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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phat Book
I bought this book for two reasons:

(a) I ate at the Fat Duck recently and I really wanted to learn a bit more about Heston Blumentahal's methods and madness.
(b) I'm a fan of Dave McKean.

It's a great book one of my favourites, most of the recipes you'd need a team of scientists to complete but that's not the point really. You come away with a...
Published on 24 Nov 2009 by Orla

versus
57 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dissenting voice...
I love cookbooks, and for the most part I use the ones I buy, to prepare actual - you know - food. And I have admired Heston Blumenthal's recipes since I first came across them in their newspaper versions. But my wife bought a copy of the Fat Duck Cookbook and I was surprised to find myself revolted, both by the physical object - with its indulgent use of white space and...
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by NickR


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phat Book, 24 Nov 2009
By 
Orla "I am Orla" (Fremantle, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
I bought this book for two reasons:

(a) I ate at the Fat Duck recently and I really wanted to learn a bit more about Heston Blumentahal's methods and madness.
(b) I'm a fan of Dave McKean.

It's a great book one of my favourites, most of the recipes you'd need a team of scientists to complete but that's not the point really. You come away with a better understanding of food, appreciate what's going on in your own humble kitchen and how amazing your sense of taste is. Plus it reads and looks like a graphic novel in some parts with Heston as the superhero.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is How Heston Cooks! Not For Mortals!, 21 April 2012
By 
T. Young "Know it all" (New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
I wish people would stop complaining that they can't make these recipes at home. This is not a cookbook, it is compilation of everything that makes The Fat Duck amazing. But you aren't actually supposed to make the recipes. You can, and I have made one, tasted very similar to the dish I had at the restaurant, but I am not good enough to make it taste exactly the same. Nor do I have the right equipment or ingredients. Very few people are and have. On a whole, this is just to show what The Fat Duck is all about.

This is "The Fat Duck Cookbook" meaning, it's what Heston and his chefs use.

I have eaten at The Fat Duck twice and this amazing book just makes me appreciate my meals more and makes me realize that there are some recipes that simply can't be recreated by just anyone who loves to cook in their home,

After all, The Fat Duck is a 3 Michelin Star restaurant owned by one of the best chefs in history. I think it's very arrogant to assume we should all be able to make these recipes.

Go buy Heston at Home if you want to be able to actually make the recipes.

But if you want to know what goes into making food at one of the best restaurants in the history of the world, buy this book. It's absolutely stunning and informative!
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 30 Sep 2009
By 
A. K. Pitts (Cambridge, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
Having hesitated with the first deluxe edition (The Big Fat Duck Cookbook) due to the heavy pricetag, I was all too eager to buy this copy at a lower price. To be honest, it feels like I've stolen it when you compare the quality and price to other 'normal' cookbooks on the market. The book is divided into three parts; History, Recipes and Science.

It is this thoroughness and attention to detail which I think is often overlooked in the reviews of the other edition which proclaim it as a 'coffee table' book, which at least appreciates the artistry! Sure enough, it would be very eye catching and enjoyable as a read for guests and at this price I suppose this could be enough, but for those interested in more, it certainly has it.

The history section is an autobiography by Heston on his career with contributions such as the Foreword. It is littered throughout with custom illustrations which I personally find well contrasted and unlike some other books you do not feel like the pages are wasted when there is no text.

The largest section is the recipes which are mostly illustrated with a photo, further intensely colourful illustrations and a full commentary on any details not in the recipe such as its origin, technical intricacies and further anecdotal spiel, all of which I personally find complimentary to the whole book. Many have complained that the dishes require a team of people and extravagant equipment to cook, which is true for all of them if you wish to do it in a day. However, I think a small number of the recipes would be possible in the home as in some cases components can be set aside for considerable time leaving the core until just before serving. That being said, I have yet to cook from it but I have my eye on a few of the simpler ones to start. Unfortunately, some would ultimately be impossible to recreate fully without thousands of pounds worth of specialist chemical equipment.

The last section on science is more like an appendix of the 'equipments, ingredients and techniques' used at Heston's restaurant. Following this is a comprehensive watered down contribution from various academics associated with the field on subject areas such as taste perception, ingredient properties and flavour release.

Even if someone somehow mistakenly bought this cookbook at this price thinking it would have classic recipes for the kitchen, I cannot see how they would be disappointed with what they had bought instead. Time to find a liquid nitrogen home delivery service...!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting, 4 Feb 2010
By 
David Brooks (Derbyshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
I agree completely with all the rave reviews. While I may never cook any of these recipes completely I've learn't more about cooking from this book than from any of the dozens of other cookbooks I own.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent!, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
Is this a practical cookbook for the aspiring home chef? Not even slightly, but there's plenty of those on the market. Is it a glorious celebration of one man's all-absorbing enthusiasm for food, yes, yes, yes. The autobiography that forms the first section of the book shows how, although self-taught, Heston's techniques are firmly rooted in the classics. He sees his ideas, not as cullinary iconoclasm, but taking the art a step forward, like all great cooks. The recipe section is not a practical set of cooking instructions, but a deep insight into what it takes to get 3 Michelin stars, and get voted the world's greatest restaraunt. The last section, cooking techniques and equipment, does provide some practical knowledge, especially on cooking meat. However, it's the insights, more than practicality that comes across. I cannot recommend this book too highly. You may not use anything in it directly, but I bet that if you want it to, it will make you a better cook. Apart from that, it is a cracking good read for anyone who eats food. Now, let's drop hints that a really cool Valentine's Day present would be a sous-vide machine and a precision waterbath...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a cook book......, 21 Jan 2010
By 
A. J. Edwards - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
A really interesting book. May be not possible to use all the recipes but a wonderful insight about the science of cooking. Such a lovely read and very cleverly done. I will cherish this book and remember my Christmas present to myself for many years to come.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magnificent Fat Duck, 16 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. M. Revell "Michael" (Market Drayton, Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
The Fat Duck Cookbook is a magnificent book in every respect. It is a big book, beautifully produced with truly superb photography and a delightful, slightly quirky, layout, (where else would you find the index as a spreadsheet in the middle of the book and the dedication right at the back?).
It is so much more than just a cookbook; it is Heston Blumenthal's story.
Part one is History (his story?), part two is Recipes and part three is Science. It is entertaining and easy to read; it is informative to the point of education and, to use Jay Raynor's comment, the wonderfully enticing pictures of food are "pure Gastro-porn".
I am a simple soul. I am a reasonable cook in the sense that guests seem to appreciate my efforts and I have sufficent skill to survive without starving. The idea of taking food preparation and presentation to the heights of celebrity chefdom has been a bit of a lazy aspiration. I suspect that the chance of me ever actually dining at the Fat Duck is pure fantasy - I probably will not live long enough for a table to become vacant nor find a banker prepared to give me a sufficent mortgage - but that is what dreams are for.
The Fat Duck Cookbook affords me the opportunity to dabble in the shadow of a Master but more than that I predict that it has a place in history as popular and as topical as Mrs Beetons Cookbook but on a par with Escoffier. I hope to keep my 'first edition' in pristine condition as it will surely increase in value. I wonder if I can get HB to sign it ;-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once per year, 20 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
Even though I love cooking and cook almost every day, I was stunned that I couldn't make a single dish from the book without reserving at least 3 days for it. Finally, I have a very special book. With all the equipment and products in place, I will aim to cook just 1 dish from the book per year for the rest of my life. But, boy, how that day will be exceptional.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 21 Jan 2010
By 
Vanessa Naude "Nicki" (United Arab Emirates) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely brilliant. It's incredibly well written, and Heston's autobiography is a fascinating read. The photography is awesome, and although one might never attempt to cook any of these complicated recipes, I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in reading about how this self taught Chef does what he does. Like the items on his menu, it's very unique.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heston - inspiration for a foodie, 30 Dec 2009
By 
Mrs. Mary Fisher "Mary" (Leeds, Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fat Duck Cookbook (Hardcover)
Our designer son is passionate about Heston Blumenthal so we bought The Fat Duck Cookbook for him for Christmas. He came yesterday with his family and after opening his parcel he was dead to everything else going on.
It's easy to be distracted by the delightful art work but the ideas and reasoning (and honesty) behind the food creations are very worth reading. It's not just entertaining, it's sound.
And there are recipes! That was a surprise for son, he immediately pondered how he could make specialist equipment but most recipes are straightforward and could be created in a well equipped experienced cook's kitchen. I'm looking forward to being invited for dinner.
The trouble is that I hardly got a look at the heavy tome, it was securely held to son's heart as he left ... I'll have to buy another for myself.
The Fat Duck Cookbook is very good value and excellent quality, it will outlive any reader but there are two caveats: it's not for the faint-hearted and won't fit on most kitchen bookshelves.
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The Fat Duck Cookbook
The Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal (Hardcover - 5 Oct 2009)
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