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el Bulli Series

Modernist Cookbook

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Cookwithlove

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 06:25 PM

I understand the following series of Elbulli books in english are;
1) Elbuli 1994-1997
2) Elbulli 1998-2002 and
3) Elbulli 2003- 2004

I wanted to buy to buy just one book and with lots of instructions and picturesexplaining a recipe and hence seeks your recommendation.

Thanks n good days!
主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房
"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

#2 docsconz

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 06:29 PM

I understand the following series of Elbulli books in english are;
1) Elbuli 1994-1997
2) Elbulli 1998-2002 and
3) Elbulli 2003- 2004

I wanted to buy to buy just one book and with lots of instructions and picturesexplaining a recipe and hence seeks your recommendation.

Thanks n good days!

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The books are essentially a history of the cuisine of Ferran Adria at elBulli. Which one book to choose would depend upon which era you are most interested in emulating. The most recent is the best for explaining his most recent techniques. It also incorporates the most recent publishing technology. If I had to choose one it would be the 2003-2004.
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#3 alanamoana

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 07:36 PM

If I understand correctly, the books all come with a cd-rom which includes the recipes. I don't know how detailed the instructions are for completing the recipes as I've seen the books, but mostly just stare at the photos.

The books are cookbooks, but not in a traditional sense. I think (and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong) that they are more about the theory behind how Ferran Adria and his team came up with the ideas and how they worked them out. Sort of an evolutionary history of the restaurant and the concepts.

So, I guess it would depend on what your goals are in purchasing one of them. If you're trying to create a menu based entirely on their recipes, it might be difficult if you don't have an extensive background in classical cuisine and molecular gastronomy. While it might be easy to just follow a recipe, it doesn't guarantee that the results will be as spectacular or tasty as they are at the actual restaurant...particularly depending on the source of the ingredients.

#4 Cookwithlove

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 07:59 PM

Thank John and I value the points alonamoana made. Lots of them, myself include just to take grab some new techniques and ideas and incorporate some new idea whatever our intention.

The central attention is Adria's foam technique depend entirely on a specific piece of equipment, the siphon. He recomends using the 0.5 litre isi gourmet whip which is versatile in executing both cold and hot(warm)sauce . my 2 cents...
主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房
"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

#5 Baggy

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 04:23 AM

Having bought, read and used all three, here are my comments:

1994-97 Great recipes, simple ingredients, quite easy to follow
1998-02 More technical (although the techniques are slightly less well illustrated) and hard (in the UK) to get some of the ingredients
2003-04 Techniques are well described and ingredients easier to get hold of; slightly more intensive preparation.

Depending on what you are looking for, I would suggest that 2003-04 is more ‘restaurant’ in its approach to the dishes; 1994-97 is more charming and easier to use in practice.

All of them are inspirational to read and produce fantastic, tasty results.

If you are looking for background on foams (and don’t want to spend so much), I suggets you look at 'The Cooks Book' by Jill Norman (Ferran Adria has a chapter with some really clear and helful examples of foams), or check out this link (in Spanish)

www.cookingconcepts.com/PDF/Espumas_elBulli.pdf

#6 Cookwithlove

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 01:13 AM

Right information! Many thanks Baggy very kind of you for sharing.
主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房
"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

#7 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:12 AM

I have the 1998-2002, 2003-2004, and 2005 in spanish. And from all of them I would say my favorites are 2003-2004.

Because they have great design, thery also have all the new spherification techniques, and a lot of their recipes have step by step color pictures which explain things very well. The 98-02 lacks the picture explanations and only has the recipes on the cd. And the 2005 they started putting in small videos to explain the techniques, but I find it better to have pictures to folllow in a book rather than have to go to your computer and put in the cd and play the videos and still they are not as clear.

That's just my thoughts. 2003-2004 definitely.

#8 Baggy

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:40 AM

Gabe Quiros, did I understand that the not-yet-released-in-English 2005 has mini-video? Every time I wish I could speak Spanish.

There are a few streaming downloads to be had around the internet, but the best glimpse I got was from Anthony Bourdain-hosted DVD ‘Decoding Ferran Adria’, although it’s not right up to date, the views are fairly fleeting and the DVD took ages to arrive.

Do you know of any other places that show the elBulli kitchen at work?

#9 Gabe Quiros

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:30 AM

Gabe Quiros, did I understand that the not-yet-released-in-English 2005 has mini-video?  Every time I wish I could speak Spanish.

There are a few streaming downloads to be had around the internet, but the best glimpse I got was from Anthony Bourdain-hosted DVD ‘Decoding Ferran Adria’, although it’s not right up to date, the views are fairly fleeting and the DVD took ages to arrive.

Do you know of any other places that show the elBulli kitchen at work?

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Hey Baggy

The 2005 book cd comes with mini videos but they are just little explanations for recipes. Like 1 minute videos just showing a certain important step in a recipe with no audio. So it;'s just one of the cooks in front of the camera demonstrating.

Right now I am working the 2007 season at elBulli so I am lucky to get to see the action everyday. But before coming here like yourself I was looking everywhere on the internet for videos of the kitchen just to know what to expect. Unfortunately the best thing I found was also the Anthony Bourdain dvd. I think they do a lot of things here in Europe because they have cameras in the kitchen several times a week. But in America they don;t seem to put up anything. Good luck though.

#10 Baggy

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the comment, and enjoy the season.

#11 tan319

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:23 AM

El Bulli TV report

Cook with love...
The above link is a TV news report that Gabe posted over in Spain & Portugal forum
I only have '98/02 but don't really have a problem with the 'rom, although that maybe because I had a lot of experience working from 'Los Postres de El Bulli
Have fun!
2317/5000

#12 ermintrude

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:39 PM

I only have the English books - the books pictures are food porn but some interesting text, the recipes are on the CD's these I find difficult to navigate esp the earlier editions but the books and CDs get better in the later years.

They are beautiful books so I've decided to collect them, but 2003/2004 was the best book/CD combination so far. But I would say more a source of ideas and inspiration than a cook book.

Edited by ermintrude, 05 June 2007 - 01:42 PM.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#13 tan319

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:05 PM

"A Day In The Life of El Bulli"

Just saw it here, looks quite nice.
Good price too!
NOT a cookbook!
2317/5000

#14 syoung68

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:58 PM

I know this is an older thread, but i am in an interesting predicament.

My wife ordered the 98-02 book for me for Christmas and after waiting over a month, it finally arrived last week - damaged and in Spanish. Needless to say, she was not happy (me either for that matter), and after several emails and a phone call, the book seller is going to refund our money and they do not want the damaged book back. They were not able to send a replacement in a timely fashion and again would not guarantee the English version that was originally ordered. I would rather not say who the bookseller is, because I am sure this is not the norm and at least they were relatively quick to offer the refund.

So here is the deal, the book is damaged, but not unusable. The binding is torn, corners are dented, and there are nicks in the cover. If I had got this as a used book, it would have been fine, but certainly not for a new book, and especially one with the price tag that El Bulli carries. There is, however, still the problem of it being in Spanish.

My question is should I buy the replacement book in English, or should I get the 03-04 in English and deal with the Spanish version of 98-02. Bear in mind I can't really read Spanish though I took it in school, I may be able to make do.

#15 hapacooking

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:41 PM

I see on elbulli.com that the 2005 and the 1983-1993 editions are no longer show that an english version is coming soon. Juli Soler told me that they have dropped plans for an english edition.

Does anyone have any idea why there will be no english translations?

#16 Renn

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

unfortunately, I can't answer the question about the '05 edition...but at least there are quite a few videos describing newer techniques here:

http://www.gastrovideo.com/

(amongst quite a few other videos from the Spanish cuisine community)

Thanks Alex and Aki for the link!

#17 Boch

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:11 PM

I know this is an older thread, but i am in an interesting predicament.


So here is the deal, the book is damaged, but not unusable. The binding is torn, corners are dented, and there are nicks in the cover. If I had got this as a used book, it would have been fine, but certainly not for a new book, and especially one with the price tag that El Bulli carries. There is, however, still the problem of it being in Spanish.

My question is should I buy the replacement book in English, or should I get the 03-04 in English and deal with the Spanish version of 98-02. Bear in mind I can't really read Spanish though I took it in school, I may be able to make do.

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Hi,
this is my first post on eGullet, so here goes.
I have the 98-02 cd-rom and mine gives me the option of which language to view the disk in. So I would just buy a different book in english.
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#18 syoung68

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:30 AM

Hi,
this is my first post on eGullet, so here goes.
I have the 98-02 cd-rom and mine gives me the option of which language to view the disk in. So I would just buy a different book in english.

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Thanks for the input. I will check when I get home, but I think the only language options I have are Spanish and Catalonia. Catalonian?

#19 TheSwede

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:30 AM

I just got "A day at el Bulli". While it is not just a cookbook, it is certainly the most affordable way to get your hands on a lot of el Bulli recipes (GBP 20, USD 40 or so).

It is also the most up to date recipe collection in english, featuring recipes from 2005 and newer. Most of them are probably from 2007-2008.

What struck me was how much more complex the "main courses" are compared to the 2002-2004 cookbook. Some of them are incredibly complex, featuring ten or more separate components, each component requiring extensive preparations.

I also realized how much more enjoyable reading a cookbook is when you don't have to refer to a CD-rom för the recipes.





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