A groundbreaking chef chips away at classic egg dish

Kate Krader

BLOOMBERG – It’s now standard practice for the world’s top chefs and restaurants to make themselves available to home cooks.

A trend that the pandemic only fast-tracked has seen Rene Redzepi serve burgers at Noma in Copenhagen, Massimo Bottura make mac and cheese for a free online cooking class, and the team behind Carbone start selling jarred pasta sauces at supermarkets.

But a decade ago, when Ferran Adrià debuted The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià, it was nothing short of sensational.

At his restaurant El Bulli in Roses, Spain, such dishes as the ‘liquid olive’ and transparent “vanishing ravioli”, garnered him recognition as the world’s best chef.

El Bulli closed in 2011 after winning all the awards out there; the location is in the process of being turned into what Adrià called musealización (being turned into a museum) that both preserves the legacy of his restaurant and promotes creativity. Concurrently, he’s started a book series on the origins of cooking.

Ferran Adrià’s potato chip omelette. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

A 10th anniversary edition of The Family Meal, came out on April 7, remind us that for all the accolades, the world’s most avant-garde chef is also adept at preparing the simplest of dishes, from gazpacho to rice pudding.

A more brilliant innovation is his three-ingredient potato chip omelette. Even salt is rendered unnecessary by the chips, which are folded into the beaten egg to soften slightly before cooking.

The result, especially if you’re adept at folding a cooked omelette over to hide the filling, is a surprise of chips that infuse the eggs with potato flavour while adding a fun chewy, starchy bite.

Imagine the best forkful of eggs with hash browns, yet melded more perfectly together. Plus, it’s simply a fun dish, especially for those who know that the omelette was historically the test of a great chef in classic restaurants. “It came to my mind thinking about the cheese omelette. If we did not do the cheese, why not try using potato chips?” said Adrià, in an email. He’s an enduring fan of the recipe. “I normally cook it once a week.”

Because the ingredient list is so short, he recommends using the freshest eggs you can get and top-of-the-line chips and oil. “I make it with potato chips that have extra-virgin olive oil of the best quality,” he advised. If you want to experiment with something like the South Korean cult favourite honey butter chips, you will need to add salt; you might want to have some seasoning handy, anyway.

You can also serve the omelette with your favourite egg accoutrements: hot sauce, grated cheese. Before you add any, take a bite of Adrià’s omelette as it is and revel in its simple genius.

The following recipe is from Ferran Adria’s The Family Meal.

POTATO CHIP OMELETTE

Ingredients:

Six large eggs

Two-and three-quater oz salted potato chips

One-and-a-half tbsp olive oil

Steps:

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a balloon whisk until very frothy. Add the potato chips-taking care not to break them up-and let them soak for one minute, gently pushing them into the eggs.

Place a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and add two tsp of the oil.

Add the egg mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to loosen the sides of the omelette from the edge of the pan. After 40-60 seconds, when the bottom of the omelette has set, cover the omelette with a plate. Holding onto the pan with one hand, carefully turn the pan over so the omelette slides onto the plate. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining two tsp of oil. Slide the omelette from the plate into the pan and cook the uncooked side for 20-30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate, cut in half, and serve.