A Sorcerer's Dinner

KC's culinary creatives cook up a memorable feast at the Nelson-Atkins Museum for world-famous chef Ferran Adrià of elBulli.

     What do you serve the world’s most famous chef and molecular gastronomist — the mastermind behind all those flavored foams, liquid exploding olives and edible golden eggs? It’s enough to make any Michelin Star chef tremble beneath his or her toque. But that’s what 11 of Kansas City’s most talented and accoladed chefs faced when asked to create a course for the legendary elBulli chef Ferran Adrià (and subject of the bestselling book The Sorcerer’s Apprentices). In town this past March to celebrate his exhibit of conceptual sketches and da Vinci-like diagrams on all things culinary at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (through Aug. 2), the Spanish powerhouse was treated to a 10-course example of Midwestern hospitality within the museum’s medieval Cloisters Courtyard. Read on for the menu of earthy to ethereal delicacies that were prepared for top museum patrons and the culinary sorcerer. Each dish was paired with choice wines selected by local sommeliers, and, charmingly, the menu credited the many regional farms  that were sourced for the night’s epic dishes.

   Earlier in the day, Adrià was treated to a culinary quick-tour of KC from pork to whiskey, including stops at The Local Pig, J. Rieger distillery and Johnson County Community College’s Culinary Center, in addition to lunch at Happy Gillis Café. In the late afternoon, Adrià delivered a lecture to museum patrons, in which he waxed cerebral about his new elBulli Foundation, the origins of cooking and even the simple tomato.

     The mythic chef may have breezed in and out of KC as ephemeral as one of his quickly disappearing foams, but his presence left a lasting impression on our gastronomic greats.

   "Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity" through Aug. 2 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. For tickets and info, visit nelson-atkins.org.



Course One | Chef Jonathan Pye

Executive Chef, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

  • White and Green Asparagus, Pickled Asparagus Coins, Speck, Smoky Preserved Egg Yolk, Citrus Chevre, Chorizo Oil,
 Micro Marigolds, Tangerine Lace
  • Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut, France

Course Two | Chef Michael Corvino

Executive Chef & General Manager, The American Restaurant

  • King Crab, Chicken Liver, Turnip, Nasturtium
  • 2010 Soter ‘Mineral Springs’ Brut Rosé, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon

Course Three | Chef Michael Smith

Chef/owner of Michael Smith Restaurant and Extra Virgin

  • Hamachi & Big Eye Tuna Ceviche, Ossetra Caviar, City Bitty Cilantro
  • 2013 Lagar da Condesa Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

Course Four | Chef Jennifer Maloney

Executive Chef, Café Sebastienne

  • Coconut Ginger Broth, Spring Greens, Pickled Mango
  • 2012 Navarro Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley, California

Course Five | Chef Ted Habiger

Chef/owner of Room 39

  • Spinach and Fresh Cheese Gnudi, Lamb Pancetta, Sunflower
  • 2011 Henry Fessy Château de Reyssiers Beaujolais Régnié, France

Course Six | Chef Debbie Gold

James Beard Award-winning Chef / Stone Soup Consulting

  • Coddled Duck Egg, Sunchoke, Chocolate Coffee Crumble
  • 2013 Domaine de la Rèserve d’O “Bilbo,” St. Saturnin, Languedoc, France

Course Seven | Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen

Chef/owner of Story

  • Wild King Salmon, Carrots, Radishes
  • 2012 Anthill Farms Comptche Ridge Pinot Noir, California

Course Eight | Chef Howard Hanna

Chef/owner of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange and Ça Va

  • Smoked Rabbit and Dumplings, Spring Vegetables, Fines Herbes
  • 2010 La Spinetta, Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy

Course Nine | Chef Ryan Brazeal

Chef/owner of Novel

  • Beef Sirloin, Short Rib Lemongrass Braise, Rice Noodles
  • 2009 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Course Ten | Chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts

Chef/owners of Bluestem & Rye

  • Crème Caramel, Rhubarb, White Sesame, Lemon, Strawberry, Thyme
  • 2005 Isole e Olena, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
  • Petit Fours in Cocoa

Digestivo | Ryan Maybee

Co-owner of Manifesto and The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange

  • Sevilla Stout
Bitter Coffee Cordial, Vanilla & Spices, Anis del Mono, Cream