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      Blog :: 10-2009

      El Bulli: Ferran Adria's Cult of Excellence

      olive spoon

      frozen air of parmesano with muesliwhite chocolate, lemon & coffee candy lollipop

      Who is Ferran Adria? At 47, Adria is considered one of the top chefs in the world and one of the most imaginative creators of haute cuisine. He is the head chef of elBulli, a restaurant in the town of Roses on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain where the ideal customer comes not to eat but to have an experience. And come prepared to pay for it: an average meal runs 275 Euros or $512.50 US.

      red orange fan tail on black

      elBulli has operated at a loss since 2000, sustained by revenue from Adria's published books and lectures. elBulli employed all of 42 chefs in 2008. el Bulli sous chefs

      Open six months from April to October, reservations for each season are taken the day after the close of the previous season. Witness Adria's rise to near cult status. How many restaurants have you been to with more than five courses? At El Bulli, ready yourself for 30.

      bread with oil & chocolate

      crocant gaudi

      While associated with "molecular gastronomy",  Adria considers his cuisine deconstructionist, based on the pursuit of meaning to the point of undoing the oppositions on which the meaning is apparently founded. Adria aims to provide unexpected contrasts of flavor, temperature and texture, to take the diner by surprise. During the six months El Bulli is closed, Adria busies himself perfecting his recipes in his Barcelona atelier, El Taller.strawberry foam

      El Bulli ranked second in the Restaurant Top 50 in 2005 and was awarded first place in 2006, displacing The Fat Duck in England. El Bulli has retained this title in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

      Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert Adrià published A Day at elBulli in 2008, available at amazon.com For an online indoctrination, visit elbulli.com

      menhar pensar

      To convert your pursuit of things delectable into extraordinary real estate, visit Maple Sweet Real Estate @ maplesweet.com or e-mail Clayton-Paul Cormier, Jr. describing what you'd like to offer for sale or purchase and you can expect delicious service. Para llamar al telephono, call toll free: 1-800-525-7965.

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                    Applefest 2009. South Hero, VT

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                    Sunday, 11 October.

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                    Ribbons of rain parting, the crisp pre-snow blue skies break through just as we cross the causeway from mainland Vermont to South Hero, gateway to the Champlain Islands.

                    Eastern facing shoreline dotted with second homes, camps and easy life. Banner supreme announcing Applefest, beckon and call to far flung tourists looking for something sweet and inspirational. A joker in a go cart tooting his mini horn down the aisle of South Street, followed by John Deere, gawkers in wagon tow.

                    Caramel aromas, candied corn and Hackett's Orchard Cider donuts, hot dogs and pretzels, soup in a bread bowl, the world famous deep fried Bloomin' Onion.

                    World famous bloomin' onion

                    Irresistible country rhyme and tune, brisk wind, latent summer radiant sunshine beaming through the peaking crimson & gold maple leaves.

                    One decked out drummer sitting in for the Fox Band, electric guitars, threads to die for and a winsome smile. Great energy, good gigs and so much to look back on.

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                    Canadian Thanksgiving, since 1990, some 20,000 folk trapse down Apple Alley; stall, tag sale, antiques, sign purveyor, fiddle player, drummer, exotic goat, the tap dancer. Apple orchard promenade, pony rides, live bees, purveyors of honey, maple syrup, all the fixin's.

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                    Such a carnival, the blueberry boy thrown in the drink mercilessly by the kid with the good arm who peggs the metal plate target with just one throw, cold hearted, cold plunge. Somehow we missed the famed St. Rose of Lima apple pancake breakfast, ought to next year.

                    In the mean time, if you'd like to live in, buy a house or pick up a second home in South Hero, surf away at maplesweet.com or jet off an e-mail describing what you'd like to find and you can expect a prompt reply.

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                    candy apple

                    All Roads Lead to Huntington

                    Yesterday while inadvertently passing through the often overlooked and uncannily well located town of Huntington, I chanced upon Liberty Head Post & Beam, Inc's massive raised barn and workshop and Duncan Keir who graciously accomodated the unexpected. What a find. tools B Liberty Head has been working exclusively with post and beam structures since 1977. Meeting Duncan Keir, it's clear how they've thrived across the decades. Their timber frames are legendary and I'd come across them in showings, admiring the exuisite craftsmanship, solidity and Vermont, each custom designed in the Vermont tradition. While dissecting a Hinesburg home in their inaugural year of business, they came across an 1826 Liberty Head penny, obviously placed by the craftsman, giving Duncan the fledgling company's name.

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                    Massive posts and beams spread across the workshop floor, the first faux hand hewing ever in progress for an unusually large new frame headed for Stowe. Hatchet in hand, Rick gauges the next throw, falling blade to make it's mark on the long beam, patterns of rythym and continuity, a flair engineered yet most natural. Tools abound, the aroma of hemlock, massive wood furnace it the corner to heat the cathedral hall of creation from it's own discarded byproducts. A sense of exaltation and purposeful focus and inspiration.

                    Faux Hand Hewing eFaux Hand Hewing 2e

                    Click here to visit the Liberty Head website or visit the Professional Services page at maplesweet.com

                    faux hand hewn pile eframe pile