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"elBulli 2005–2011"

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6 books outlining every dish they came up with over this time with essays etc.   Appears to be about the size of Modernist Cuisine and has about the same price tag.

 

I can't say I'm really that excited about it but I preordered anyway to add it to the collection as it wil surely be a historical record of what the pinnacle of that movement in cooking was about at the time.   Even though it only shuttered 2 years ago, it seems like so much has changed in the culinary landscape.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0714865486/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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I want to get this out of curiosity and nothing else. I would almost certainly never cook anything from it, probably because each dish requires elaborate techniques and a lot of time.

It's pretty expensive for something you buy out of curiosity, but I think it should be in the collection of any culinary enthusiast.

Phaidon has a 20% pre-order offer by the way.

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I agree that its almost a necessity, but I'll personally wait until the price comes down, or until I find it used(which is my preference). A very valuable book(s) to add to my collection, but not something I'll seek out to use...ya know?

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I agree that its almost a necessity, but I'll personally wait until the price comes down, or until I find it used(which is my preference). A very valuable book(s) to add to my collection, but not something I'll seek out to use...ya know?

Albert still owes me a copy of Natura. Used copies occasionally show up on Amazon, but they are never priced below $249.

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I agree that its almost a necessity, but I'll personally wait until the price comes down, or until I find it used(which is my preference). A very valuable book(s) to add to my collection, but not something I'll seek out to use...ya know?

Albert still owes me a copy of Natura. Used copies occasionally show up on Amazon, but they are never priced below $249.

Worth every cent!

With the El Bulli book it's worth noting that Amazon.ca have it much more heavily discounted than Phaidon. (37% disount.)

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I agree that its almost a necessity, but I'll personally wait until the price comes down, or until I find it used(which is my preference). A very valuable book(s) to add to my collection, but not something I'll seek out to use...ya know?

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

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A couple "heads up" points:

1) Phaidon is starting to process credit card charges in the USA today. Mine was initially declined & I got a "possible fraud alert" from the CC company, likely because I'd never purchased from Phaidon before and because of the amount involved. So keep an eye out as it may happen to others.

2) After I called and got it straightened out I got a nice email that indicated they'll start shipping in (in the USA at least) on Feb 24.

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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

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Let's hope Amazon CA don't have the same shipping dramas as they did with the original Modernist Cuisine. As I remember it the volumes got separated, slip cases went astray, etc, etc.

Sorry I couldn't find the link to this discussion. The original topic seems to have disappeared into the electronic ether. Only part 3 can found by either in-forum or google searches.

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The package landed on my doorstep this afternoon. Very good packaging, everything intact. Beautiful as expected.

What was a bit of a surprise to me is the number of items that require little or no special equipment, additives, etc. plenty that do of course, but there's much that can be done with fairly ordinary skills, patience, and attention to detail.

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The package landed on my doorstep this afternoon. Very good packaging, everything intact. Beautiful as expected.

What was a bit of a surprise to me is the number of items that require little or no special equipment, additives, etc. plenty that do of course, but there's much that can be done with fairly ordinary skills, patience, and attention to detail.

Does the book by any chance include the caramelized apricot that is mentioned here (6th image form the bottom of the image set, item 22 in the list above that)?: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/138044-my-last-and-anyones-best-shot-at-elbulli/?p=1804527

I really, really need to know more about this dessert, I have not been able to stop thinking about it!

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Ah! a cool thread I hadn't seen thanks for the tip :smile:

I'm still browsing 2005 but a quick scan of the 2010-2011 volume didn't spot it this morning. I suppose it could easily have a different name in the book. The books are advertised as "every dish" so unless it's a repeat from an earlier year it should be in there somewhere. I'll look in depth this evening.

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Those of you who bought this, could you please tell me how much of the book requires super expensive equipment to execute dishes? I dont mind a sphere kit or a whip syphon, or small ingredients etc but the big industrial equipment no way. Thanks.


Edited by mrdecoy1970 (log)

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I'm still browsing 2005 but a quick count indicates that given the ingredients, time, and skill one might make 3 of the 5 Cocktails, 4 if you have a chamber vacuum; one requires liquid nitrogen. Looks like about 25 of the 35 Snacks are "within reach". At least one requires an ingrediant, Lay's 3Ds, that is no longer available and several involve freeze-drying (LYO in the title, but a good number of the LYO ingredients are available ready-made). That's as far as I've gotten so far.

 

There are quite a few recipes that call for a superbag - there's a discussion of them on this site. A bigger expense would be a chamber vacuum (anything with CRU in the title) but as you know they have many "normal" uses as well. Of the remaining relatively normal equipment, the Thermomix shows up fairly often - the same price range as an oil pump CV but also useful for more than just elBulli stuff. The chemicals, ISI Whips, etc. are all easily available. Not too many of us home cooking maniacs will buy a dewar and liquid nitrogen (nitro in the title), but it's not out of the question if you can source the stuff. The Pacojet is probaby out of reach for nearly all of us.

 

The internet makes sourcing ingrediants relatively easy but you'll certainly have to approximate some, particularly the fresh seafood itemsand very seasonal fruits, vegetables, and nuts. There are also some purpose built items such as molds, special serving ware, etc. one would have to fabricate or approximate.

 

I think it's very reasonable for one person with reasonable planning skills to put together a Cocktail, 2 Snacks, 3 or 4 Tapas and a Dessert for an "elBulli Tasting at Home".

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Thanks William, this is the new set that you are looking at? I think I will wait for a full review on how many recipes can be executed with minimal fuss and how many are just way too involved. No way am I buying nitrogen and rotary vaps. 


Edited by mrdecoy1970 (log)

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Thanks William, this is the new set that you are looking at? I think I will wait for a full review on how many recipes can be executed with minimal fuss and how many are just way too involved. No way am I buying nitrogen and rotary vaps. 

Yes, it's the 2005-2011 set.

 

You can get an idea of some of the simpler recipes on the product website: http://www.albertyferranadria.com/index-eng.html

 

But what's your definition of "minimal fuss"? There's not a lot that can be done in a single "stand-up" session in the home kitchen but there is a lot, maybe most, that can be done if you spread the work over several days (which in some cases you must). If you kitchen is large enough for more than 1 person to work then you can obviously overlap a lot of steps. And of course most of the recipes are scaled for 10 servings which isn't so bad since a lot of them are single bites designed to be part of a 25+ course meal.

 

I think most of these sets are going to end up in professional libraries, used for inspiration and the occasional "elBulli Celebration". But there are probably plenty of wackos like me who'll buy them and actually make this stuff at home.

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Fuss wasnt the right word. Cost is, how much can be made without buying $3,000+ machinery? some funky ingredients I can swing. And how much wisdom does he pass along and is it El Bulli specific? or is it applicable to cooking in general? I will need to know before I spend money. 

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You can buy a superbag from an industrial supplier for $8-10, a high quality blender, stand mixer, food processor, silpats, piping bags and tips, and the basic chemicals about cover the rest. The truly dedicated will add a chamber vacuum and Thermomix. I'm just getting into the Tapas 2005 but maybe a third of them are reasonably accessible if you're able to source/substitute ingredients.

The entire 7th volume is dedicated to his methods and process and how they developed. I think its very relevant to the professional, less so, but still interesting for the home cook. The first 6 are annual catalogs like the ones up to 2005.

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Does anyone know the cheapest price to purchase the El Bulli (2005-2011) books w/shipping?  It was noted last month that Amazon.ca had the best offer but when I checked that out it was $522.50 w/amazon prime (big difference than what was posted). :shock:   Could be that the price changed, don't know.  Anyone purchase the set recently? :smile:   Thanks!

 

Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:43 PM

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

 

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Does anyone know the cheapest price to purchase the El Bulli (2005-2011) books w/shipping?  It was noted last month that Amazon.ca had the best offer but when I checked that out it was $522.50 w/amazon prime (big difference than what was posted). :shock:   Could be that the price changed, don't know.  Anyone purchase the set recently? :smile:   Thanks!

 

Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:43 PM

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

 

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.  

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So I ordered this yesterday and planning on taking inventory on the recipes and what percentage have doable recipes without expensive equipment, also Adria says  equipment will become more available in the future. Plus I have a feeling in a few years, after a few printings this set will be on the used market for 1200.00-? 

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I am planning on purchasing this book this week. Or should I say books.

What is everyone's initial verdict?

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Visually stunning. The first half of each of the books presents pictures of the finished dishes with numbers accompanying them. The back half of the book contains the recipes. If you have seen previous El Bulli books, you'll know what to expect in the recipes. They state yield and then list the five to seven different processes used to create the thimbleful of food that results. This is high-intensity degustation style cookery at its peak. The last volume contains the evolutionary analysis of the dishes: what preceded them, where they went and what the thinking was.

 

Is it worth it? For an obsessive-tragic cook like myself who will select a number of dishes and make them, yes. For a collector of things El Bulli, definitely. For a cook who is unlikely to make the dishes but who will extract pleasure from seeing how they were created, yes. For a cook who doesn't like out of the ordinary ingredients and rare equipment (where did I leave my personal freeze dryer), I'd say "move along... nothing to see here."

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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. 


Edited by hapacooking (log)

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Those of you who bought this, could you please tell me how much of the book requires super expensive equipment to execute dishes? I dont mind a sphere kit or a whip syphon, or small ingredients etc but the big industrial equipment no way. Thanks.

For what it's worth, the 2005 volume contains 125 recipes of which 81 can be made without the use of expensive equipment. This leaves aside the question of sourcing ingredients like "Warty Venus Clams". Some of the later volumes seem to rely more on the gadgets.

 

In the event anyone is interested I've started a little blog about my experiences with the recipes: http://elbulliathome.blogspot.com/

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