Why we’ve embraced the world of haute cuisine with La Bullipedia



Telefónica Digital’s purpose is to drive innovation and so we’re always looking to support and partner with innovators. We’re dedicated to seeking out those who are breaking the mould in their respective industries.

What has any of this got to do with cuisine?

We wouldn’t blame you for wondering how technology and communications has any place in the culinary world, which is known for its traditional and hierarchical heritage. The truth is that technology and science are at the very core of the attitudes and theories behind the most recognised and awe inspiring movements in haute cuisine.

Enter: Ferran Adrià.

Ferran Adria

Ferran Adrià

You may have heard of him as the creator of Spain’s world famous restaurant, elBulli, which specialised in molecular gastronomy and haute cuisine. Ferran Adrià and his team of chefs are famed for bringing innovation to the world of cooking. They develop new recipes and techniques which break down the traditional rules of cuisine and challenge some of the most established culinary do’s and don’ts.

Telefónica Digital shares these values and recognises the fellow scientist, innovator and creator in Ferran. In fact our relationship began back in 2010 when he became an ambassador for Telefónica. While the partnership may seem unexpected, we are kindred spirits and we’re delighted to work with Ferran in order to help him achieve his ever expanding vision.

The journey starts with La Bullipedia, an online gastronomic database that is to contain every piece of culinary knowledge ever gathered, both by Ferran’s team and by the wider culinary community– an online repository, reference point and forum.

The concept was conceived fairly recently when Ferran unexpectedly closed elBulli. This despite its enormous success – the restaurant was voted by industry authority Restaurant Magazine as the best in the world in 2002 and for four consecutive years between 2006 and 2009. The industry was baffled and many wondered why this world renowned three Michelin star chef would abandon his restaurant at the peak of its success.

From elBulli to Bullipedia: The brainstorming process

From elBulli to Bullipedia: The brainstorming process

The answer was centred on innovation. Ferran felt he and his chefs had hit a wall and in order to continue creatively (his team had created 1,864 dishes over 24 years), the restaurant would have to close and efforts put solely into research and development.

What followed was the establishment of the elBulli Foundation, a centre of innovation allied with digital technology that would reinvent haute cuisine and provide guidance and added intelligence to the creative endeavours of other chefs, both established and fledgling. Ferran’s team will upload their work to La Bullipedia daily, sharing their discoveries and visions and marking a departure from the tradition that chefs keep their recipes and techniques private.

La Bullipedia will focus on delivering a valuable learning and creation experience by providing a deeper and broader understanding of haute cuisine evolution, new creations, and latest developments. The aim being to increase a chef’s productivity when designing new culinary creations and provide a fast learning-path for haute cuisine students.

Ferran is keen to publish his past, present and future findings so that people can understand what he is up to and he is working closely with us in order to make this a reality.

La Bullipedia: The tablet view

La Bullipedia: The tablet view

La Bullipedia will create a network for information sharing, collaboration and discussion on where innovation can happen next; something we believe in passionately.

The cornerstone of La Bullipedia – which makes it different from a wiki – will be the expert curators of the foundation who will ensure that chefs worldwide have access to relevant, well-organised and inspiring culinary knowledge.

In the future, Ferran envisions similar creative knowledge platforms adding similar value to other industries such as architecture, design, and media. Telefónica Digital shares this vision, and aims to empower creative minds worldwide with knowledge used in complex telecommunications networks resulting in faster access to lateral knowledge.

We’re excited to be at the core of such an exciting marriage of creativity, technology and cutting edge innovation and are confident it is the recipe for success!

Download a one-pager factsheet on Bullipedia

Read this Wired 2012 article profiling Ferran