El Bulli Documentary Review Essays

Essay on Chocolates El Ray Business Case Review

2119 WordsDec 14th, 20129 Pages

Chocolates El Rey Case
Chocolates El Rey, a medium sized Venezuelan chocolate company, produces top-quality chocolate made with single-origin Venezuelan cocoa beans. Jorge Redmond, the CEO of Chocolates El Rey, called a meeting with senior management in late November 2006 to discuss the company’s growth strategy. El Rey can accomplish this task through many ways; growing the United States industrial market using its own brand name, relocating their plants to low-income countries, or to scale up the retail segment in the United States by using multi-origin cocoa bean chocolate. Each of these viable alternatives to expand El Rey have positive and negative side effects. El Rey has come a long way since its founding in 1929; yet, the…show more content…

After this, El Rey decided to stay out of the production of cocoa beans and focus on the production of chocolate. This began the reign of President Chavez in which he limited foreign direct investment in Venezuela and limited Multi-Latinas from becoming multinationals. Policies changed constantly, and El Rey’s management was worried that attitudes towards producers of luxury goods could worsen as President Chavez’s policies become more radical. El Rey must devise a new strategy to change their target market and avoid conflict with Chavez.
El Rey is currently targeting their chocolate towards a specific niche, one of wealth and economic stability. The company cannot grow if they focus on this specific niche by using high quality cocoa beans. Due to Venezuela’s limited supply, El Rey will never have enough resources to expand by selling single-origin chocolate. El Rey lacks sufficient marketing and advertising. Making a successful marketing team is important to expand and pursue entry into international markets. Right now El Rey’s marketing team is non-existent; they rely on word-of-mouth advertising to sell their products. Although successful in Venezuela, El Rey will not be able to meet Redmond’s expectations for growth using this technique. El Rey clearly has many problems that can be fixed, leaving them with many options for growth and expansion in order to succeed. One of the best

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from our August 2012 issue

Molecular gastronomy sounds like science fiction, food as served aboard the Enterprise, but – as the British television-viewing public well knows – it’s a food trend exemplified by Heston Blumenthal, star of a number of cooking series, and his chief competitor Ferran Adrià, chef-patron of Catalan restaurant El Bulli.

Unlike Blumenthal, Adrià has not yet brought his vision to the viewing public, and on the basis of this German documentary is the austere avant garde to Blumenthal’s high-spirited joker. While many techniques on show here – sous-vides, foams, milk skins, emulsions – will be familiar to MasterChef fans, viewers looking for a how-to guide to preparing a minted ice lake or pumpkin meringue sandwich (two of the most recognisable and tempting dishes on the 2009 menu whose research and preparation is documented here) will be disappointed, as will those expecting an intimate portrait of the artist as man of taste.

Instead, director Gereon Wetzel employs classical observational techniques to compose a compelling if understructured portrait of the business of creativity in the medium of food. Viewers may get no closer to understanding Adrià’s intentions, or his taste buds, but the penultimate sequence, in which the chef sits alone in El Bulli’s busy kitchen, eating all 35 dishes created for that season’s menu (the last before the restaurant transforms into a culinary academy), inspires both wonder and melancholy.

The film’s sparing use of the chef – he barely features at all for the first 35 minutes – heightens the sense of his presence, and lightly constructs this scene as the apex of the sketchy drama. When Adrià is shown laughing at the end of his long meal, we breathe a sigh of relief.

That sense of involvement is in no small part due to the central personality of the film: not Adrià but his creative co-director Oriol Castro. Mediating gracefully between the demanding chef and El Bulli’s large team of kitchen staff, Castro is a sympathetic character whose puckish wit and extraordinary forbearance come into focus in conversation with his assistant and foil, the boyish enthusiast Eduard Xatruch, as they try to second-guess the mercurial Adrià. Yet this light characterisation is secondary to the attempts to capture two interconnected intangibles: the process of creativity, from intuition to realisation, and the affective impact of the food.

Adrià tells his staff in a workshop that the aim of El Bulli is not to provide taste but something resembling T.S. Eliot’s idea of ‘felt thought’, an emotional experience conveying an idea to the diner. Close-ups of mushroom gills and of deft fingers syringing liquids into tiny rice-paper envelopes combine with Stephan Diethelm’s low-key but effective score in an attempt to summon the experience of eating at El Bulli.

In her influential 2000 book The Skin of the Film, Laura U. Marks identified the ways in which experimental documentaries break with classical technique to find ways of conveying smell, taste and touch to viewers. Lacking these kind of haptic innovations, Wetzel’s documentary never really gets under Adrià’s skin – but the creation of the frozen, juiced, glossy surfaces of the food is fascinating.

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