elBulli gets go-ahead from region to build foundation

Super-chef Ferran Adrià’s project needed government approval as it is situated in a protected area

The Catalan regional government has declared the elBulli Foundation project "of public interest." The foundation will be a research center, and is the brainchild of Ferran Adrià, the chef behind the elBulli restaurant that, for many years until its closure in 2011, was considered to be the best in the world.

Construction work on the new building has not yet begun, but given its planned location in the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, on the rugged Catalan coastline around the town of Roses, government approval was necessary before the project could go ahead.

Work is expected to get going in January of 2014, with the center likely to be up and running by 2015.

The building will take shape in the same secluded, hard-to-reach spot where the elBulli restaurant used to attract thousands of visitors from all over the world, who were keen to taste the experimental cuisine developed by the man who at one point became the most influential chef in the world.

The foundation hopes to preserve the legacy of elBulli, which closed its doors at the top of its game, after humble beginnings as a beach bar in the 1960s.

Adrià called the Catalan government's decision "historic, as though we'd been given four stars."

"We are doing things slowly because we want this to be a long-lasting project," said Albert Adrià, Ferran's brother. "The first premise is that it must respect the environment."

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