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The Big Fat Duck Cookbook [Import Edition] Hardcover – October 20, 2008
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""The Big Fat Duck Cookbook" is the biggest (10 pounds with box), the most expensive ($250) and the most flamboyant (four brightly colored silk marker ribbons, uncountable full-page color illustrations and gatefolds, mainly caricatures of Mr. Blumenthal gliding through a dreamland of foods) cookbook in a bumper year. But like its author, who turns out to be a clear and even affecting writer, there is gravity holding the rocket in orbit. In the back, you will find deadly serious essays on such matters as the effect of heat on meat protein or "ice cream science," by himself and his entourage of university food scientists along with detailed rundowns on new kitchen tools such as refractometers. But all of this is stagesetting and infrastructure for the recipes with the wacko names, the sci-fi techniques and the eureka tastes and flavors... Makes you want to call Bray immediately to get a table at the earliest opportunity, which is two months from now. Meanwhile, there's the book." - "W
- ASIN : 0747583692
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; UK ed. edition (October 20, 2008)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 9780747583691
- ISBN-13 : 978-0747583691
- Item Weight : 10.91 pounds
- Dimensions : 12.6 x 3.15 x 16.54 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #882,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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So I dragged my partner to this bookshop, and asked them to open the book - it's wrapped in plastic and covered with cardboard which is also wrapped in plastic and then in a cardboard box. Which - you guessed it - is also wrapped in plastic. Very recycling friendly.
Anyway, way back then they opened up this book and we spent an hour or so looking through. It was amazing - I was blown away by the art, my partner was really into the science behind the recipes.
We didn't buy it then. I wanted to but we were looking at $500+ and he wasn't that excited. So I bought The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (which is also awesome!).
Then he started watching Heston on tv, understanding more about how chefs get their ideas, thinking about what he does when he cooks... So I finally got this for him and he was the most happy I've ever seen him. Seriously.
This is something that he'll treasure for ever, drool over, wear gloves while he turns the pages and drip food over while he tries the recipes. And I love it because I think Dave McKean is AWESOME. And I like food that has been loved while it was built.
Possibly a specialist book, but honestly your average food geek will love it!
The first third of the book is the entire history of the Fat Duck, which includes a lot of Heston's philosophies about food and engaging the senses.
The middle of the book is packed with recipes, many are famous, some are not, and a couple never made it onto the menu. Each dish includes some background, and complete, exacting recipes for every component. These are not simplified for home cooks and call for many obscure ingredients and pieces of equipment. These are the exact recipes used in the restaurant.
The last third of the book is a veritable textbook of food chemistry, with articles by a handful of scientists who have worked with Heston over the years. For disciples of Heston's style of cooking, this will likely be the most useful part of the book.
The price tag may seem steep, but for any serious cook, it is an invaluable tome of information. While the Alinea cookbook was very sterile and straight-forward, the Fat Duck book is much more engaging and playful. And besides, it's pretty much the ultimate coffee table book for foodies.
Yes, $145 seems crazy for a cookbook.
But it is hands down my favorite restaurant cookbook, ever.
It has the gorgeous photos of an El Bulli book, but includes the HOW and WHY and amusing stories. The recipes are right there in the book (unlike others on a CD). You really get to see in Heston's mind and he candidly shares how he created these masterpieces.
If you love food, you will find this to be a book of pure joy. It's funny, fascinating, artistic and scientific. I couldn't put it down!
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Mrs loves it...