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April 24, 2013

A Bit of El Bulli Comes to New York

By Erin Schumaker | auctions

A Bit of El Bulli Comes to New York
Courtesy Sotheby’s

Those still mourning the death of El Bulli restaurant—the famed Catalonia-based eatery by chef Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler that captivated the world with its cutting-edge gastronomy before shuttering in 2011—can take a piece of the restaurant home at Sotheby’s El Bulli auction in New York on April 26.

The offerings include a set of El Bulli knives (opening bid: $1,000), a selection of Baroque metal trays (opening bid: $150) and four chef jackets signed by Adrià (opening bid: $1,000 each), as well as thousands of premium vintage bottles from the restaurant’s wine cellar, many of which are signed by Adrià and Soler. The highlight of the auction will be the chance to bid on a dinner with the chef himself (opening bid: $5,000) at Tickets restaurant in Barcelona.

“Each of the pieces has a special importance,” says Adrià. “They mean a lot to the history of El Bulli and to me personally.”

The New York auction comes on the heels of a sister event in Hong Kong, which took place on April 3 and raised more than $1.8 million for the El Bulli Foundation, a project that is transforming the original restaurant space into a permanent collection focused on creativity, cuisine and history, as well as funding Bullipedia, an archive of culinary record.

As for those exquisite bottles of wine up for grabs, one would think it would be tough to part with them. But Adrià says it is gratifying to see the sale of the cellar make an exciting venture like the El Bulli Foundation a reality. “Besides,” he explains, “I know they have fallen into the hands of people who love the world of wine, gastronomy and El Bulli.” April 26; 1334 York Ave.; 212-606-7000; sothebys.com.