Ferran Adrià is no regular chef. Often called the father of “deconstructivist” cooking, Adrià’s concoctions seem to defy the realm of culinary realities. Gone are the familiar textures, tastes or state of matter of your favorite foods. Those oranges on your kitchen counter? Ferran turns them into “Mandarin Air.” An unused jar of olives? Wiped into a liquid foam served on a spoon.

As Adrià says, “nothing is what it seems.”

Tortilla de Patatas – the “King of Tapas” as the New York Times calls it (or Tortilla Española with Onions) – is a Spanish staple and commonly hailed as the country’s national dish. Eggs whisked to a fluff, thick pads of potato and dash of flaky sea salt have stood unmatched since Napoleonic times — but don’t be fooled by simplicity. Served alongside a healthy portion of Catalan aïoli, a good tortilla will leave you finishing the whole plate before you can say “¡Más, por favor!

Every time I visit my family in Spain, my grandma’s tortilla patiently awaits me in the fridge. Layered with soft confit potatoes and deeply caramelized onions, the dish can be served both hot or cold.

Though usually experienced by college students outside of their college dorm, elegant brunching is not Ferran’s way.

Instead of the usual ingredients – eggs, potato, salt and pepper fried together low and slow – Adrià cuts out the middleman. For the ultimate convenience, he tosses some potato chips and eggs into a pan, flips it once or twice and calls it a day.

The end result is an unexpectedly complex group of textures

and tastes for such a simple set of ingredients. As opposed to the typical indulgence of soft, pillowy potatoes, a new crunch enters the scene. Salt? Who needs it – Lay’s provides plenty.

Ferran says to hell with pillowy eggs, his version calls for crispy edges.

By toying with a traditional Tortilla de Patatas, Adrià makes a classic recipe accessible to even the most kitchen-inept college kid. What student has time to stand over their stove for an hour and a half to ensure their eggs reach an ideal flipping temperature and potatoes are *just* soft enough? 

Rip open a party pack of chips and crack a few loose eggs lying around for a speedy and minimal-effort tapa anytime of day or an excellent brunch for a crowd.

Ferran Adrià’s Tortilla de Patatas

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:7 mins
  • Total Time:12 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 12 eggs
  • 6 oz potato chips Lay’s for thinner chips Kettle Brand for extra crunch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
George Esteve
  • Step 1

    Add half the oil into a large nonstick pan over medium heat.

  • Step 2

    While waiting for the oil to warm, crack the eggs into a medium-large bowl.

  • Step 3

    Using a fork or large whisk, whisk “sin miedo” – without fear – until frothy and bubbles form, 4-5 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Fold the potato chips into the eggs, making sure to coat evenly. Let the chips soak in the eggs until the desired consistency is reached. Soak for less time if you prefer more crunch.

    George Esteve
  • Step 5

    Pour the egg and chips mixture into the pan, creating an even layer across the bottom.

    George Esteve
  • Step 6

    Once the eggs begin to set around the edges, drag a fork or rubber spatula around the lip of the pan to loosen slightly and prevent sticking.

  • Step 7

    After 4-5 minutes, use the fork or spatula to check the bottom of the tortilla. It should be golden brown. The eggs on top should still be slightly runny.

  • Step 8

    Carefully slide the tortilla onto a plate, cover it with another plate, and flip it.

  • Step 9

    Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once heated, carefully slide the tortilla back onto the pan, runny side down.

  • Step 10

    Cook for a remaining 2-3 minutes, until desired consistency is reached.

    George Esteve
  • Step 11

    Slide tortilla back onto a plate, and slice to serve (this tortilla is best-served hot; the chips do not hold up in the fridge).

    George Esteve

Photos courtesy of Mira Brodsky.