Britain's Restaurant magazine ranked ElBulli to be number one on its list of the world's top 50 restaurants for a record five times -- in 2002 when the list was first published and between 2006 and 2009.
"It is not the best restaurant in the world because that does not exist, but it is today the most influential place in the world in terms of cuisine, and especially when it comes to creativity," Adria said last week.
Chef patron Ferran Adria, respected globally for his experimental cooking techniques, has been at the forefront of modern gastronomy for more than two decades.
He has won numerous awards, including the accolade of Chef of the Decade in 2010.
Adria made the decision to close the restaurant and convert it into El Bulli Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on promoting creativity in cooking.
“After taking the decision to change direction, it became necessary to think about the best way to implement the project. It seemed to us that the most appropriate option was to create a Foundation. For many years, we’ve been extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to do that which fascinates us. Now is the time for us to return something to society,” said Adria in a statement on the El Bulli website.
“[The foundation] has two principal objectives. Firstly, to be the archive of elBullirestaurant, both at a physical level (documents, books, objects, etc.) and a digital level. Secondly, it will be a center for creativity, with the objective of creating and then sharing ideas and findings through internet.”
El Bulli will relaunch as the El Bulli Foundation, a center of research into new cooking techniques and flavors.