He’s been called a mad scientist, a molecular gastronomist, a culinary genius, and the Best Chef in the World, but Ferran Adrià (with me, above) is mainly obsessed with Flavor with a capital F.

Last week, I was among the lucky 7,000 (out of 2 million reservation requests per year) to score a table at El Bulli on Spain’s Costa Brava. To call this the Meal of a Lifetime seems trite but on point: our six-hour dinner was like nothing I’d ever experienced before—or probably ever will again—yet it was delightfully entertaining and, for what seemed at times like a zany chemistry experiment, surprisingly delicious.

Don't miss my El Bulli slideshow--it's full of tips, must-know facts, and behind-the-scenes shots.

Niloufar Motamed is the features editor at Travel + Leisure.