HONG KONG (AP) — A rare chance to dine with world-famous Spanish restaurateur Ferran Adria sold at auction Wednesday for 220,500 Hong Kong dollars ($28,270).
Bidding started at HK$40,000 ($5,000) for the meal with Adria, often cited as the planet's most talented and imaginative chef. His now-closed restaurant elBulli was rated the world's best five times by British magazine The Restaurant.
An online bidder beat out four others at the Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong with a winning bid of HK$180,000, not including a buyer's premium of more than 20 percent.
The winner and three friends will eat with Adria and his brother at a restaurant in Barcelona and visit the premises of the elBulli restaurant, in Catalonia, Spain.
Another meal with the chef known for his creations in molecular gastronomy will be auctioned off April 26 in New York.
"Everybody knew there was just one chance to get this lot of spending time with the great chef Ferran Adria, in his hometown of Barcelona. And this will probably never happen again," said Serena Sutcliffe, international head of wine at Sotheby's.
After maintaining an exceptional Michelin three-star status for more than a decade, elBulli closed in July 2011.
Adria, who was in charge of the elBulli kitchen for 27 years, says the dinner offers a rare opportunity to discuss food and cooking ideas with him.
The proceeds of the auction will go to the elBulli Foundation, a project set up by Adria and business partner Juli Soler, which will turn the restaurant into an experimental center looking at the process of culinary innovation and creativity.