ST. PETERSBURG — Often described as "the Salvador Dalí of the kitchen," Catalonian chef Ferran Adrià, who some call the world's greatest chef, stood before giant video screens at the Dalí Museum on Friday morning. In town for the debut of the exhibit "The Invention of Food," an homage to Adrià and his now-closed El Bulli restaurant, he explained why sometimes food is just sustenance, sometimes it is craft and occasionally it is elevated to art.
"Preparing food, without fire, was the first activity of humanity," he said through a translator. "You eat every day to survive, like an animal. At some point humans had to have pleasure and quality. For the past 1,000 years we have cooked to please ourselves. When you want to create modern art it is not the same, it is not just about pleasure. I may give you something I know you don't like because it is going to provoke, you're going to say 'Ferran is crazy.' It is something to shock. In the end, art is because we want people to think about life."
"The Invention of Food" runs through Nov. 27 at the Dalí and includes a Immersion Dinner series and other events. For details, visit thedali.org.