“There will be risk, and freedom, and creativity. But there won't be opening hours, or reservations, or routines. The food is not traditional – it's new tapas, original and spontaneous. I'm not going to cook, but I'll be on the other side of the bar, sampling.”
- Ferran Adrià

The trailblazing restaurant El Bulli and its pioneering chef Ferran Adrià need to introduction. As the champion of nouvelle cuisine and the chef that introduced us to the idea of foam food, it is no surprise that Adrià’s favourite word is "vanguardia" (innovation). True to form, his latest vanguardia is as shocking as ever. Not only will Adrià close El Bulli on July 30, reopening in 2014 as “a center for culinary creativity”, but this week he also opens a new restaurant, Tickets, in Barcelona.

In partnership with his brother, Albert Adrià, a pastry chef with a formidable reputation of his own, and local restaurateurs the Iglesias brothers, Tickets will differ from El Bulli in its concept (there will be no reservations taken, whereas El Bulli was famous for its 6-month waiting list) but will continue its philosophy for creative cuisine (Adrià describes his new venture as “a contemporary tapas place, an evolution of traditional tapas”.). Opening on March 1st, Tickets promises small-sized dishes such as chuchis made of hedgehod with avocado and mint jelly, baby cuttlefish with onion cooked in ink and almond pasta, and grilled watermelon with tomato concasse,

Divided into several separate areas for seafood, hams, gilled food, and more traditional Spanish dishes, the cocktail and dessert bars will be fundamental to the Tickets experience. Of 41°, as the attached cocktail bar is known, Adrià comments: “We think that cocktails will become more important in the Barcelona gastronomic offer. We will find classical cocktails but the more important ones will be the contemporary ones, accompanied by creative snacks.”

Cocktails are complemented by a stellar wine list that focuses on Spain’s finest vineyards including Amaren, Numanthia and Castell del Ramei. Demonstrating Adrià’s new democratic approach to restaurants, the chef comments that even beer will be “served by specifically trained professionals“.

It is at the dessert bar where Tickets will go beyond conceptual cuisine and into the realm of theatre, both on and off the plate. “Magical desserts in Wonderland,” is how Arida describes this part of the restaurant. “It will be like a fair, with its hanging light bulbs, its big top an its cotton candy mahines.” On the menu: wafers stuffed with nougat candy ice cream, crunchy strawberries with white chocolate and yoghurt, and an iced orange drink with white vermouth.

The motivation behind Tickets is one of lifestyle. Adrià was tired of the pressure to perform and craved the freedom to travel. “We felt we were beginning to repeat the same ideas. To maintain the same creative level, we needed different scenarios,” he adds. The new restaurant is his ticket to a more balanced life life. “There will be risk, and freedom, and creativity. But there won’t be opening hours, or reservations, or routines.”

More Info:

Tickets opens March 1 at Avinguda Paral·lel 164, 08015 Barcelona

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