Asian gourmet forks out US$36,750 for dinner with top chef Ferran Adria
An anonymous Asian gourmet has paid US$36,750 at a New York auction to have dinner for four with top chef Ferran Adria.
The dizzy tab contributed to a US$913,605 sale at Sotheby's late Friday that was based on the revolutionary Catalan chef's stellar wine collection, which he sold along with kitchen gear, two years after shuttering his Michelin three-star el Bulli restaurant near Barcelona.
A first half of the auction was held at Sotheby's in Hong Kong at the start of April, raising about US$1.8 million, including just over US$28,000 for a similar dinner-for-four with Adria at his and his brother's restaurant Tickets. Adria is using the proceeds to set up his new foundation, housed in the former elBulli restaurant.
Sotheby's did not name the winner of the dinner auction, which had been estimated to be worth just US$5,000, but said it was a private buyer from Asia.
The same went for the purchaser of four bottles of 2004 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, a Burgundy that sold for US$52,062, almost double the high pre-sale estimate. Of the top 10 sales at the auction, seven were won by Asian bidders, two by private Latin American collectors and one US trade buyer.
Adria, who joined the kitchen staff of elBulli in 1984, has since the late 1990s rocked the world of gastronomy by using science to deconstruct and rebuild food in what has been termed "molecular cuisine".
He describes his foundation as "a little Cirque de Soleil, a little Dali museum, a little medialab".
The auction featured thousands of wine bottles, collected over the years by Adria, whose restaurant was ranked the world's best a record five times by Britain's Restaurant Magazine. At its peak, elBulli, which was opened only part of the year and accommodated about 7,000 diners in the northern Catalonian town of Roses, received 2 million reservations requests a year.