Master of Culinary Invention Seeks MBA Intervention

When famed El Bulli Chef Ferran Adrià spoke at Haas recently, he seemed to take mischievous delight in the puzzlement he causes with his decisions: Curtailing El Bulli’s thriving lunch trade; flouting the sanctity of menus (much to the consternation of Michelin); and, of late, shuttering the world’s most highly acclaimed restaurant to launch a foundation.

It was this new elBulliFoundation that brought Adrià to Berkeley-Haas, one of only five b-schools worldwide whose MBA students have been invited to participate in the “Ideas for Transformation” global MBA challenge competition sponsored by Adrià’s foundation and Telefonica, Spain. The students will develop strategies and models to guide the elBullifoundation in its plans to launch a pioneering center for gastronomic creativity and innovation in Costa Brava, Spain in 2014. “We are willing to hear anything under the sun, Adria told the students. “We are completely open to you.”

Berkeley-Haas students "at-table" with Adrià

“Ferran Adrià’s visit to Berkeley-Haas is an amazing opportunity for the Haas community to help one of the world’s most famous chefs to turn his restaurant elBulli into a foundation that will contribute to society, ” says Iñaki Ruiz, MBA 12, who is from Madrid. “Adrià is definitely in tune with some of the core Berkeley-Haas values, as he goes beyond himself and questions the status quo.”

Learn more about the competition and Adriài’s visit to Berkeley-Haas in this Economist story.

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