Ferran Adrià

Small stomachs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 August, 2008, 12:00am

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver upset caterers with his crusade to improve school dinners in Britain. But although the success of his campaign to bin potato smilies, turkey twizzlers and 'scrotum burgers' is uncertain, at least he broke bread with educators and their charges about the importance of good food.

A chef with a similar hankering is Ferran Adria of Spain's El Bulli fame. When he's not wowing guests at his three-Michelin-star restaurant during the summer, he is likely to be tempting taste buds in a different way at his Alicia research centre (see www.youtube.com/user/alimentacioiciencia), part of a new cultural complex on the site of Catalonia's Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages. Adria's goal is to instill healthy eating habits in children by teaching them to cook. Helping him are other chefs and kitchen company Bulthaup - the former experiment with dishes and the latter provides the tools to encourage children to shake, bubble and roll.

In a tailor-made environment suited to their size, school children join seminars and workshops intended to impart a joy of cooking. Classes take place in a 'floating' b3 kitchen that incorporates a 'function' wall from which cabinets and appliances can be hung at optimum height.

The ergonomic benefits of a custom-built kitchen will probably also tempt pint-sized Hongkongers or parents eager to raise master chefs: Bulthaup kitchens can be built to accommodate adult and junior cooks, although the price may cause indigestion. The b3 kitchen (available from Bulthaup, LG/F, shop A, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2868 0859) costs from HK$700,000 to HK$3 million (including appliances).