Legendary head chef Ferran Adrià of the world-famous restaurant El Bulli will be coming to the Netherlands on 18 March 2016. He will be here for the exhibition devoted especially to him, Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity, which will be on view exclusively in Marres, House for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht from 10 March to 3 July 2016. In honour of his visit, Marres is organising a series of activities and meetings: cookouts in our neighbourhood, meet and greets for students and meetings with talented young cooks. On Saturday 19 March, there will be a unique, exclusive dinner for which famous chefs who are indebted to Adrià – and between them boast nine Michelin stars – will join forces.

The exhibition: hundreds of drawings, clay models and the soup fragrance spoon

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity is a homage to Ferran Adrià’s quest for creativity and how it led to his revolutionary, innovative cuisine. It is filled with hundreds of colourful drawings, sketches, Plasticine models, collages, photos, provocative recipes, wonderful menus, unique cutlery – such as the soup fragrance spoon – and unusual cooking utensils. The highlight of the exhibition is a specially designed hall of mirrors, with an infinite landscape of over one hundred floating, delectable objects: glass tumblers in all possible forms, metal amuse bouche serving dishes, plates made from slate and glass, and Plasticine models indicating the size of dishes. The film Cooking in Progress (2011) by director Gereon Wetzel shines a detailed light on Ferran Adria’s experimental way of working. Finally, the film 1846 – named after the number of dishes which Adrià created together with his team over 20 years – will also be screened. Director Valentijn Byvanck, who worked intensively with Adrià for over two years to prepare and put together the exhibition: ‘The exhibition fits perfectly within the Marres ‘senses’ programme, which is in turn inspired by Maastricht and Limburg, perhaps the only region in the Netherlands where the senses are not only indulged but also trained.’

The creative process: the dish starting as a drawing

The exhibition takes you behind the scenes of Adrià’s (born 1962) search for ingredients and new ways to prepare and serve food. From the very beginning, that process of reflection has been visible in the drawings he makes: Adrià always had a pencil and a sketchbook at the ready during the 20-plus years in which he worked with his team on his innovative, investigatory cuisine. He didn’t write his recipes down, he drew them first. ‘Drawing is the basis of my creative process,’ Adrià has said. I use these drawings to help me visualise what the final result will look like; often, drawing helps trigger a work in progress.’

Unique dinner: nine Michelin stars in one place

On Saturday 19 March, Marres will hold an unprecedented, spectacular and unique fundraising dinner around Adrià’s visit. This unique dinner, consisting of 10 courses, will be prepared by star chefs for whom Adrià has been an important source of inspiration. They are: Jonnie Boer (De Librije, Zwolle, three Michelin stars), Sergio Herman (The Jane, Antwerp, two stars), Hans van Wolde (Beluga Loves You, Maastricht, two stars), Margo Reuten (DaVinci, Maasbracht, two stars) and the great new talent in patisserie, Marieke Harkema. There are a few places left at €1,000 per cover. The proceeds will go to an innovative schools project on the senses by Marres. For information and reservations, please contact: dinerferranadria@marres.org.

About Ferran Adrià and El Bulli

Ferran Adrià is the famous chef of El Bulli restaurant in Rosas, Spain, which closed in 2011. Around the turn of the century, El Bulli was the place to be. It won the designation ‘best restaurant in the world’ from Michelin five times in a row and Adrià is regarded as the founder of so-called molecular gastronomy.

El Bulli owes its stellar reputation to the fact that Adrià revolutionised everything in his kitchen to titillate his guests’ palates. That innovation was aimed at radical experimentation with taste and touch. It is no coincidence that Adrià regarded his restaurant first and foremost as a theatre. In the six months of each year that the restaurant was closed, Adrià withdrew to a lab in Barcelona in order to develop new dishes. Since the closure of El Bulli, Adrià has been engaged in in-depth research into gastronomy via the El Bulli Foundation. With the assistance of a team of researchers, designers and professionals from numerous other disciplines, he is trying to catalogue food. Adrià’s artistic bent in the world of gastronomy brought him into contact with the art world from the outset of his career. In 2007 artistic director Roger Buergel invited him to take part in the prestigious art exhibition Dokumenta 12 in Kassel.

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity was originally put together by The Drawing Center (New York). The exhibition has been specially modified and extended for Marres. Accompanying the exhibition is the English publication Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity.

Dom Pèrignon is partners with Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity. Additional support is provided by the Limburg provincial authority, the Ramon Llull Institute, Acción Cultural Española, AC/E and Lavazza. Marres is sponsored by VSBfonds and Stichting Doen.

Marres, House for Contemporary Culture, receives ongoing support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Limburg provincial authority and the Maastricht municipal authority