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Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection


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Minus 200C is the temperature of liquid nitrogen, which he uses at the fat duck and used for the first demo. Dry ice is minus 80, which is what he recommends for use at home as it’s easier to get. (Suppliers listed in the book.)

I found HB much more at ease on the broadcast show than the DVD. So I take back the “clunky” comment.

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Saw it last night off tape, really enjoyed it.So what if i can't get dry ice, liquid nitrogen at the local Spar, this was highly entertining view of how HB's mind works.He may not be the best presenter on TV, but FFS, the man can't be good at everything.A refreshing change to the normal crap we have on TV about food.This was DIFFERENT!

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Saw it last night off tape, really enjoyed it.So what if i can't get dry ice, liquid nitrogen at the local Spar, this was highly entertining view of how HB's mind works.He may not be the best presenter on TV, but FFS, the man can't be good at everything.A refreshing change to the normal crap we have on TV about food.This was DIFFERENT!

I do agree that it was an interesting insight and it was good to see something other than cooking for dummies. I just wish the end product had been a little more exciting. The only trouble being that he ended up with pretty bog standard dishes.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Saw it last night off tape, really enjoyed it.So what if i can't get dry ice, liquid nitrogen at the local Spar, this was highly entertining view of how HB's mind works.He may not be the best presenter on TV, but FFS, the man can't be good at everything.A refreshing change to the normal crap we have on TV about food.This was DIFFERENT!

Exactly. He is a GENIUS. The point about a programme on Leonardo Da Vinci is not to then pick up a brush and paint your own Mona Lisa. It's the same with Heston, watching a GENIUS at work is a humbling privilege and well worth the license fee.

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...watching a GENIUS at work is a humbling privilege and well worth the license fee.

...and watching a genius make a public arse of himself is is humiliating to both genius and viewer.

:smile:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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I was intrigued by the large number of continuity errors so I called a mate who's a foodie and an editor. Production teams move heaven and earth to avoid even the smallest continuity break so, he reckons, a show only looks like that when an enormous amount of work has been done in the editing suite after the fact.

His head is a continuity giveaway... shaved to varying degrees throughout the programme.

I loved it. I think he comes across as a genuinely nice guy who is trying to share something new and interesting. He's not an outstanding presenter, but he comes across as a really sincere hard worker which is refreshing. The jerky camera work was a bit strange when he was in the studio cooking.

Very few people are familiar with his style of cooking so this is new information in terms of TV programming (apart from his bit on Full on Food). At this stage, food shows have been done to death, and it doesn't look like any of it is going to get people back in the kitchen. So we might as well sit back and be entertained. I know the term "molecular gastronomy" carries a negative connotation. I think he is trying to distance himself from the connotation, not turning his back on what he has been doing.

I read somewhere a while back that Heston said that he was going to do TV and his book to beef up income for his pension, families future etc. It's the only way you make the big bucks as a chef, so he's dead right.

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I really enjoyed the programme. It is something new for the mass and is not too long. I didn't think that egulleters would watch that programme to learn new recipes.. instead, I think "we" foodies should concentrate on the scientific aspects, to get inspired, not to copy him...

Anyway, someone early has mentioned McGee... Let's not forget that Heston got inspired by reading McGee, so I would not put them on the same level... McGee's "On Food and Cooking" has been around for much longer and inspired and taught many chefs and cooks around the world. McGee and Harve This are scientist/writers. Adria, Blumenthal, Gagnaire etc are chefs...

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i enjoyed it up to the point when he poached the sausages - surely that can't be right; certainly seemed sacrilegious

I thought that actually made some sense.

I've always held (with Nazi zeal) to the notion that sausages should be poached in oil. Though it looks terrifying and might possibly cause your arteries to clog by sympathetic magic, it cooks the centre just like the water poaching while browning the outside just like the frying stage.

As long as the skin isn't broached by anything as criminally stupid as pricking with a fork, the 'juices' (read 'fats') stay inside the sausage and no extra fat can get in.

I felt Blumenthal's technique made loads of sense for anyone pusillanimous enough to fear fat - which frankly seems to be everyone these days.

I also felt it required rather less nicety of temperature control than oil poaching which rather undermined his 'scientific' approach.

Oh Hell.... I should give the guy a break.... it must be tough to find something really innovative to do with a sausage that will fill 1'45" of airtime :wink:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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The book explains a few points that have been mentioned here; the mash is deliberately not smooth, as he says it would be "too refined" for bangers & mash. The mincemeat used for the sausages is double minced because that is what a "banger" is - he aknowledges that other sausages can and are used, but they are not a banger-style sausage.

Does anyone know when this is due to be repeated as I missed the show :(

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I missed the show but watched a bit of the free Sunday Times DVD. I liked it. A lot of it seems to be made up of bits that didn't make the cut for the show, but it's cool - lots of footage of the lab.

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It was excellent, although I would have preferred more science and explanation of why.

I have a few nits: mainly that the ultimate treacle tart is the Norfolk or Walpole version that does not have any breadcrumbs: http://norfolkdumpling.blogspot.com/2006/0...and-and-st.html

Other nits: Why make toast water, and then add rusk and bread? Why not just grind the toast and add that?

I felt he could have explained the grinding process better: as I understand it, the way the sausagemeat is ground at cold tempratures is important for texture, otherwise you just get mince in a tube.

I felt Hal McGee was a bit wastedjust being a foil., and the conversation could have had more depth. Indeed an hour or two of those two just chatting wouild make fascinating TV.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I felt Hal McGee was a bit wastedjust being a foil., and the conversation could have had more depth. Indeed an hour or two of those two just chatting wouild make fascinating TV.

:huh: Did I miss McGee on the TV (I didn't think I was being that inattentive, but it had been a long day... :blink: ), or was he on the Sunday Times DVD?

PS

Edinburgh

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I felt Hal McGee was a bit wastedjust being a foil., and the conversation could have had more depth. Indeed an hour or two of those two just chatting wouild make fascinating TV.

:huh: Did I miss McGee on the TV (I didn't think I was being that inattentive, but it had been a long day... :blink: ), or was he on the Sunday Times DVD?

He is on the Sunday Times DVD where Heston worships him like a God.

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poached then fried... d'you know, I might try that with some Porkinsons!  :biggrin:

Paul Rankin did that on the tele years ago as a tip to prevent bbq'd sausages being burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.

Now you come to mention it, Ainsley Harriot did a lot of work with dry ice in the early 90's. I think he was playing Abanaza at the Doncaster Playhouse.

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poached then fried... d'you know, I might try that with some Porkinsons!  :biggrin:

Paul Rankin did that on the tele years ago as a tip to prevent bbq'd sausages being burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.

Now you come to mention it, Ainsley Harriot did a lot of work with dry ice in the early 90's. I think he was playing Abanaza at the Doncaster Playhouse.

RAOTF,SIH,ISDOVUHOS

(Rolls About On The Floor, Shrieking In Hysterics, In Serious Danger Of Vomiting Up His Own Spleen)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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