Top critical review
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A big let down
on 4 February 2013
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.