Ferran Adrià (1962– ) and Juan Mari Arzak (1942– ) are two of Spain’s leading chefs, famed for elBulli and Arzak Restaurant respectively. In 1999 when this book was written, the cuisine of the Spanish avant-garde was hitting its stride and arguably at the turning point when both Adrià and Arzak, at the forefront of the emergence of molecular gastronomy, shifted the course of fine dining, not only for Spain but for the entire world.
Rather than seeing each other as competitors, Arzak and Adrià joined forces to collaborate on a book, celebrating the turn of the millenium. Alternating courses, they developed menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Epiphany (January 6).
Though the recipes have been scaled down for home use, they are ambitious undertakings—perhaps not quite as ambitious as the chefs’ food would become in the new millennium, but still quite demanding. For example, you might have to allow a good deal of time and energy for such “performance dishes” as buckwheat blinis with smoked chicken and caviar; roasted potato flower with stuffed truffle; scallops with almond soup, mushrooms, and artichokes; or muscovado gelée with yogurt sorbet.
In addition to the elaborate, festive menus, Arzak and Adrià include several pages devoted to requisite luxury ingredients for celebratory feasts. Here they wax poetic about caviar, foie gras, and truffles, and exult in some birds, beasts, and fish. At the end, they offer some lessons on wine—terroir, history, grapes, etiquette, wine service, and more. An unabashed exercise of epicurean jubilation, Celebrar el Milenio is a keepsake of an exciting turning point in modern gastronomic history.
The book, published in Spanish in 1999, is from the first—and only—edition of 30,000 copies. Our copy is in Very Good condition with light bumps to the corners and some scuffing around the head and foot of the spine and light scratching to the case. It was issued without a dust jacket. There is a gift inscription to a previous owner on the title page. The book is signed by Ferran Adrià.