1987. "Creativity means not copying".
At the beginning of 1987 we went to the Côte d’Azur, with a group of catering professionals, to visit
some of the prestigious restaurants of the area. We were staying in the Negresco in Nice, whose restaurant, the Chantecler, was
run by Jacques Maximin. One day, in the reception area, we were talking to Michel Palmer, the manager of the hotel, and Maximin himself, who
told us he was holding a demonstration for the Escoffier Foundation in Cannes, and he invited us along. During the discussion following the
demonstration, one of those attending asked the great French chef what creativity was. Maximin replied: "Creativity means not copying". This
simple sentence was what brought about a change in approach in our cooking, and was the cut-off point between "re-creation" and a firm
decision to become involved in creativity. After getting back to the restaurant, we were convinced that we needed to use major cookery books
less and less and try to find an identity of our own. This was the start of our plunge into creativity in elBulli.
In front of the Hotel Martinez in Cannes.