Last supper for 'world's best restaurant' as El Bulli to close
Epicureans the world over will lament, even as they scramble desperately for a last chance to sample the fare at the exclusive Catalonian restaurant El Bulli, after its owner declared this weekend he is to close and replace the eaterie with an academy.
In an interview with 'The New York Times' on Friday, Ferran Adria, the Catalan chef who for two decades has led the way in avant-garde cuisine, said El Bulli had been losing too much money.
Mr Adria, 47, seems to have changed his mind since announcing recently that the restaurant, which operates a lottery system to determine who can eat there, would close temporarily from 2012.
There are said to be about 3,000 people on the waiting list for one of 48 seats in the restaurant which has won the World's 50 Best Restaurants award a record five times and has three Michelin stars.
Originally Mr Adria had planned to re-open again in 2014. This weekend he confirmed that he was closing the restaurant for good because he and his partner, Juli Soler, had been losing €500,000 a year on the restaurant and his workshop in Barcelona.
"I think we would rather see the money go to something larger that expands the concept and spirit of what El Bulli represents," he said.
The restaurant, in the town of Roses, north of Barcelona, will re-open for six months on June 15 after its winter break and will close for good in December 2011.