In Search of Total Perfection Paperback – Jul 6 2010
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About the Author
Chef Heston Blumenthal has
been described as a culinary alchemist for his innovative style of cuisine. His
work researches the molecular compounds of dishes to enable a greater
understanding of taste and flavor. His restaurant, the Fat Duck, in Bray,
Berkshire, England, was awarded three Michelin stars in 2004, and voted the Best
Restaurant in the World by an international panel of 500 culinary experts in
Restaurant magazine's list of the World's Best Restaurants 2005.
Blumenthal lives in Berkshire with his wife and three children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Good cooks will appreciate the focus on excellent ingredients, and the usage of modern techniques to replace older ones (using gels to replace flour in blanquettes for example). Occasional cooks will struggle: not with the language or the ideas, but with following the recipes, because the recommended techniques pre-suppose access to a fully-equipped kitchen, and familiarity with relatively advanced techniques. Nobody who wants everything measured in cups is going to be able to feel comfortable here.
It is the pursuit of perfection that is the point though - this is not a pictorial book with few words - it is solid reading with a few illustrations. Because Blumenthal tries and fails several times, before eventually succeeding, the method of research and enquiry is laid out for all to see and use; the importance of good food, from good farms and producers, the exhaustive search for, say, a good-quality duck. Not any old duck. For the non-British reader, those ducks just cannot be got, but the importance of finding your own duck supplier is absolutely conveyed, and a few ideas about how to tell one when you've got him or her also helps.
Technical it might be, but Blumethal is in the business of producing food that will delight al lthe senses, including at least one you probably didn't know you had. Worth every minute's reading.
Buy it if what you want is a reminder of the uniquely Blumenthal cleverness that lies behind the recipes collected here -- but if bad prose hurts you, then, in reading this lot, you must expect to suffer grievously.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I guess some people may think that this book is not for the home cook. To a certain degree I can agree, due to the labor required in some of the recipes, but it is obvious that Heston had the home cook in mind while writing this book(just see his other books, Fat Duck Cookbook). Also this series was filmed for BBC as a television show. The recipes I have tried are sound and everything is written very clearly. But beyond the recipes, Heston is trying to give the home cook an idea of how to approach cooking, instilling somewhat of an intuition by having an understanding of what is going on in the food that you prepare. I find that having an understanding of why, is much more useful than a foundation of this is how.
Other books of interest would be On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen as well as Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
Now all that being said, if you already own Heston Blumenthal's other books in the series In Search of Perfection and Further Adventures in Search of Perfection: Reinventing Kitchen Classics DO NOT GET THIS BOOK! It is simply a softcover copy of the two books put together!!! This is still a great book, but I much prefer the later two since they come hard bound, with more pictures and higher quality printing.
On top of which, the recipe's have been made (somewhat) for home cooks.