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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria [Hardcover]

El Bulli , Ferran Adria , Cillero & De Motta
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: £24.95
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Book Description

3 Oct 2011
What does Ferran Adria eat for dinner? The Family Meal reveals easy-to-follow recipes for the dishes cooked and eaten by the staff at elBulli, the iconic avant-garde restaurant in northern Spain. Learn the secrets of how to make the perfect gazpacho, Thai chicken curry or chocolate mousse in the first book of everyday recipes by the world's most influential chef.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd (3 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714862398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714862392
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 3.3 x 29 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'easy to follow and beautiful to look at' The Independent 'home cooking at its simplest ... 31 menus - each with a recipe for a starter, main and pud, with step-by-step photos for each - an old-fashioned idea, but a good one.' Sunday Times 'The layout is gorgeous and nostalgically arty ... a big, bold monster and an adornment to the kitchen.' The Guardian 'Wonderful...good straightforward cooking.' The New York Times 'I've never been so excited ... I learned an enormous amount about cooking from a master of the trade.' The Wall Street Journal 'I can't stop cooking from this book ... The only downside is that I had to come to terms with splotching grease on its lovely pages.' The Atlantic 'An esteemed colleague once told me that the highest form of intelligence isn't complexity but simplicity ... If this is true, then Ferran Adria's new cookbook, The Family Meal, may be the most effective expression of his genius to date.' The Australian Financial Review '...a refreshingly prosaic approach to food ...not just a collection of recipes but also an instruction manual' Sydney Morning Herald

About the Author

Ferran Adria is recognized as the best chef in the world. His legendary talent, creativity and gastronomic innovations have inspired chefs and food-lovers around the world for many years, and make elBulli what it is today.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and clear, but full of ideas 24 Oct 2011
By Elena
I received this book a couple of days ago and was curious to open my parcel and go through the recipes.
The this that has surprised me most of all, and what I was not expecting at all, is a step-by-step recipes, in photos! That is definitely not the way I was expecting a "chef's" cookbook to be. I was prepared for huge glossy pictures and minimum of explanations. The kind of book you keep on your bookshelf for inspiration,not for cooking. This on will definitely spend some hours in the kitchen with me.
All the recipes are already grouped in meals, with a time planning on what to cook first to be on time for the dinner, a Sunday dinner, as I don't have 2-3 hours for cooking every day.
And the "cherry on the pie", there are ingredients given for 2 and 6-8 people. No need to re-calculate your ingredients for a dinner for two, or a family meal.
It is a book to keep in the kitchen, definitely!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big let down 4 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was very eager to see Ferran Adrià's take on home cooking, but sadly The Family Meal was way below expectations. The first impression was positive; the book seemed extremely well organized, thorough and the recipes were very detailed with numerous pictures outlining the process. Interestingly the book is organized as meals, which you of course can follow or just pick out dishes and make up your own menu.

The negative impressions hit me in the first main course recipe, which was a cheese burger. As a burger fanatic and perfectionist, I was eager to see Adrià's take on it, but this was the most simple, unadventorous recipe possible. It barely instructed how to make regular patties, and even adviced that they could purchased prepared! I was equally shocked to see there was no recipe for the burger buns, which are a critical ingredient to make the difference between a bland, generic burger and a good one. It was supposed to be served with chips, but as there was no recipe for them either, I suppose you can just buy a bag at a gas station.

There were other similar let downs; no recipe for the fries served with roast chicken. Potato mash made out of flakes! There were only a handful of truly exiting dishes, and even those were nothing new, you could easily google an identical recipe for any of them. In all honesty, if I want this type of food, I can search recipes online or make them up myself, I don't ned a cookbook by one of the best chefs in the world for this.

For more interesting home recipes, I'd reccomend Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home: Family-Style Recipes, or Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook thats easy to follow 25 Nov 2011
Good book with easy to follow step by step recipes.
Have tried several and all have been really good and have come out as described in the book
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cooking book 25 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very good and clear cooking book with outstanding recipes which are easy to make. The author tried to obtain simple things from supermarket so everybody would be able to cook the recipes.
Has nice photos of how to prepare the food.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful for begginers 6 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book in Amazon even when I knew that the content would be pretty basic for us. We have dozens of cook books, and definitely it is not a book for chefs, not even for aficionados. It is a very basic and extremely visual book that would help to understand very basic principles of the food. But please, don't expect to find El Bulli's high level cousine in this book or a great inspiration for doing something. All the recipes are accessible to every one, even if you never use a pan in your life.

But we love the book: it is very well organized, with a million of pictures of every step and a very useful time plan in order to optimize the time and the preparation of every menu. Definitely a must have among your cook books.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not Amazing... 23 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The first review sums the book up admirably. Like that reviewer, I am keen to develop my technical knowledge of the kitchen. The introduction contained an intriguing reference to the use of xanthan gum, and I've already experimented with that, with good results. Likewise, if the days weren't already cooler, I'd be keen to try the "watermelon and Hall's mentholyptus sweets" given as one of the dessert recipes...

The writing style and copious pictures, (laid out in a grid, step by step) are both excellent and very clear.

The book would probably make a good introduction to somebody with high ambitions but negligible experience. Being arranged as a series of simple 3 course meals, is novel and potentially useful, especially as most recipes are given in several "sizes" up to 75 servings, presumably the number of staff at El Bulli. Could be useful for anybody wanting to try their hand at catering for an event...

However, even on a cursory reading of the book, there are errors! From an author and a publisher of this calibre, this is inexcusable, particularly as large quantities of ingredients may be at stake...

1. The teriyaki sauce recipe "makes 1 kg" yet contains almost 2kg of wet & dry ingredients, with no reduction during cooking. So either the recipe is plain wrong, or you will indeed end up with 2kg of teriyaki sauce, which is likely to be a bit too much even for the most obsessive fan of teriyaki salmon...

2. The mackerel & potato stew recipe instructs you to use "half the stock" but makes no further mention of using the remainder

3. "Grating a tomato" is a fairly common step in many Spanish recipes, but you are first directed to faff around blanching & peeling the tomatoes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely adore this book
So easy to cook from, and the recipes are incredibly yummy. I tried a cod and tomato recipe with almost no spices to it, spanish style and it was just so full of favour. Read more
Published 21 days ago by E.T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book.
This book shows you what you can cook at home. Simple every day dishes. It shows technique what amateurs usually don't have.
Published 11 months ago by Zoran Nikolic
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
the most informative & useful recipe book I've ever seen or used. A recipe book written by the worlds greatest chef for ordinary people to use.
Published 15 months ago by Wessel Maree
5.0 out of 5 stars a must
if you are interested in food and cooking, not pot watching and pan stroking, then you will really appreciate this book, not to mention the food
Published 15 months ago by amb-hamlyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
It is one of the best kitchen books I have seen for home cooking.
There are not weird Bulli dishes here. As the title says, it is a Family cooking book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. F. Punzano Navrro
1.0 out of 5 stars a crude paint by numbers recipe book with boring cliched recipes
My bad: I'd hoped for something resembling the excellence of El Bulli. this is just cheap trash. so bad I actually returned it. Not at all for the serious cook
Published 15 months ago by morwenna
5.0 out of 5 stars How a cookbook should be written
This book has it all
It is well structured
There are step by step pictures of the recipes as you make them so that you can check you are progressing well with the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by C. L. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love?
A very comprehensive cookery book. It starts with the basic "what you need" in the kitchen, store cupboard and fridge. Read more
Published 19 months ago by PJ Online
5.0 out of 5 stars Most useful cookbook
Ferran Adria's Family Meal is a truly great and very useful cookbook. It presents simple recipes prepared for the staff at the once world's best restaurant, El Bulli. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Veikko Valli
5.0 out of 5 stars The Family Meal
The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria

The Family Meal is a cookery book written in a refreshing style and set out in an unconventional format and all the... Read more
Published 23 months ago by P. W. Russell
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