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Albert Adrià Says If You're New To Spanish Cuisine, This Is The First Dish You Should Cook - Exclusive

Albert Adria headshot
Albert Adria headshot - Eduardo Parra/Getty Images

World-renowned chef Albert Adrià is famous for the experimental, boundary-pushing modernist cooking he perfected at the groundbreaking restaurant elBulli and continues to explore at his current restaurant, Enigma. However, just because he's known for innovation doesn't mean he can't appreciate tradition. In fact, he has explored the traditional flavors of his Spanish homeland at some of his previous restaurants, including the beloved gastropub Inopia Classic Bar.

Tasting Table recently caught up with Adriá for an exclusive interview, and we took the opportunity to ask him what the best gateway dish is for someone who's looking to learn how to cook Spanish food at home. He didn't hesitate with his reply: "It would be probably tortilla de patatas. It's like the omelet with potatoes."

The tortilla de patatas isn't like a Mexican tortilla at all — instead, it's a frittata-like egg dish made with potatoes (and often onions) that have been slow-cooked in olive oil. It has been eaten in Spain for centuries, and since it's made with cheap ingredients, it's a less intimidating introduction to cooking Spanish food than, say, a seafood paella. However, that doesn't mean it's super easy to make.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

It's All About Practice

Spanish tortilla on plate
Spanish tortilla on plate - Daniel Megias/Getty Images

When we pressed Adrià for tips on cooking tortilla de patatas, he stressed that there were no secrets he could reveal over a short Zoom call. Instead, he said the only way to master the dish is by diligent repetition.

He also pointed out that the dish lives and dies based on the quality of the ingredients. It's quite a minimalist recipe — you're only using a couple of ingredients, so it's not going to taste good unless each component is delicious on its own. In Adrià's words, "Good eggs, good potato, good omelet." Every home cook puts their own spin on the classic tortilla, but Adrià told us the most important decision is whether or not to include onions. "It's a debate in Spain," he explained, confirming he likes his with both potatoes and onions.

Taste Albert Adrià's cooking at Enigma in Barcelona, Spain. Reservations can be made here.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.