Answers Activity 43

Now listen again while you check the audio transcription. Then check the answers below.

PRESENTER: Hello and welcome to today's programme. My guest today is the journalist James Langden who's here to make our mouths water! James recently had lunch in one of the most famous restaurants in the world, El Bulli. As I am sure many of you already know, El Bulli is a small restaurant on the east coast of Spain, in Catalonia. It has been voted the best restaurant in the world five times in the last ten years and has been described as serving 'the most imaginative food on the planet'. James, you're a very lucky man – how on earth did you manage to get a table?
JAMES: That's a good question. El Bulli is only open for six months of the year, which means there are only 8,000 seats available per year, and there are two million contenders for those seats. As a restaurant critic, I was lucky enough to be around when the chef and co-owner Ferran Adria was about to publish a book and he was keen to talk to a newspaper about it.
PRESENTER: Why has the restaurant become so famous?
JAMES: Well, Ferran Adria and his team were the first to start pushing the boundaries of food and cooking, and bringing science into the kitchen. First of all, they became famous for replacing sauces with foams and for presenting flavours through the medium of warm jellies. When these ideas spread around the world and became cliches, they moved on, for example to cooking' ingredients in liquid nitrogen.
PRESENTER: So, what was your verdict on the meal?
JAMES: Well, I have to say that it was the very best dinner I've ever eaten.
PRESENTER: That's generous praise coming from a professional. What exactly did you have to eat?
JAMES: We'd be here all night if I described all the dishes to you. There were 42 of them. They were tiny, but still, there were 42 of them.
PRESENTER: 42 different dishes? That's extraordinary! Were they all good?
JAMES: All but two of them were perfect.
PRESENTER: What were the two 'less than perfect' ones?
JAMES: One was a plate of very sour fruit, a bit like a mango, with a pile of something which looked like tagliatelle but was actually made from frozen foie gras. It tasted of cheese, for some reason, and had a curious, and slightly unpleasant aftertaste. The other was a dish of a coconut cream and jelly which tasted of not very much at all. But those were the only two. The other forty were magnificent.
PRESENTER: And what was your favourite dish?
JAMES: It's hard to say, there were so many to choose from. I think the best was a crisp wafer of bitter chocolate with game mousse – unbelievably good.
PRESENTER: It sounds delicious. Thank you, James, for coming to talk to us.
JAMES: You're welcome.




Where did he eat the meal?





What did he think of it?





Now choose the best answers to these questions:



Why was James able to get a table?


A.    He had made a reservation six months previously.
B.    He was in the right place at the right time.
C.    He knew the head chef personally.


In what way do the chefs "push the boundaries of food and cooking"?


A.    They have developed new cooking techniques.
B.    They have imported new ingredients.
C.    They have experimented with new flavours.


What did the meal consist of?


A.    A small number of substantial dishes.
B.    A a large number of small dishes.
C.    A large number of substantial dishes.


What didn't James like about two of the dishes?


A.    The texture.
B.    The ingredients.
C.    The flavour.

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