The Avant Garde Dessert That Left José Andrés Stunned

Disfrutar is known for its creative kitchen. Just four years after the restaurant first opened its doors in 2014, it hit Number 18 on The World's 50 Best List. Today, it has climbed the ranks to the number five spot and picked up two Michelin stars along the way. The establishment is also lauded as one of the best restaurants in the world for a reason.

The name "Disfrutar" is the Spanish word for "enjoy," which the chefs seem to be doing here. Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas, and Eduard Xatruch met while working at the legendary restaurant El Bulli. While El Bulli closed in 2011, the Disfrutar chefs say they're just getting started. Castro tells World's 50 Best, "If you come to Disfrutar today, you'll see things that weren't there a year ago, and that is the most important thing. From the food to the design, we try to keep evolving and working every day." Some of the imaginative dishes that have earned the young restaurant world renown status include crispy egg yolk with mushroom jelly and pork jowl served with red mullet and aubergine gnocchi, per Talento a Bordo. But there are countless other creations on Disfrutar's menu. The team dreams up at least 70 new dishes each year.

Now, in an episode of his new series "José Andrés and Family in Spain," the chef visits Barcelona for a meal at Disfrutar. Here's the dessert that left him stunned.

Ecstasy! exclaims Andrés

In the episode, Andrés and his daughters enjoy "the world's most hidden dessert." The Disfrutar team designed a table packed with a labyrinth of secret compartments and drawers. Tucked away inside the table was a series of boxes filled with sweets — and not just any sweets: Cotton candy flowers, pine nut cookies, raspberry polvorones, chocolate bonbons, raspberry marshmallows on a bed of rose petals, and almond meringue with Japanese jusu paste. Other hidden pockets in the table contained other visual delights: A rainbow of edible flowers and fresh fruit, clouds of dry ice teeming from one pocket, and wooden planters spilling over with leafy green foliage. Andrés remarked that the table itself seemed "alive." The chef called the presentation "immersive art" and gave the team a standing ovation.

Disfrutar debuted the table in 2021, per The World's 50 Best, and it's already garnered major attention. Supertaster Mel visited Disfrutar and called the table "breathtaking, grandiose, and theatrical." Chef Castro reveals the inspiration behind the table via La Vanguardia Magazine: "We conceptualize nature and its textures through petit-fours. Water, flowers, plants... This table is like a collage of colors, textures, sensations, and volumes." It's a reimagination of everyday concepts, which is exactly what Disfrutar aims to do. As Xatruch tells Salty, "To be creative it is not necessary to use techniques or unfamiliar products and, for example, you can even be creative with just one almond."