BARCELONA: Albert Adrià has decided to temporarily close all his restaurants in Barcelona due to COVID-19 which has proven to be lethal for the restaurant sector. Albert has a gastronomic empire in the city with five restaurants including four that have a Michelin star. These are Tickets, Enigma, Pakta and Hoja Santo.
Albert, who rose to fame together with his brother Ferran at el Bulli created these group of restaurants in the same area of Barcelona and he called them “a gastronomic amusement park with differentiated concepts in the same neighbourhood.”
The restaurants are highly sought after particularly by foodies who are curious to get a glimpse of the past el Bulli magic but have succumbed to lack of tourism.
A small notice on the website says the restaurants will be closed until further notice.
Catalan newspapers have reported that the absence of tourists have made a dent in this empire but while staff are concerned about their future Albert Adrià told Spanish media that the restaurants will gradually open up when the health situation improves.
In Barcelona, Hisop restaurant had to close last week due to a positive COVID-19 case among one of its workers. There were two illustrious closures last week in Spain. El Celler de Can Roca had to close after members of staff tested positive as well as DiverXo in Madrid.
Barcelona is one of the top food destinations in the world. However, Roger Pallarols, director of the restaurant association in the city said the gastronomic leadership of the city is at stake both nationally and internationally. “The city is suffering not just from a lack of tourism but also from a drop in local consumption. It might take a decade for the sector to recover,” he said.
Mention the surname Adrià to any food lover and they will immediately think of el Bulli, the iconic restaurant of Ferran Adrià near the town of Roses, in Catalonia, Spain. In that same restaurant, his brother Albert was working magic in the pastry section. Together they helped put Spanish cuisine on the world gastronomy map creating what is probably the most famous restaurant in the world. At its peak, it had 400 requests for every table in the restaurant which opened for only six months per year.
They shocked the culinary world when they decided to close the restaurant in 2011 but as Albert says, “we had to kill the monster before it killed us”.