A precisely arranged plate or the right combination of flavors can have you thinking of food as art. The culinary and artistic worlds collide with the opening of Ferran Adria: Notes on Creativity at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on February 28.
The chef, a pioneer in molecular gastronomy best known as the creative engine behind the (now closed) Michelin-starred elBulli, shares his vision in the kitchen via a collection of drawings and diagrams. For more than two decades, the restaurant brought people to Spain for a series of tastings courses (at times as many as 40 dishes) designed to push the boundaries of what was possible on a plate. Adria became famous, in small part, because the only way to experience his food was to come to the restaurant where he worked.
Now the inspiration and thought process behind that experience will be in Kansas City. This exhibit includes hand-drawn directions on plating, kitchen diagrams, and 3-D models that were visual aids designed to help chefs replicate certain dishes. It also features drawings and prototypes from designers that created the innovative utensils and dishware that Adria needed for his creations.
The exhibit runs through August 2. The first four weekends will feature Kansas City Creatives: The Vision Behind Great Food in KC — talks and tastings from local culinary artisans. Those tastings run from 2 to 4 p.m. (with a talk from 3 to 3:30 p.m.) on Saturday and Sunday through March 22. Christopher Elbow will be at The Nelson on February 28 and March 1, and The Roasterie’s Danny O’Neill will be there March 7 and 8.
Tickets for the exhibit are $12 ($10 for those over 55 years old, $6 for students and free for members).