I’ve watched Bourdain’s Decoding Ferran Adria a few times now; incredibly fascinating. What Adria is doing reminded me of a bit I once read from DeBono about vertical and lateral thinking:
Logic is the tool that is used to dig holes deeper and bigger, to make them altogether better holes. But if the hole is in the wrong place, then no amount of improvement is going to put it in the right place. No matter how obvious this may seem to every digger, it is still easier to go on digging in the same place than to start all over again in a new place. Vertical thinking is digging the same hole deeper; lateral thinking is trying again elsewhere.
Adria wasn’t content with just a restaurant serving mind boggling food. He’s built a multifaceted operation involving design at every level. From architecture (both the restaurant and his “secret” lab reflect a thoughtful eye), to manufacturing (the ravioli without the ravioli!), to tableware (buy a set of glass pine tree essence snifters from the Ferran Adria collection at Target?), to typography & signage (he has a very elaborate system of “glyphs” for communicating his flavors & methods) and on and on.
His website provides more detail and links to his various projects.
But from the digging different holes perspective, it seems Adria is off digging secret tunnels now.