Reference

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria

Family Meal

If you follow the international food scene, probably you have come across the name Ferran Adrià. He is the chef of the restaurant "elBulli" that was the epicenter of the new gastronomic movement. elBulli (Catalan pronunciation: [əɫ ˈβuʎi]) was a Michelin 3-star restaurant near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferran Adrià. The small restaurant overlooked Cala Montjoi, a bay on Catalonia's Costa Brava, and was described as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet." The restaurant played one of the most important roles in the movement of molecular gastronomy. And yet the when you get his cookbook you are in for a surprise. The person who dazzled the world with the most elegant and sophisticated play of textures and flavors is presenting a very humble cookbook.

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The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique

The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique - Review

I used to say and I still do, that cooking in all its glory is 30% ingredients and 70% technique. The best ingredients can be transformed to crap with bad techniques and mediocre ingredients to gold with great technique. Imagine tiling your floors. You have no technique, but you did buy the best tiles at the store. How do you thing this will end up? Well not good... Same goes with other aspects of cooking, like let's say mixology. You start with the best spirits, nice shiny expensive tools, but you have no idea how to properly make a cocktail, or even worse you think you know, but you don't. Well, you need a guide for that. I know what you are thinking right this moment: 'Another bar book? Again?". Yes, but this is not the first time I write about bar books and try to convince you that this is the best one. All I have reviewed are amazing. Then what makes this one unique? Three things, the author, the content and the photographer.

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Larousse Gastronomique

LarEnc

In the modern culinary world new food items appear every day. Most of them are classic in some cuisine, but most of the times new to you (or me). Especially if you are watching Food Network or other similar channels, that involve culinary competitions shows you exposed to a large number of these ingredients. You need to sort the out. There are tones of references on the internet and even books that I reviewed before like the vegetable bible, but there is one book that makes the difference.

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On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

OnFood&Cooking

I have been debating for long time if I should really write about this book. From one side it is the most classic book on science and cooking (as you can tell by the title); it is like a religious blog reviewing the bible. From the other side I think that it is such an important book that even if there is only one aspiring cook out there that does not know about it I should tell him/her. Harold McGee is the person who connected food and cooking with science for the open audience. Until then science of cooking was just for the food engineers and the people that worked in the food industry. And by that I do mean industry, like commercial and branded food. In his book Harold McGee gives a very comprehensive linkage between the science of food, its history and its modern form. Reading that book is like opening a whole new dimension of food that was invisible to us.

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The Vegetable Bible

VegetableBible

If you look the recipes in this blog, or any other blog for that matter, the vegetables are one of the most commonly used ingredients. And I don't mean as a side dish, I mean as the star of the dish. From pies to roasts. Growing up, in Greece, when I thought of vegetables I thought of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, onion, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and the very seasonal green beans and ocra. Little I new that with the technical term, more than half of them are not vegetables at all. Botanically speaking as vegetables are classified only these plants that we consume as whole. So tomatoes, eggplant peppers and zucchini are fruits, in the family of berries, potatoes are tubers and green beans are pods. Still however al of them are included in the vegetables section, mostly because as opposed to fruits to consume them we need to prepare them with heat. In addition the modern mega-mart includes them in the veggies section. A section, that the last two decades has expanded and included exotic new varieties, result of painstaking crossbreeding, and rare vegetables, results of the amazing innovation in food transportation. So many actually that you need a guide to find your way around.

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The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks

faomd

... and a fine art it is indeed! Cocktails appeared suddenly at some point in history. Their story is lost in a plethora of myths and legends. We will never know where or when they originated. But we know that their appearance to the former literature started in 1806. The first definition of cocktail appeared in the May 13, 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, "What is a cocktail?". It replied: "Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else."... and a fine art it is indeed! Cocktails appeared suddenly at some point in history. Their story is lost in a plethora of myths and legends. We will never know where or when they originated. But we know that their appearance to the former literature started in 1806. The first definition of cocktail appeared in the May 13, 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, "What is a cocktail?". It replied: "Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else."

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