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Family Food: A New Approach to Cooking (Penguin Cookery Library) Paperback – 4 Mar 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (4 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140295399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140295399
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 19 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Entirely self-taught, Heston Blumenthal is the most progressive chef of his generation. In 2004 he won the coveted three Michelin stars in near-record time for his restaurant The Fat Duck, which has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by an international panel of 500 experts. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE. He lives in Berkshire with his wife and three children.

Product Description

Review

'An eye-opening approach to what little angels should eat' -- Daily Mirror

‘Family Food is a sure candidate for recipe book of the year’ -- Independent on Sunday

‘Heston Blumenthal is by far the most innovative and original chef I have ever come across’ -- Egon Ronay

‘This is a chef to be cherished’ -- Matthew Norman, Sunday Telegraph

From the Publisher

FAMILY FOOD has won two awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2003: both Best Book of the Year and Best Children's Cookbook in the World. Quoted by the panel: ''Family Food' should be required reading for all parents, and all chefs or private cooks. It is also the happiest cookbook of the year', and 'This is Blumenthal's first cookbook. The wonderful text is written by Heston Blumenthal with equal respect for food and children. It combines fun, enthusiasm and technique with a deep understanding of children and their expectations. The 3-star chef talks as equals to children and other readers; this is an extremely rare quality. We all are children at heart with food and the kitchen.'

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Harrison on 5 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first came across Heston Blumenthal a couple of years ago, when I was given "Further Adventures in Search of Perfection" as a Christmas present. I liked that book's obsession and story, but the recipes were all too complex to even consider trying to do at home.

Family Food is a different story - it's about balancing the "how" with the "why."

Many cookery books tell you what to do, in a very prescriptive way - exact temperatures, exact amounts, exact cooking times. Blumenthal on the other hand tries to explain WHY you might want to cook a piece of meat to a particular temperature, and then gives advice on how to get the inside to that temperature, rather than assuming that your oven works in the same way as his.

Others have noted that the "getting children involved" aspects of the books seem to just be ongoing requests to parents that they should do so... but I've found that the recipes do seem to lend themselves to having places where children as young as five can get involved in a helpful way, and hopefully increase their knowledge of real food as something that doesn't come in a plastic carton from a supermarket.

The book isn't perfect - there are the odd things left out (macerate rhubarb for 2 days - but is that in the fridge or at room temperature, Mr. B???) but there are two compelling reasons why I have to give this 5 stars:

- It's the book we use more than any other, ahead of Delia and even Conran (our previous winners.)

- The sight of my five-year old son, stirring away following one recipe and then turning round to tell his mum "I'm so clever", as he mixed and mixed.

Oh, and if you're buying this book and don't already have one, you'll end up needing a meat thermometer. Trust me on this.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By P. Yale on 31 Dec 2004
Format: Paperback
Firstly, this is a great book - right up there with my all-time favourite cooking books. There are some inspirational recipes in there, and even the apparently more traditional ones are discussed in such thorough detail beforehand that you are forced to think through the whole process of preparation and cooking. It really does make you regard these recipes in a new light. Having just acquired a digital temperature probe, I'm especially keen to try the low-temperature cooking that Blumenthal champions.
The only quibble I have with the book is that for one that claims to be aimed at getting children involved in cooking, I could find very few practical techniques or methods or recipes for achieving this. There's a fair bit of theoretical discussion about the merits of getting children involved in cookery, which I fully endorse. There are also some interesting food tasting experiments, which kids could find fun (and so could adults!) Apart from that, though, the other references to children are almost exclusively about simply urging the reader to get their children involved, about how much Blumenthal's own children enjoy a particular recipe, or how they themselves enjoyed making it. Mr Blumenthal is lucky - I can't imagine my own children tackling those particular recipes (too daunting), and some more specifically children-oriented recipes would have been nice. Blumenthal does explicitly distance himself from "gimmicky...happy parent monthly magazine" style recipes in the foreword, but I can't help feeling that in trying to avoid that particular trap he's swung the pendulum too far the other way.
Nonetheless, for adults it's a great book. Don't hesitate to buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bad Dad on 28 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after watching and reading much from Heston, but apart from his chips didn't feel that able to use much from his recipes apart from an attitude of enquiry. So it seemed that as there was a family cookbook that it would be a sensible thing to get it and try that. It works!

I had the book on the bedside table for a week and read it cover to cover. It is very 'doable' and the text interesting. Then we started to work through the book and almost every time the results have been very good and surprisingly easy. The one occasion when it didn't work out was the slow cooked lamb but that was down to not having oven thermometer which was my failure. This has been corrected with a visit to Ikea.

It has also been a very good forum to talk about the process of cooking with my children and to get them involved. A great cookbook. Wish he wrote some more in a similar vein.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By "janeygodley" on 4 May 2004
Format: Paperback
I have never before read a cookery book that has excited me in this way. This book is revolutionary and worthy of it's many awards. I have heard of the author and his restaurnt The Fat Duck before and thought that the dishes would be difficult to follow and indeed they were the exact opposite! I have used the recipes with my two daughters age 4 and 16 and we have all enjoyed the experience. Mr Blumenthal manages to not only create delicious food but recipes that let you understand and respect the ingredients. My husband and i have used the recipes successfully for diner parties and also with the children for our midweek pasta nights. Well done Mr Blumenthal and Thank you. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Hendrick on 26 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
Although I do not have children I was drawn to the book by Blumenthal's awesome reputation. The book is very easy to follow he even points out where problems might occur and how to prevent them. Like me he too is dismayed by the way companies are marketing junk food at children and when I read his intro especially about a certain juice company I knew we were indeed kindred spirits. So if you hate juice that is actually just chemicals and teddy bear faced sandwich meat this is the book for you, he draws on his experience with his own children as to how to get children to open up to new tastes and flavours and I think the book is brilliant the recipes taste just as good for an adult!!!
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