ElBulli, a case study at Harvard


12 January 2016

ElBulli, a case study at Harvard

The business decisions made by Ferran Adrià, how they led him to success and what is the strategy behind the new period he faces with elBulli Foundation were studied by the university in the publication Ferran Adrià and transformation of elBulli.

Closing “the best restaurant in the world” to open a foundation, may be a risky decision. However, for Ferran Adrià, risk reaps its benefits. As an example, the way that ElBulli, the Catalan chef's mythical restaurant: after closing its doors on 30th July 2011, it continues to be the focus of discussions and studies, including the case study developed at Harvard University, taking a closer look at the decisions made by the chef, how they led to success and the strategy behind the new period he is facing with elBulliFoundation.

The study "Ferran Adrià and the transformation of elBulli", was published in late 2015 by Harvard Business Publishing and written by two lecturers at ESADE in Barcelona, ​​an academic institution that is part of the Ramon Llull University.

Silviya Svejenova, lecturer of the Department of Business Policy, and Marcel Planellas, professor of the Department of General Management and Strategy, wrote the research pertaining to the collection of cases of  CLADEA BALAS Case Consortium.

"It is not very common for business schools to study cases about the business career of a chef in the haute cuisine sector. In this sense, the attraction is the innovative proposal, which places students outside the traditional sectors and business problems", said Planellas, according to the website of the Spanish institution.

The publication of Ferran Adriá's case study, by the prestigious American university, is not the institution's first approach to the culinary arts as a discipline. For the last six years, it has organised a series of conferences called Science and Cooking, which in 2015 was attended by experts like Harold McGee, as well as chefs like José Andrés, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Joan Roca and Mark Ladner. The interest of a university like Harvard in gastronomy contributes to the legitimisation of the culinary arts as an important source of knowledge.