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Heston Blumenthal at Home Hardcover – November 22, 2011
Cooking in the New Year
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About the Author
Entirely self-taught, Heston Blumenthal is the most progressive chef of his generation. In 2004 he won the coveted three Michelin stars in near-record time for his restaurant The Fat Duck, which has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by an international panel of 500 experts. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE. He lives in Berkshire with his wife and three children.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is (mostly) practical. There are some recipes that call for things I promise you don't have on hand. Some will call for sous vide equipment or dry ice or Glycerine. Some will require attention and time that may not really seem worth it. But the reality is that all of these dishes really, truly can be done at home. The most exciting part is the presence of several Fat Duck recipes that have been overtly simplified into practical recipes. Interspersed are various traditional and unique recipes (eg, prawn cocktail, or Quinoa sushi).
Each section (soup, salad, meat, etc) begins with a few pages of important information that delves into a bit of science (to be expected, and appreciated) that is of practical use to the home cook. These pages, along with the introductions to each recipe, make this cookbook one worth actually reading. There are tips on everything from how to dress lettuce greens and how to poach fish. It runs the gamut from soups and starters down through desserts and drinks.
For those who looked at the Fat Duck Cookbook and said "cool, but no thanks," this book is what you need. While for most home cooks there are still some recipes that are beyond reach, the majority are approachable. But the real target of this book may really be us professional cooks who love to ogle glitzy and expensive cookbooks, but never really cook out of them ourselves. This book is fantastic recipes that require a bit of skill but are going to have fantastic results.
True to the type of food the author has done in the past we get modern takes on British dishes as well as some more general modern dishes (a bit of French and Italian, and a very slight touch of fusion in some cases).
The author wants the encourage the cook to be more scientific: Every ingredient is measured in great detail, but he also suggests that you could make changes to the measurements and write down the results. So try maybe five different combinations and then pick the best. This is off course outside the recipes, but it is the approach to cooking that the author would like to promote. The book also starts with an interesting chapter on taste and flavour. Most of us probably already knows about this, but what I like are the different experiments that the author recommends us to perform (e.g. take tonic water and gradually put salt into it and observe the changing tastes).
To be negative, I think the book feels a bit rushed. The writing is somewhat uneven.Read more ›
Title aside, this book is fantastic. It takes home-style dishes, things like roast chicken, meat pies, chili, potato leek soup, and it elevates them. There's a reason roast chicken is such a well-recognized dish, and the recipe in this book will remind you of that reason. Roast potatoes are likewise a simple thing, but truly fantastic when executed properly. That is what this book is about, and it delivers. Those two dishes went over very well at a recent dinner. I haven't had the book long enough to cook all the recipes, but reading them over is pretty thrilling. The titles of dishes may sound plain, but reading through the recipes shows that there can be much more to a chili than just beef, beans, tomatoes and a spice packet. There are a lot of Heston-esque touches, like star anise to increase the umami notes in beefy dishes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although we tried only 30% of recipes from Heston's book, all of them were very clear on directions, and had a great cultural and scientific background. Read morePublished 7 days ago by TC
We love this cookbook. The stories and explanations wax poetic in such a technical, yet passionate way. The food photography is decadent and the recipes are solid. Read morePublished 2 months ago by kimchic
Advanced users only
Complicated but interesting and tasty.
Some ingredients are difficult to find.
World class restaurateur at home.. Nice addition to my over 2,000 cookbook libraryPublished 14 months ago by Richard G. Schagrin
Absolutely wonderful! Great recipies which work well in my kitchen.Published 16 months ago by Sandra S. Berns
The recipes are great - just beware that all ingredients are in metricPublished 17 months ago by John P Gleason
A beautiful book full of practical, delicious recipes. Some may be a lot of effort to make but the result is always worth it.Published 19 months ago by Richard Morton
I love this book - from the great design and photos, the very good explanation of basic cooking processes to the great selection of recipes. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Silvana Hristova