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The Fat Duck Cookbook Hardcover – October 13, 2009
"My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Lifestyle Inspiration" by Yvonne Maffei
Explore this bestselling cookbook filled with more than 100 diverse, popular, international recipes made with halal foods or halal substitutes along with tips on how to source them. Learn more
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About the Author
Chef Heston Blumenthal has been described as a culinary alchemist for his innovative style of cuisine. His work researches the molecular compounds of dishes to enable a greater understanding of taste and flavor. His restaurant the Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire, England, was awarded three Michelin stars in 2004, and voted the Best Restaurant in the World by an international panel of 500 culinary experts in Restaurant magazine's list of the World's Best Restaurants 2005. Blumenthal lives in Berkshire with his wife and three children.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a cookbook for a small minority of customers. You must have an interest in molecular gastronomy methods. You must have a budget that allows you to eat at expensive restaurants. You must like odd people that don't conform to all the norms of society.
Other reviewers have pointed out the recipes are extremely complicated. A lot of details are given, but you should be prepared to shell out a couple of thousands of dollars on (used) equipment before you can get started. The book has some pictures of the dishes, but could do with more descriptive pictures.
However, this is just not a glossy book to boost the ego of its author. I find the discussion around taste, chemistry and visuals relating to each recipe very interesting. You really get a look into Heston's thought process. I don't think Heston has used a ghost writer. I would imagine this can inspire both professional chefs as well as amateur cooks, if so inclined. One place to start experimenting might be with the whisky gums, which don't require any expensive equipment.
Heston's general approach is to perfect a dish. You can set out to do something similar given your budget constraint. If you don't have a professional vacuum sealer maybe try with cheap 100 dollar device, and see what happens. Or my might use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the air of the bag. The only thing you need is time!
There is one other audience for this book and that is people interested in the creative process in general. The long biographical essay describes an obsessive person setting out to do something creative.Read more ›
First off, the recipes are amazing... as they should be, since they are the exact recipes used in Blumethal's world-renowned restaurant. They are also elaborate. If you decide to make one, think of it as a quest rather than as a traditional recipe to be made in an afternoon - most of these will involve a good deal of searching for ingredients, a large amount prep time, and sometimes specific equipment ranging from just hard-to-find to hard-to-find AND really expensive.
Even if you don't make the recipes... even if this book didn't HAVE any recipes, it would still be great. The photos and art are nearly worth the asking price on their own. Huge, glossy, detailed pictures of some of the most intricate and intricately plated dishes I've ever seen. Enough beautiful abstract art to justify it as a coffee table book in this respect alone. Furthermore, each recipe is accompanied by an essay on the development of that recipe and thoughts on exactly what makes that recipe work, or why previous iterations of it did not work as well. You don't have to make the recipes to find this type of commentary useful.
Then there are the other two thirds of the book. One is somewhere between an autobiography and a treatise on the author's culinary formation and thought process. Sound dull? It isn't. In part because of how well it is written - relatable, brisk, to the point. Even more so because of Blumenthal's enormous insight into both the art and science of cooking. He explains his process in creating and perfecting his food using specific examples.Read more ›
The first third, at least, isn't a cook book at all--it's an autobiographical history of developing as a molecular-gastronomical chef. The writing is engaging and speaks with a clear personality; you get the sense that you'd really enjoy sitting down for a chat with the chef/author. The second section is recipes, including extremely entertaining back-stories for how they were developed, from the genesis idea to the trials and tribulations of execution. I laughed out loud reading the recipe for the oysters when he described creating a soundtrack (loaded on an ipod chip which was then inserted into a conch shell) to accompany the dish, as well as the "ocean scent" perfume that was developed by a master perfumer and smeared on fan blades to waft the scent of the sea over diners. And I haven't reached the third section, so I can't comment on that at all.
I am an avid home cook who regularly prepares multi-course, plated dinners for my friends and consequently have a neighborhood reputation for excess in the kitchen. I think the stories in this book might put my dabbling into perspective for my non-foodie friends.
The only thing I would have liked more of, since this is a book about inspiration more than instruction, would be more actual photos of the finished dishes. Many times there are only sketches or images the evoke the sense of the dish, but not the actuality. But all-in-all it's a beautiful book that you'll be happy to own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great book, an interesting look into the creative process at the Fat Duck. Great recipes
recommend to people interested in cooking and food
This book is visually stunning and even though I've never cooked a single recipe, I love pulling it off the shelf to browse. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bryan
I as a chef admire this special kind of cooking and is easy to follow.Published 6 months ago by Michael B
Brilliant text and pictures by a brilliant chef. You can't be serious about cuisine if you aren't seriously interested in this book.Published 14 months ago by Sammi.V