• You sit up abruptly, sweat streaming down the side of your face. You crave brown crab claws with peanut paste, watermelon and muscovado sugar air.

    I know that feeling. But unluckily, I never got to go to Spain's El Bulli, which is owned by Ferran Adrià (he started working there as a line cook in 1984). And now it’s closing.

    You know El Bulli, it's that establishment where molecular gastronomy is on offer and where the superhuman abilities of its chef beckon fans from everywhere. El Bulli will be no more by month’s end and a documentary is being released, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. Don’t expect a Food Channel documentary—those follow helpfully along a straightforward narrative and interviews with the protagonists help thicken the plot. They’re all-in-one packages and they’re usually very successful films.

    This documentary is bare-bones in comparison, but you might still derive some pleasure from watching a group of young men belaboring over some seriously exotic-looking appetizers. Cooking In Progress is more the fly-on-the-wall approach: watch the studied intensity of a group of Adrià’s cooks being trained and the negotiations that ensue to establish the upcoming season’s menu (this documentary was shot a couple of years ago); nod, salivate and wonder.

    Adrià’s legacy on what gastronomy can do to food is so unavoidable, missing this documentary would be a shame. But the lack of padding or subtext (testimonies; overall context) could make it unrewarding to some. Some research before watching (on cooking trends, Adrià, molecular foods) might be in order to get the most out of it.