Jan 22, 2009
10:10 PM
Table Talk

A 10 pound duck?

Scanning all of the Wednesday food sections from my favorite newspapers around the country, I came across an article about the biggest (almost 10 pounds), fattest and perhaps heaviest cookbook to date. "The Big Fat Duck Cookbook," by Heston Blumenthal, may also be the most expensive. With a $250 price tag, what else can you expect from this ginormous tomme but perfection! Heston Blumenthal gives you just that, with delicious recipes to boot. The self-taught chef of a Michellin 3-starred restaurant (The Big Fat Duck) in Berkshire, England, Blumenthal gained his experience by diving into French technique cookbooks after a visit to Provence at the age of 15. His extensive research soon became his trademark and he has since been referred to as a 'culinary alchemist', putting him in a category with such notable chefs as Grant Achatz (of Alinea in Chicago) and Ferran Adria (of el Bulli in Catalonia, Spain).

For easier reading, the book is separated into three sections - history, recipes and science - in which Blumenthal narrates his background and unorthodox rise to fame and offers a mouth-watering selection of recipes from his award-winning restaurant. He also explaining the science behind his culinary masterpieces, the technology and implements that make his dishes come to life. One reviewer even states "Its recipes are almost the least of its appeal: Blumenthal's accompanying essays are the meat of the text and make for a fascinating 500 pages of reading."

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