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hapacooking

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  1. Outstanding volumes. I have all of the earlier books but the new 2005-2011 is well laid out and has a better recipe index system as opposed to the CDROMs in the earlier editions. However, I must admit the earlier editions were printed on a bit nicer bond paper than the new set but the new set's paper is quite nice. Photography is stunning and on par with earlier books and in some regards probably a bit better in most instances. It looks like a lot of the photos in the 2005 volume are exactly the same as the photos in the old 2005 standalone volume but some actually look new and different. Each recipe in the old volumes usually had a short description around the thoughts that went behind constructing the dish or what the motivation was around that particular dish. Unfortunately, with the new 2005-2011 set, these descriptions are absent but the recipes are much easier to access compared to the earlier books and the recipes are a bit clearer. In the 2003-2004 set as well as the standalone 2005 book, there were some photo sets showing some step-by-step progress of constructing a dish, sadly these type of photos are not included in the new set. However, one new interesting feature in each of the volumes is a section called "What could have been but wasn't" which lists the name of certain dishes that didn't make it that year. I really wish they would have provided more details of each of these dishes consisted of or why they didn't make it. Also at the beginning of each volume, there is a photo of the entire staff for that year. The last volume, Evolutionary Analysis, provides a very comprehensive summary of the philosophy behind El Bulli and the compositions of the dishes. Although I have not studied the set exhaustively yet, lots of the dishes seem to be able to made in most home kitchens without lots of extra and exotic hardware. Having Texturas products would be helpful for some of the creations. If you have a Thermomix, Pacojet and access to liquid nitrogen, you should be all set to make a majority of the dishes. At first glance I did not see any use of a Gastro-vac or Rotavap for any of the recipes but I did see a few that asked for blast chiller. I was lucky enough to dine at El Bulli twice so this new set brings back some of the magical memories of my experinces as well as providing lots of inspiration for my next dinner party. For me, it is indispensable.
  2. Yes Amazon.ca did raise their price as well as Amazon.com recently. Since this set weights over 40lb, shipping costs from anyone other than Amazon will be expensive. JBPrince has it for $487 but shipping to California was somewhere north of $65. You can see if the publisher Phaidon still has their $500 offer with free shipping but I would just keep watching Amazon.ca and hopefully the price will drop soon. It usually does once they get more in stock and the demand dies down.
  3. Amazon.ca still has the best price. $393CDN and with shipping to the US, it is only $362US much less than what Phaidon is charging as well as Amazon.com
  4. Albert still owes me a copy of Natura. Used copies occasionally show up on Amazon, but they are never priced below $249. chefsbinder.com has it for $159
  5. actually if you watch the 1st video you can see what it looks like a re-issue of the 1983-2004 books also.
  6. I picked up the El Cellar de Can Roca book from Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC. It was $120 plus shipping. Beautiful book. Photography is fantastic and the story of the Roca brothers and the history and philosophy of the restaurant is very interesting. The recipes are outstanding and approachable with some of my favorites included . My only complaint is that the production quality of the book is pretty cheap. It is sort of a paperback book that looks like it was self-published/produced. Doesn't look like it will last the test of time and for the cost it is quite disappointing.
  7. I have a Thermomix, a KA 6qt and my new toy, a Hobart 6qt. Although the Thermomix is great for some things, the bowl isnt big enough for lots of baking needs. The Hobart is just genius. It is not commercially available, I don't think, but if you can find one, buy it. All of the KA 6qt attachments also for the Hobart.
  8. I have been to Kauai many times and was just there for a 10 day vacation. Kauai isnt known for its great cuisine choices but here are some of my thoughts and recommendations. Best high-end restaurant in Kauai is in Princeville at the St. Regis Hotel. Jean-Georges Kauai Grill is divine. Some of the best prepared high-end food you can have in all of Hawaii. Expensive but worth it if you want a special dinner. We ate there on their opening night a few years ago and recently tried it again and it was just as good the second time around. I also recommend the Makana Terrace for lunch at the St. Regis. Incredible views. There is a restaurant north of Hanalei which seem to get good recommendations called the Mediterranean Gourmet, I would skip it at all cost. Food is highly overrated and is a big tourist trap. In Hanalei, your choices are limited but if you are looking for great sushi, try the Dolphin. Bar Acuda is also a nice place for interesting flavors with a great wine list. in Lihue, I highly recommend 22North. interesting little restaurant that only uses local farm fresh ingredients. Great place for lunch or dinner. In Poipu, Merrimans has the best food on this side of the island but the decor is not the greatest compared to their Maui and Big Island venues. Red Salt is interesting but a bit too trendy for me. Flavors did not add up. Roys is always a safe bet but the decor and location isnt the greatest. Josselin's Tapas Bar and Grill is actually quite good but has spotty service. Whatever you do or whatever your concierge tells you, skip the Beach House for food. It is a great place to watch the sunset and have a drink but the food and service caters to tourist to the extreme. awful food. if you drive up to Princevillle there is a small outdoor restaurant in Anahola called Ono Burger. I highly recommend it for a quick burger even though the flies and chickens can be annoying.
  9. Pages 128-129 are the continuation of the Black Bass recipe on 127. Thanks. I should have looked at it a bit closer before posting. I just skimmed the book and saw the empty page. doh
  10. Book is quite beautiful. The recipes look challenging but not impossible to make. It seems that there the dish on pages 128-129 is missing a name for the dish. Does everyone's copy have this error or is it just mine?
  11. The Spanish manufacturer, Sosa, used to make a 'glow-in-the-dark' powder additive. Not sure if they still make the stuff. With black light, it is pretty cool. I made the Fat Duck liquid nitrogen macha tea/lime meringue dragon's breath thing and with a black light the 'glowing breath' was fun.
  12. hapacooking

    Morel Mushrooms

    One thing I always do with fresh morels is place them in a zip lock bag for a few hours with most of the air removed from the bag. This will allow the worms to exit the mushroom as they get starved for oxygen. The small worms can easily be cleaned/removed from the morels and then they are ready to cook without any soaking.
  13. I have watched every season of TC and TCM and this is nothing other than a train wreck. The host is awful and the 'Master Chefs" are unfortunately not Master Chefs. Get rid of the idiotic and useless host and wait until you can attract a better roster of Master Chefs before putting this mess on the air again. Please make it stop! The only think worst than this nightmare was the Marcel Quantum thing on the SyFy channel. Now that was an utter unwatchable bore fest.
  14. http://www.alineaphile.com/archives/10-Errata,-Alinea-cook-book,-first-edition.html
  15. CalPep is a must! It is beyond fantastic. Unfortunately unless you can reserve the back room, getting a large party in there with the bar-style seating will be close to impossible. La Boqueria is also a must. Great place to have a mid-day snack or lunch. As I understand, Ferran and Albert have a couple of new ventures, 41º a cocktail bar with traditional El Bulli snacks and La Vida Tapa which is tapas style restaurant, but I understand you need to buy tickets online ala Grant Achatz's Next model, http://www.ticketsbar.es/en Have fun and I wish I was joining you.
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