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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Fat Duck Cookbook
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
Having lusted after this book for a long time I was not disappointed when it arrived. It is worth buying for the beautiful artwork itself. The autobiographical work at the beginning is genius and I spent a full day with my face between the pages reading about Heston's inspiration and dedication for creating inventive new dishes. The recipes are, I feel, a bit beyond my simple kitchen (I could sneak some meat into the lab at work and drop it into the water bath but I fear guests would not appreciate the chemical aftertaste) but it is a good introduction to some really unusual ingredients I could incorporate into more homely recipes. Despite the enormous collection of recipe books in my kitchen this is the book I love to look at again and again!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2009
I have always been fascinated with the story of Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck. He's always struck me as the Willy Wonka of the Cookery world. This book is great fun and as a cookbook - revolutionary. I think the most fun is to be had in reading how the recipes are made. It feels like a magician letting you into an inner magic circle. One can easily appreciate the hard work that goes into inventing and refining the foods shown and the book quality also reflects this. It's a wonderful tome with some of the most inspiring pictures of food presentation I have ever seen.

Other reviews have mentioned that one would need very expensive kitchen equipment to make some of these recipes, however, I think the main limiting factor is the unusual ingredients and the great time needed to make most of the dishes.

I thoroughly recommend this amazing book. Even if you don't get to make any of the recipes, I can guarantee you will feel inspired to try something different in your cooking, especially a taste for theatric presentation.
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on 19 May 2011
This book is so big it is worth every penny just for the amount of pages you get.
The wife and I wen and visited this great restaurant and wanted the cookbook to go with our visit.
No matter how good of a cook you are, you are not going to cook the receipes in this book.

The first third of the book is all about Heston got to be where he is today, very interesting read.
The second third is the receipes from the restaurant, some old some new, but not all of them as this book was printed 2008 so maybe a new addition might get released. The more famous dishes ie "Sounds of the Sea" are in there and even you can't or won't cook them, it is great to see what he has to do to make these beautiful foods.
The final third is all about the science of how and why he does his cooking. Very interesting reading.

So in conclusion, don't think you can cook the lovely food from the Fat Duck at home with this book, unless you live with Heston and his team of 47 Chef's. But a great read and keep sake (especially for the pictures and artwork) for any visitor of the Restaurant or fan of the Shows.
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on 9 June 2015
Had this book for a while now and its one that plays with the emotions as well as the senses. Over time you will find yourself intrigued, inspired, loving an idea, going to cook the dishes and getting to the stage of hating the damn book for keeping you confined to the kitchen for the best part of a week, being amazed by your results, getting the satisfaction of the reactions of those you have made it for. You may even vow never again to attempt a recipe out of here, but you will keep going back for more, its one of the strangest books I've ever come across in my massive collection, but only this book has this effect.

No doubt Blumenthal is a one-off, completely obsessed with the idea of multi-sensory cooking and the science behind it. The book isn't easy, that's because it isn't meant to be, take what you want from it though, make yourself think of how to get around the absence of a paco-jet or thermomix. Definitely one for the keen amateur with the help of experience. Just remember, it can be done.
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This was received as a present in advance of an amazing visit to said restaurant in Bray, and gives a "flavour" of the concepts, techniques and presentational flourishes that produce the amazing array of dishes awaiting the visitor to Heston's celebrated restaurant.

It's very much the theatrical end of the the gastronomic world - though that does a disservice as over the 500+ pages a huge amount of science, technical detail and down-to-earth common sense are also put across. There are recipes (each dish carefully described and dissected, the assembly of its constituent parts, and presentation on the plate), and my favourite chapter on equipment - more akin to a chemistry laboratory. The book is big, glossy and a little unwieldy, but the photography is amazing. I can see a lot of people "not getting it", but for those that do, there are many treats in store.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2009
An insight to the why and how , with detail and great pictures . The art work is as abstract as the some of the "head line" dishes. Loads to do and try , even without all the fancy gadgets !. A chefs cook book , not one for the coffee table unless you HAVE read it!!.
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on 4 March 2012
I was bought this as a gift as have been wanting to go to the Fat Duck for ages and my brother thought this was a much cheaper option than taking me! Having not seen anything about this book before starting reading, I thought it would be a normal cookbook with a few quirky recipes in, how very wrong I was! This does have recipes for some of the past courses served at the restaurant but as Heston says in the book, he really doesn't expect anyone to make them in their home kitchen, if anything, it makes you appreciate how much care and attention goes into each aspect of every plate served there.
The book really delves into Hestons questioning mind, and brought to surface my own which in turn has led me down the fascinating path of kitchen science and molecular gastronomy.
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on 24 February 2013
I knew when I bought this book that I would not be using it as a source of recipes, and any prospective purchasers should be aware of that at the outset. However the book is a deeply fascinating document of how Heston has created stunning recipes that us mere mortals can only dream of tasting. The history section is really interesting and shows just how dedicated Mr Blumenthal has been in his pursuit of the extraordinary. The recipes are beautifully explained and photographed and there is a real education to be had here. I've tried making his triple cooked chips and have certainly taken some of the information and used it. This is a marvellous book and its a worthy addition to my bookshelf.. Hope you enjoy too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2010
Fascinating read but pretty pointless if you want to try the recipes unless you have a science lab at home! Great photos and an interesting insight into Heston Blumenthals story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2013
This book was purchased for my Son Robert who is a head chef and had a strong desire to upgrade certain parts of his culinary knowledge ,has been very pleased with this book indeed and it is in constant usage.
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