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Great. Like I'm not going to be busy enough with the Alinea book. Now I have to get this one too.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 5 months later...

Those articles from the Guardian miss the point on why people would buy the book. Firstly, you'd have professional chefs who do want to study and apply the techniques used at the Fat Duck. Then you have the food nerds like us who won't cook from it, but want to find out how they do what they do.

Comparing the Fat Duck and Jamie Oliver cookbooks is a bit flippant as both books serve different purposes.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Those articles from the Guardian miss the point on why people would buy the book.  Firstly, you'd have professional chefs who do want to study and apply the techniques used at the Fat Duck.  Then you have the food nerds like us who won't cook from it, but want to find out how they do what they do.

Comparing the Fat Duck and Jamie Oliver cookbooks is a bit flippant as both books serve different purposes.

"Misses the point entirely" is a very accurate statement! Sure people will buy the book, and I would like to add one other group to yours Shinboners. It's nerds like us, who buy the book, might cook very little actual complete recipes from it (let alone whole dinners), but will use it as a reference and guide to cook certain portions of recipes, to see new ideas, and to become a better cook all around. I'm getting the Alinea cookbook for much of the same reasons as well.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Well Alinea haven't contacted me.

But Heston's book has been sent.

I await!

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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I bet Alinea is wishing they'd never let those books go to stores as early as they did. I'm completely fine with waiting for my limited edition copy but some people seem to be really bothered over it. They did post yesterday that all U.S. books went out and all international orders were going out today so it won't be too long. I haven't ordered the Fat Duck book yet because someone hinted that santa might be bringing it to my house. I'll have enough to do with the Alinea book that I can wait a little longer for the other one if someone else is buying. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Yesterday was a great day!

I have received, in three enourmous boxes, the following books:

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

Alinea

A Day at El Bulli

All three are great and never were money more well spent! All three highly recommended for both Homecooks with an interest in new techniques and surely for professional cooks.

Edited by Pizza Napoletana (log)
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As welcome as crack-rock on Christmas morn!

2930641253_c987b1df6b_m.jpg

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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As welcome as crack-rock on Christmas morn!

2930641253_c987b1df6b_m.jpg

Nice photo!

I wish that it had been available during the Starchefs ICC. I would have asked Heston to sign it. Now I may wait for a similar opportunity or until I actually get to The Fat Duck. Unfortunately, with today's economic woes, that may be awhile. :sad:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Got my copy yesterday and it's a gorgeous book. Basically 3 parts: Autobiography/History; Recipes; Science.

Up to around page 56 of the first part and it's a good read. Recipes interesting but many are very complex - can't see me doing one completely BUT great ideas to use in there. The science part just skimmed but looks interesting.

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

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Yesterday was a great day!

I have received, in three enourmous boxes, the following books:

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

Alinea

A Day at El Bulli

I got the very same three books on Friday. I bet plenty of other people did too. :biggrin:

I've started reading my way through the Alinea and El Bulli books. I'm just in awe of what they do, and I'm quite enjoying reading their views on the creative process. The Fat Duck book will wait - it's a monster and I'm sort of scared to start reading it. :wink:

btw, Ferran Adria is in Melbourne, Australia right now and he's just held a masterclass. In the El Bulli book, he mentions how the appearance of one of his dishes was inspired by the Australian outback. And I've read somewhere that Heston Blumenthal will be visiting Melbourne next year for the Food and Wine festival.

Edited by Shinboners (log)
Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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My copy of the Fat Duck cookbook arrived today. My god, it's gigantic. To put it in perspective - I can barely straight-arm lift the damn thing with one hand. And I'm not a small nor a non-active guy.

I've had a quick skim -

1) No table of contents. This is going to be a colossal pain in the ass for someone who actually wants to cook from it - there's no list of recipes I can find. I'm going to make my own, and probably put it up here.

2) Really, it's very big indeed. I had pain in my lower back after bending over reading and holding it at an odd angle for a couple of minutes. It's really damn big.

3) It looks gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. It's also INCREDIBLY long, with each recipe probably taking up as much space as they did - including discussion - in the Perfection books, and there's a lot more of them. £60 is pretty darn reasonable for the quantity of top-class content.

4) The appendices, where Heston discusses food science, are probably worth the price of admission on their own. Well-illustrated and look like they're well-explained at the level of On Food And Cooking.

5) Despite the size, and probably because of the page quality (this is a really, really nice book) it sits open very easily, which will make cooking from it... more possible. Having said that, it'll also take up half my countertop.

6) Did I mention it's absolutely bloody huge? I have no idea where I'm going to put it - it won't fit on my bookshelves and will probably break my cookbook shelf.

7) Initial impressions are that the recipes are pretty doable, if very, very complex. Quite a few don't even seem to need much complex equipment.

I'm looking forward to reading it, although I fear I may need special equipment to do so.

Edited by the_nomad (log)

Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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My copy of the Fat Duck cookbook arrived today. My god, it's gigantic. To put it in perspective - I can barely straight-arm lift the damn thing with one hand. And I'm not a small nor a non-active guy.

I've had a quick skim -

1) No table of contents. This is going to be a colossal pain in the ass for someone who actually wants to cook from it - there's no list of recipes I can find. I'm going to make my own, and probably put it up here.

2) Really, it's very big indeed. I had pain in my lower back after bending over reading and holding it at an odd angle for a couple of minutes. It's really damn big.

3) It looks gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. It's also INCREDIBLY long, with each recipe probably taking up as much space as they did - including discussion - in the Perfection books, and there's a lot more of them. £60 is pretty darn reasonable for the quantity of top-class content.

4) The appendices, where Heston discusses food science, are probably worth the price of admission on their own. Well-illustrated and look like they're well-explained at the level of On Food And Cooking.

5) Despite the size, and probably because of the page quality (this is a really, really nice book) it sits open very easily, which will make cooking from it... more possible. Having said that, it'll also take up half my countertop.

6) Did I mention it's absolutely bloody huge? I have no idea where I'm going to put it - it won't fit on my bookshelves and will probably break my cookbook shelf.

7) Initial impressions are that the recipes are pretty doable, if very, very complex. Quite a few don't even seem to need much complex equipment.

I'm looking forward to reading it, although I fear I may need special equipment to do so.

Look dead center of book, there is a fold out of recipes, etc. Massive book and info!

Edited by Jamesbchef (log)
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the fat duck book has to be one of the most beautiful books ive ever bought. the illustrations, paintings and photos are absolutely amazing.

having just been to the fat duck, its incredible how true to the fat duck experience the book is. i really feel that it goes to the heart of Heston Blumenthals thinking.

i highly recommend it as a cookbook/art book/biography of a business/ ...etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...
"Misses the point entirely" is a very accurate statement! Sure people will buy the book, and I would like to add one other group to yours Shinboners. It's nerds like us, who buy the book, might cook very little actual complete recipes from it (let alone whole dinners), but will use it as a reference and guide to cook certain portions of recipes, to see new ideas, and to become a better cook all around. I'm getting the Alinea cookbook for much of the same reasons as well.

Having read through the first section of the Fat Duck cookbook, and now starting on the recipes, the reviews on the Guardian are now looking to be even more out of kilter. It just seems to me that the reviewers got the book, couldn't comprehend the scope of it, and so decided to criticise it for its extravagance.

I found Blumenthal's story of how he ended up where he is now to be very interesting since he didn't follow the traditional path of serving an apprenticeship. You get a good idea of his thinking and how he gets inspired. Onto the recipes, and whilst they are near on impossible for the home cook to replicate, just reading how he developed those dishes and the amount of work needed to assemble them is inspiring. Blumenthal himself writes that he doesn't expect homecooks to be able to copy his recipes, but that he hopes that it gives people inspiration and that they will use parts of his recipes for their own cooking.

I'm sure that the science part of the book will not only be as interesting as the other parts, but that it will be written in a way that is accessible to everyone.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I cancelled my Amazon order and bought it on ebay to get it sooner and it came today.

Wow, this is not a coffee table book: with legs, it is a coffee table.

It was an absolute pleasure eating at Fat Duck in March and then meeting Heston at StarChefs in NY.

I find reading not only a recipe but the process that went ito it both inspiring and informative, particularly when I have eaten the dish. I look forward to hopefully a snowy winter where I can now rotate through one of the most remarkable book hauls in recent times (FD, Alinea, Underpressure, A day @ bulli) with more to follow (a new Noma book(?)).

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Lots of more info on the Fat Duck cook book (and the Alinea book!) in this Q&A with Heston Blumenthal and Grant Achatz:

http://www.gourmet.com/restaurants/2008/03...a?currentPage=1

Do I? Don't I? Do I? Don't I?

Right on the verge of splashing out the big bucks, then I link above, to read...

HB: I actually have agreed with the publishers that after a year, we’re going to do a £30 one. So the book will get scaled down; it’ll still have all the information in there, but it will just be a smaller book, so the accessibility comes in at that point.

So, now I wonder - get the big fat version, or wait a year?

Do I? Don't I? Do I? Don't I? Ahhhhh!!!! :wacko:

Regards,

Peter

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Do I? Don't I? Do I? Don't I?

Right on the verge of splashing out the big bucks, then I link above, to read...

HB: I actually have agreed with the publishers that after a year, we’re going to do a £30 one. So the book will get scaled down; it’ll still have all the information in there, but it will just be a smaller book, so the accessibility comes in at that point.

So, now I wonder - get the big fat version, or wait a year?

Do I? Don't I? Do I? Don't I? Ahhhhh!!!!  :wacko:

Do! Do! Do!

Buy! Buy! Buy!

You won't regret owning the original hardback version of the book.

It has become the perfect way for me to end the day....sitting on the bed and just reading the Big Fat Duck.

Just based on the humour, curiosity, and whimsy that Blumenthal has with his writing, I'm planning on splashing out on his other three cookbooks.

Edited by Shinboners (log)
Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Most of the Family Food book is available verbatim on the Guardian, Times & BBC sites under HB's name.

Has his Christmas Special program that was on in the UK last Christmas made it to air elsewhere yet, as that is definitely worth a watch?

Edited by adey73 (log)

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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