“Let’s be radical with the flavor.” That’s the mission at hand for the top-notch toques manning famed chef Ferran Adrià’s gastronomic laboratory in Barcelona. Once a year, Adrià closes down his renowned Spanish eatery El Bulli, often cited among the best restaurants in the entire world (and where D.C.’s own José Andrés got his start), for an intensive six-month stint in the lab to develop exotic new dishes for the next season. We’re talking fluorescent fish, vacuumized vegetables—that sort of mind-blowing, if not immediately mouth-watering, type of stuff. German director Gereon Wetzel’s unnarrated and subtitled documentary, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, takes us inside the process, which turns out to be a lot more like the traditional desk job than you might think. His cooks hack away at their laptops about as often as their cutting boards. Of course, there are field trips to the local market, where Adrià’s charges order some ridiculously specific things—five single grapes, three beans. It takes serious attention to detail to earn those three Michelin stars.
Saturday, June 25 at 12 p.m. at AFI Silver 1.