A Day in the Life: Michelin Star Chef Albert Adrià walks Eight Kilometres Every Day
Written by Ross Dias
For Barcelona's Chef Adrian Adrià , life can get busy. On top of travelling the world, authoring books and giving talks, Adrià runs six restaurants within a single block in the city.
In town for the first Estrella Damm Gastronomy Conference in Canada, held at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Chef Adrià spoke on "The Art of the Tapas," which he describes as "a tasting menu, where you decide where you start and where you end."
Starting today, Torontonians can live a day like those in Barcelona with the third annual Estrella Damm Tapas Journey. Special one-of-a-kind Tapas menus will be offered with a glass of Estrella Damm at 36 participating restaurants around the city including Lena, Baro, La Palma and Scaramouche.
Here, a typical day in the very hectic life of Chef Adrià.
9.45 a.m. I wake up around 9:00, but it takes me a little longer to get out of the bed. When I'm up, I have a quick breakfast and head to work.
11.00 a.m. I meet with the whole team to see what they are going to do that day, and I make my first visit to all the restaurants. I walk eight kilometres per day because all my restaurants are within the same block in Barcelona, so I repeatedly go from one to another throughout the day.
12.30 p.m. After the first tour, I go back to my personal kitchen at Enigma where we cook. There's eight people who work with me on my personal team, and we visit every restaurant, every day. We assess and assist all the restaurants. Tuesday is the first working day for us, so that's when we schedule the whole week for the restaurants. On Wednesday and Thursday, I mostly cook in my personal kitchen, and I use my Fridays and Saturdays to gather people for meetings.
2 p.m. I don't eat meals at the same time everyday. I'm not a very organized person. The daily task of my personal assistant is to remove events from my agenda because there are a lot of things, and I am most creative when I don't have meetings. I have to take every opportunity for creativity that I get. The moral of my life is: you are how you cook, and you cook how you are.
6.30 p.m. Once the restaurants open, I pay my second visit to each of them. Depending on the day, I spend more time in one restaurant over the other. (It depends on whether I changed the menu recently, or if someone important is eating in the restaurant.) My team and I have different Whatsapp groups that we use to be creative together, and keep each other posted on reservations.
9.00 p.m. On the days I don't work, I travel to other cities, like Toronto. I'll be in Singapore in a few weeks. I try to make time to relax because I've been under a lot of pressure and stress in my life. In the past six years, I've opened eight restaurants, one of which was a pop-up restaurant, but it took the same amount of work as any other restaurant. I take three weeks off in August, at Christmas and another week off at Easter. For now, I will try not to open anything else. Even when I'm not in Barcelona, I work everyday. I don't have time to stop working and do something else. My brain in always connected. For example, next year in New York, I'll be opening a Spanish market, so I'll be at St. Lawrence Market taking a few photos for inspiration.
2.00 a.m. I finish work around 1:00 to 3:00 a.m., depending on the day. Sometimes, I'll grab a few beers with my friends, after. I try to keep my stress down for myself and for my team because at the end of the day, I'm the one putting the pressure on them. I work very long hours and my life is devoted to work, but I don't worry about family. I have a 10 year-old who lives a very privileged life. I strongly believe in dedicated time; both personal time and work time.