After 11 years of waiting, we’re not sugarcoating this: the candy mecca owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter has finally made its way to the West Coast. Los Angeles, meet Dylan. Dylan’s Candy Bar.
More than a candy shop, and kind of like a page from a Roald Dahl book, this 1,200-square-foot-space at The Original Farmer’s Market, is stocked with 7,000 sweets – old and new – that just might change the face (and bodies) of Los Angeles. Bring it.
At the inaugural Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival in Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan Peninsula, Ferran Adria was the guest of honor. The famed Catalonian molecular gastronomist who was the former chef at El Bulli (coined "the world’s best restaurant" by Restaurant Magazine) spoke with BlackBook about the just-released DVD, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, and his future projects.
What are some of the restaurants you’ve been to, while in Cancun or in New York? Where have you been surprised?
There are extraordinary restaurants, for sure, but it is really hard to surprise people who have been in the business, like me, for more than 30 years. I’ve been lucky enough to meet people like Michel Guerard
and Thomas Keller
, since ’75. I’ve read hundreds of books of contemporary cuisine, and it gets harder and harder to do new things. I’m, actually, more surprised with what’s happening here in Mexico with contemporary cuisine than in Europe.
There’s been a movement to replicate the elBulli highlights of the menu and some of the great things that you and your chefs have cooked over the decades at other restaurants. What do you think of that?
Some people have taken the El Bulli philosophy and have done a great job. Some of the most influential cooks in the west have worked at El Bulli. We must have done something right.
It’s been reported that you’re opening a Mexican restaurant in Barcelona. How will it differ from El Bulli?
That’s rather my brother Albert’s project with Francisco Mendez Velez ( "Paco Mendez"). Albert’s been to Mexico many times, and it has gotten into his skin. He wants to express some things with that. We shall see what happens. He is quite a purist, in terms of types of Mexican food, but he won’t be against a certain type of evolution. The one thing that’s a fact is that it’s going to be very informal.
And will you have anything to do with it?
I’m going to help. We will always work together. In this case, my brother is the boss. At El Bulli, I was the boss.
Would you ever consider opening a restaurant in Mexico or New York?
No. I want to help a lot of people put together a restaurant – young people. Production, I’m not interested in anymore. I’ve been working for 30 years – 16, 17 hours a day. Next! But there are many ideas and concepts I do share with people. This is the last food festival I go to until I’m with the El Bulli Foundation
and I’ll see what happens.
[Photo: Richard C. Murray/RCM IMAGES, INC]