The Fragile Feast was born of a creative collaboration between the artist and photographer Hannah Collins (*1956 in London) and Catalan star chef Ferran Adrià and offers scintillating insight into the origins of extraordinary food from different cultures. Collins sought out the original sources of an exclusive selection of around thirty foods and ingredients Adrià uses in his famous restaurant elBulli. The images feature the cultivated landscapes of their origin as well as the physical properties of the respective foods, accompanying them during their transformation into products and their journeys through processing and regional preparation. From edible rose petals to sea anemones, in sensuous photographs and with the aid of vibrantly narrative texts the publication conveys an impression of what is currently considered nutritious and healthy.
"Siempre que se analiza un plato, un estilo, nos fijamos en la composición, en las técnicas, incluso en el acierto en la combinación de productos. Pero pocas veces se piensa en que cada producto que uno está comiendo posee una historia detrás. Y esto es lo que ha hecho Hannah, retratar la trastienda de cada uno de estos ingredientes, tirar del hilo hasta el origen de una serie de productos emblemáticos, cada uno de los cuales implica un territorio, unas personas que lo trabajan desde hace tiempo, a menudo siguiendo unas técnicas y unos procedimientos ancestrales".
Ferran Adriá, 2011
"I realize that when we analyse a dish or a style, we notice composition and technique, but rarely do we realise that the product we are eating has a history. Hannah has portrayed what lies behind each of these ingredients and has pulled on the threads until the origins of a series of emblematic products have been reached. Each product implies a territory and reflects the people who have worked it for many years, often following ancestral techniques and procedures".
Ferran Adriá, 2011
Ferran Adrià has been recognised as the most innovative chef of modern times.
His restaurant, elBulli, was long regarded as the finest in the world. The culinary transformations from raw produce to spectacular dish were the result of a mysterious, almost alchemical process.
Hannah who has known Ferran for a number of years and has been granted unprecedented access to the working of his kitchen, embarked on a mission to trace the routes of thirty or more products from their place or origin to the table. The resulting pictures and writings create a document of global connections, geographical diversity, historical precedents and sublime aesthetic refinement. Ferran has described this book as a great contribution to the dialogue between high cooking and art.
Published by Hatje Cantz