March 5, 2013 / 1:05 AM / 7 years ago

Dinner with Spain's elBulli chef to be sold at auction

El Bulli restaurant head chef Ferran Adria gestures while holding a shrimp as he speaks during a conference at the "Mistura" gastronomic fair in Lima in this September 11, 2011 file photograph. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fans of Spain’s award-winning elBulli restaurant who did not get there before it closed will get a chance to eat with its celebrated chef when dinners with Ferran Adria are sold at auctions, Sotheby’s said on Monday.

The two dinners, each for four people, will be among the highlights of sales next month in Hong Kong and New York, when the restaurant’s wine cellar, equipment and memorabilia will also go under the hammer.

“It is a unique experience ... to have dinner with certainly the most creative chef in the world,” said Jamie Ritchie, president Sotheby’s wine, Americas and Asia.

Proceeds of the auctions will benefit the elBulli Foundation, a culinary center that is due to open in Spain 2014.

Adria, 50, who is credited with turning foam into a culinary art form, headed the world-famous three-Michelin star restaurant in the northern Catalonian town of Roses for 27 years, until it closed in 2011.

It was named the world’s top restaurant for four consecutive years in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants compiled by Restaurant Magazine.

More than 8,800 bottles of wine from elBulli’s cellar could sell for an estimated $1 million, but Ritchie said it is difficult to put a price on the dinners with Adria at his brother’s restaurant, Tickets, in Barcelona.

Opening bids for the meal at the April 3 auction in Hong Kong and another at the April 26 sale in New York will be $5,000 (HK$40,000).

“We are excited to offer food and wine lovers a chance to enjoy a part of the elBulli experience,” Ritchie said in a statement.

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy, Toni Reinhold and Eric Walsh

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