It’s only a couple of weeks into Next’s Childhood menu, but details are beginning to come out about how the El Bulli menu which will begin in January will work. In fact, it looks like some interesting info appeared briefly on the restaurant’s Facebook page Sunday morning… but was deleted by early afternoon. During the brief time it was up, however, LTHForum poster “Kathryn” happened to quote at least part of it: “We will sell 50 subscriptions or so per night for the year. Which will leave 12 to 14 for El Bulli regular tickets. In addition, we will be auctioning one El Bulli table per night to the highest bidder for Charity…. U of C cancer center to get 100% of the proceeds.” All things Next are subject to refinement, and we wouldn’t regard this as the final word by any means, but it does have several interesting points.
First, while confirming the expectation that there will only be one seating for each Next El Bulli table and most seats will be sold as season tickets, it does indicate that there will be some, if not many, El Bulli-only reservations available, perhaps inevitable for a restaurant whose clientele is as much out of town food tourists as it is local foodies.
Second, while Next has been very resistant to the lucrative suggestion that tickets be auctioned off, which would quickly put the creativity of Achatz et al. out of reach for all but sheiks and investment bankers, the idea of doing so with one table a night for charity is another matter, and could be a pretty substantial boon for the University of Chicago cancer center where Achatz was treated for his tongue cancer a few years ago.
Of course, this having appeared in a posting which was subsequently removed means it’s very unconfirmed and non-final. But it is interesting that the creatively restless crew behind Next continues to fiddle with its model, not merely to better handle the intense demand— but for the sheer fun of trying new things.