Top critical review
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Left a bit cold (pun intended)
on 4 February 2013
Upon getting the book, I was eager to get both insight into Heston Blumenthal's world as well as hopeful to learn great recipes that would ideally show some of the experimental cooking he is known for, but doable at home. I did certainly find the former, the introductions were an interesting read as were the explanations of all different tools and processes he uses. That said, for me, many of the recipes were too time consuming and complex, but more notably, I didn't find many of them that interesting to be honest. It's a bit hard to explain, but quite simply there weren't a lot of dishes that made me think "this I HAVE TO try!". Of course, an additional challenge was provided by the more complex recipes requiring special utilities - the fact that I don't have a sous-vide cooker and dry ice already ruled out a good number of recipes.
If you are interested in reading and learning about Blumenthal's art of cooking, the book is certainly an interesting read, and if you have plenty of time to devote to studying the recipes and attempt the dishes many of which takes hours preparation, then then you will most likely enjoy it. However, if you are a bit more limited in time, and want to cook something interesting that doesn't take hours, then there are probably better books out there. I recently got Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home, which I've found to be more home cook friendly, and more family friendly as well.