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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria Hardcover – October 3, 2011

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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria + A Day at elbulli - Classic Edition + Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; First Edition edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714862533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714862538
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Wonderful...good straightforward cooking."- Mark Bittman, The New York Times

"I've never been so excited about such a simple [Noodle Soup with Mussels]: cooking and eating it crystalized what is unique and wonderful about Mr. Adria's book...I learned an enormous amount about cooking from a master of the trade."- Katy McLaughlin, The Wall Street Journal

"This is the type of traditional food Ferran loves."- Jeffrey Steingarten, VOGUE

"A gem of a cookbook packed with fantastic recipes and tips from the master. The closest most readers will come to eating with him."- Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

"Even if you're more comfortable navigating cobblestone streets in platforms than wielding a microplane in the kitchen, this book will show even the most harried and clueless of cooks how to prepare a simple dinner at home. And, as an unexpected bonus, it will also be a meal that will forever impress guests."- VOGUE.com

"Adria...teaches kitchen basics (egg poaching, anyone?) and delivers simple, delicious recipes meant for the daily table."- People

"Simple, deceptively elegant recipes...it's manna from the maestro for home cooks, both novice and notable."- BookPage

"The recipes make you taste an everyday food in an entirely new way."- Julia Moskin, The New York Times

"The idea of El Bulli at home sounds far-fetched, but you can cook the restaurant's staff meals easily- without the foam. The step-by step visual recipes are precise but playful."- Bon Appétit

"Proves accessible even to novice cooks...Adria's fame and revolutionary style make this a defining cookbook."-Booklist Starred Review

"I can't stop cooking from this book . . . The only downside is that I had to come to terms with splotching grease on its lovely pages."- The Atlantic

About the Author

Ferran Adrià is recognized as the most influential chef in the world. His legendary talent, creativity and gastronomic innovations have inspired chefs and food-lovers around the world for many years, at the helm of the iconic restaurant El Bulli in Spain. He is also the author of A Day at El Bulli.

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Customer Reviews

Those learning to cook will find this book very helpful.
Ivan Ng
The pictures and step-by-step instructions are very helpful and clear.
R. Dent
All ingredients can be easily found in regular supermarket.
Alexandre Abrantes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've never eaten at El Bulli, and I know Chef Adria only via some guest appearances on TV. I can't say enough good things about this cookbook. It will work for novices and experts alike. There are tons of tips, and many of the sauces have freezing instructions as well. Pretty much every step has a full-color photo, so it's hard to make a mistake. There are no strange ingredients either. My only complaint (if I can say that) is nearly every meal contains a fish course--and I'm not a fan of fish. My husband is, however, so thinks it's the best cookbook I own. :)

When I bought it, Amazon did not have any way to preview it. So, I'll try and tell you what's in it.

First, there are the basic recipes. Each one of these has step by step close-up pictures.

Picada, Tomato sauce, Sofrito, Bolognese sauce, Romesco sauce, Pesto sauce, Barbecue sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Chimichurri sauce, Croutons, and Aiolo. Most have two different quantities you can make depending on your needs.

Stocks: One nice tip he gives is that they reboil the stuff they made a stock with, calling it second stock....and then use that as the water the next time they make stock.

Fish stock, chicken stock, beef stock, and ham stock.

Now the meals. There are 31. Each one contains ingredients for 2, 6, 20, and 75 people. Each one contains step by step pictures and a timeline.
Read more ›
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Christine on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great for planning a family meal or for a larger party. Just choose a meal plan and follow the time line.
However, there are many errors in ingredient amounts. Some you can guess at and correct, some you can't. For example, the caramelized pears (meal 25), has you use 1 cup of water for 2 people, 2 1/4 cups for 20 but 2 1/2 for 6. After making the recipe, my guess is that for six you want to use 1 1/2 cups water. The chocolate cookies (meal 2) is a little harder to decode. For 20 cookies it calls for 2 tsp, but for 100 it calls for 3/4 cup. The spices only double when the cookie count increases five fold. Beautiful book, but recipes require very careful examination before proceeding.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By W. Nelson on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The concept, recipes, cooking timeline, and reference pictures, are, in some cases, beyond perfect. The Bolognese sauce, Caesar salad dressing are dirt simple, but just perfect examples of what they should be. The fish called for, and not found here in the US for can be easily substituted with a short talk with your local supermarket butcher.


That is almost completely offset by unit errors in the recipes, and NO errata webpage from the publisher. Certain recipes, particularly desserts which are temperamental by nature, are ruined by these errors. All this book needs is an errata source, and it would be perfect.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Rolfe J. Taylor on October 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just attended his lecture in DC and was struck by the humility and charisma of this great cook and thinker. If you have not dug into the very creative world of Ferran then this is a great place to start. You will find easy recipes (including cheeseburgers!) and easy but effective techniques. Luckily I got the book signed at the lecture. It does not include the avant-garde approaches that have made him so famous and controversial.

- Each recipe is structured as a whole, simple meal of three courses designed to cost a few euros / dollars
- ingredients are generally pretty standard, but usually with a delightful twist
- stage by stage pictures (the book is over-sized and a great format - each key preparation stage is documented) mean you learn as you cook
- fabulous combinations
- timelines to help you plan the meal
- guide to basic methodologies for stocks and sauces and suchlike

On AMAZON this book in hardcover is an absolute steal at $17 do not hesitate to get it. Like Picasso who painted in a traditional style before pushing the boundaries with concepts like cubism, this book shows the authentic basis to Ferran Adria as a foundation to deconstructing and reconstructing and reinventing food.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By B. Ault on February 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'll try not to make this too negative.....

If you're an Adria fan, this is probably not the book for you. If you have very few cookbooks, you might love it for the timelines and because it has lots of pictures to imply technique. But while you get 111 recipes here, you can get over 1000 recipes (and very often, better recipes) from Cooks Illustrated's "The New Best Recipe" for only a couple of dollars more. You don't need two pages worth of pictures to tell you how to cut open a melon, scrape it out, cut it into wedges and serve it alongside some sliced prosciutto. (If you're thinking, "The pictures must be about the technique," please trust me that they aren't.) A cynic would suggest that the pictures are largely a way to stretch 111 recipes into nearly 400 pages - and a heftier price tag.

The recipes are not special (although some of the desserts are good.) Really, do you need yet another recipe for a plain hamburger? Inauthentic Bolognese sauce? Pesto? Caesar salad? Guacamole? Thai beef curry (using curry paste)? Of course you don't. Also, while it's kind of cool that the recipes are stepped for two servings, six servings, etc. (up to 75 servings), are those large numbers important to you? For most of us, rarely, if at all.

These stepped up recipes are where the goofiness comes in. Aioli must be made six cups at a time. Romesco sauce is used in one recipe which calls for less than two cups for six servings. The Romesco Sauce recipe on the other hand, makes a minimum of 1.5 gallons. No kidding. The chicken stock recipe? Only one size - only 8.5 cups.

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