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Excerpt: 'A Day At ElBulli'

A Day at elBulli

Marshmallow de pinones

(Pine nut marshmallows)

Serves 10


1. Place 400 g (1 ¾ cups) milk in the freezer until it cools to 3° C/37°F.

2. Meanwhile, mix the gelatin with the remaining milk in a pan.

3. Dissolve the gelatin at 40°C/105°F and pour into a mixing bowl.

4. Start to whip the mixture. After 30 seconds, add all the cooled milk in one pour.

5. Continue to whip for 3 minutes. Add the pine nut oil.

6. Keep whipping for another 30 seconds and spread out over a transparent sheet to a thickness of 2.5 cm (1 in).

7. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

8. Cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes.

9. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

10. Immediately before serving, lightly salt the cubes and coat 4 sides with toasted pine nut powder, leaving 2 uncoated sides.

    Finishing and Presentation

Serve 2 pieces per person on a blue glass tray.

Cutlery: None.

How to eat: In a single mouthful.

What happens between a restaurant and its guests?

A dish is a conversation between the chef and the guest, and the knowledge and experience of the chef, waiter and guest all inform the part they will play in a meal. The distance between the chef at the kitchen workbench and the guest at the dining room table can be reduced by the care and attention of the waiter, who performs a pivotal role by helping the guests adapt to the rhythm of the kitchen and maximize their experience of the food. The participants bring to the experience their own values, expertise and sensory perceptions, and these can be broadly categorized as follows.


Ability to perceive tastes and flavours

Common sense and judgement

    Experience in other fields
  • art
  • other areas of the food industry
  • industrial design
  • science and technology

  • of history and culture
  • of cooking techniques
  • of products
  • of kitchen technology



Creative and artistic abilities


Creates a warm atmosphere during dinner

Conveys the philosophy behind the food

Serves the food to the table

Explains the dishes

Controls quality

Controls timing


    Gastronomic experience and knowledge
  • of ingredients
  • of dishes
  • of restaurants and chefs
  • of styles and characteristics

    Senses [= flavour]
  • sight
  • hearing
  • touch
  • smell
  • taste

    The sixth sense (the ability to enjoy cooking with the intellect), which can be stimulated in these ways:
  • transgression of restaurant conventions
  • childhood memories
  • magic
  • playfulness
  • irony and provocation
  • decontextualization
  • surprise
  • a 'knowing wink'
  • recognition of a cultural reference
  • confounded expectations
  • deception

  • guests' unique interpretations of taste

  • of ingredients
  • of family meals
  • of visits to restaurants

Spirit and emotions

Excerpted from A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adria, Albert Adria and Juli Soler. Copyright 2008, Phaidon Press Ltd.

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Ferran Adria