Monday, 25 April 2011

El Bulli bull

It was flattery really that persuaded Fantasy Bob to take the assignment.  When one of Carlton's power brokers approached him during nets and said 'A word FB', he trembled.  Had it been noticed that he had been bowling beamers at the juniors?  Had the cheque paying his subs bounced?  No, it was something significnatly more sensitive. 

'FB you're just the man for a delicate assignment.  The committee has noticed that the world's best restaurnat El Bulli is closing forever this summer.  We thought it would be a feather in the cap of our go-ahead club to get the chef across to do the teas for a bit.    Ferran Adria is the chap's name.  Bit of an artistic temperament.  Just the kind you're used to dealing with in the fourth eleven.  And you know about this gastronomy stuff - you've been to Pizza Express and chosen something other than pizza.  So can you get in touch with him and set it up.  Failure is not an option.  Thanks FB.  By the way, stop bowling beamers at the kids, the social work department was on the phone last week.'  

Ferran Adria
FB was overcome with the honour and the fact that his adventurous sampling of the Pizza Express menu had been noticed.  He phoned the number he'd been given directly.  After establishing contact, he put the basic proposition to Chef Adria.  He replied,

'................Senor Fantasy, you want that I cook crickets.  Crickets.  I no cook crickets.  Skin very too hard.  Locust is better.  I make nice locust ice cream with mustard marmalade.  What you think? ... You still want crickets... Oh you want tea for crickets.  I no think crickets drink tea....  What - you want tea for cricket players....  You say cricket is game with bats.  Ah I see - bats I cook good with raspberrry sauce, crisp up their wings very delicious....  What you say?  Not that kind of bats.  You want me cook tea for 22 mens to eat who are playing game of cricket on Saturday afternoon. 

'OK OK now I get you.  Now I on your wavelength Senor Fantasy....  I greatest cook in world.  I pioneer of molecular gastronomy.  I avant garde, I  radical, I post modern.  I shit bloody hot....  Heston Blumenthal ha! I spit in his pots.... So how many courses you want - 35 is usual at El Bulli but for you I  maybe do 48.  I give you something special - parmesan marshmallows, cod foam, melon caviar.  

'What is this?  You thought some egg sandwiches.  Egg sandwiches - I never hear of egg sandwiches - how you make them?'

Cricket Tea El Bulli style


  1. I like this man FB. His indiscriminate use of artificial colorants, gelling agents, emulsifiers, acidifiers and taste enhancers to obtain unnatural textures, tastes and sensations without worrying about the implication on the health and wellbeing of his consumers earmarks him as the man for us. "Cod Foam" ... how unnatural is that? a crime against nature?.....pure genius I call it.

    In an overprotected world where Darwin's Laws of Natural Selection have been, too often, overturned this brilliant experiment is a throwback to the good old days of batting without hemets, sans arm guards and box-free on uncovered pitches. One small step FB towards survival of the fittest, an opportunity to toughen up a few, an army of Brian Closes within our grasp - no war is won without casualties.

    I propose we get him onboard, give him full creative license on the egg sandwich front and turn a blind eye to heath & safety standards such as OHSAS 18001. Suggest you don't tell the Power Brokers and Illuminati at the club otherwise we'll be tied up generating Bill of Materials and supporting Materials Safety Data Sheet for each of Ferran's molecular mutations. Let's keep this between ourselves FB? I will bring my EpiPen just in case.

  2. Barnacle - at your suggestion FB has had further discussions with Senor Adria. He says that he can make a special deal for the 35 course tea of £200 per head. Juniors extra since they always eat most. FB fears this is a bit steep and is contacting Mr Kipling for alternative option.