQ says its restaurant plans on serving a menu "inspired by Adrià's culinary philosophy" long after his departure, from November 28 until December 22.

Lord help us.

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