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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 22 January 2014
I watched his show a couple of times and absolutely loved it. The book has really nice recipes and lots of nice facts and information about products and cooking.
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on 5 December 2013
I bought this as a present so I haven't tried the recipes but I bought it on sale for £5 which is a bargain for Heston. The book is in great condition too.
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on 24 May 2013
A very nice product,.prompt delivery,..well made quality article..I would recommend this lovely article to family and friends..Thank you very much!
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on 22 May 2014
Like Heston, you will love this book with its insights into Heston's philosophy on foods
Thoroughly recommend it to all foody people!!
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on 12 August 2010
Too few reciepes for such a good chef. A lot of history on each of the methods to cook, but not enough on what to cook

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on 6 March 2012
This is a very good cookery book, tells you just how to do things from basics, and they come out tasting really good, would recomend it
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on 2 January 2008
Reading this book, it is difficult not to get caught up in Blumenthal's obsessive quest. Whether seeking the perfect chocolate, steak or potato, he writes engagingly about produce and flavour, and his travels to meet with chefs, producers and restaurant owners add a journeying element to his culinary explorations. Throughout the book he provides context and history, which broaden the scope of each dish and add cultural dimensions. It is extremely refreshing to read a cookery book that takes British staple foods for its main source. Fish and Chips, Chicken and Potatoes, Bangers and Mash and Black Forest Gateaux - while all having some foreign influences - are revised through Heston Blumenthal's fastidiousness, science and passion. And he tracks the past of each meal, explaining why it has become a staple, where it came from and so on. It is an interesting juxtaposition of elements; English, childhood memories of food reacreated via state-of-the-art equipment and scientific technique. The humble spud, for instance, is revisited several times throughout the book and scientifically analysed for dry-matter content, water-content etc., depending on whether the potato in question will eventually be used for mash, chips or roast.

Another fantastic aspect of In Search of Perfection is Heston Blumenthal's remarks about produce and sustainability. Throughout the book he emphasises the importance of using high-quality ingredients, building an impassioned and detailed case for supporting small producers who love and are proud of what they make. He writes with incredible respect and knowledge about the producers from whom he buys, acknowledging constantly his trade's dependence on what farmers, butchers, chocolatiers and pasta-makers create. He also talks about the importance of raising animals humanely, arguing against the immorality as well as the inferior flavour of intensive farming. This is becoming a more common perspective from chefs, but Blumenthal's book brings in a new element - at least for me - in that its focus is not on grand dishes with names we've never heard of before, but on familiar foods that most of us will have eaten. In this respect I find the book very accessible.

Of course in other respects, it is a ridiculously inaccessible book. For how many of us can afford to travel to France to buy a Bresse chicken, or put the time into brining and roasting it according to his suggested (and lengthy) method? And how many of us can afford to make ice-cream using dry-ice, which can apparently be purchased only in a 10kg despatch and which cannot be stored? And while sustainability is a constant focus for the book, every dish in it appears to have an extortionate number of airmiles on it and an enormous carbon-footprint.

Yet despite these flaws in In Search of Perfection, I am won over in the end by the earnest quality of the book. Descriptions of memories of food and a commitment to excellence at all stages in production make this an utterly worthwhile read. What I loved most of all was how reading the book invested dishes I thought I knew how to cook with new dimensions. History, context and science have been woven into things I've eaten all my life, and this makes them richer for me.

I think it would be a fascinating undertaking to assemble all the ingredients for one of the dishes and to cook it down to the letter according to one of the recipes in the book. But like a visit to The Fat Duck, this would be something of a milestone in my own explorations of food, cookery and flavour, and certainly a once-off-treat rather than something to do every day. In this respect I would describe the book as a culinary exploration, rather than a useful or practical cookery book.

On the other hand, recipe books everywhere will be enhanced by the background, science and detail provided in this book and reading it will definitely inspire you to begin recreating your own sense of perfection in the kitchen.
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on 8 September 2014
Classic Heston with detailed history of his search for creating the best of many basics! Of course the photography is fantastic!
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on 19 April 2013
I love everything this man does as he totally intrigues me with his thinking and methods and never fails to totally absorb me.
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on 9 January 2014
I bought it as a present and it is a nice solid sized cookbook.Content fantastic and the price was unbeatable.
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