A documentary not just for those who like to post pictures of what they’re eating on Facebook, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress offers a look behind the curtain of El Bulli, the legendary (and now defunct) restaurant near the Costra Brava shore, just north of Barcelona. Thankfully, director Gereon Wetzel lets the fact that we can’t smell or taste his movie work for him rather than against him as he avoids the rambunctious food-porn methods embraced by most cooking shows (and other, lesser docs), instead going for a respectful fly-on-the-all approach as we watch head chef Ferran Adria and his team work their magic. El Bulli, a surprisingly cozy and modest restaurant that seats 50 and got over a million reservation requests a year, is (was) famed for its experimental, almost supernatural dishes served from only July-December; from January-June, Adria and his minions toil away in their kitchen/laboratory, whipping up the weirdest possible ideas and then seeing if it actually tastes any good. El Bulli: Cooking in Progress is a quietly fascinating examination of culinary oddities and the talented artisans with the time and resources to make them happen; it also can’t resist going the food-as-orgasm route in its last few minutes as it presents the entire menu in a series of mouth-watering close-ups.
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