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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià
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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The Family Meal is the first home cooking cookbook by the world's greatest chef, Ferran Adria. It features nearly 100 delicious recipes by Ferran Adria that anyone can prepare, inspired by the dishes eaten every day by the staff at his legendary restaurant El Bulli, awarded World's Best Restaurant five times.

The recipes inThe Family Meal are easy-to-prepare and meant for f
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2011 by Phaidon Press (first published 2011)
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David
One of the best cook books I've seen. I think I could happily throw away all my other cook books ( and there are so so many ) and keep only this one.*

Adria prepares 30+ three-course meals, with photos illustrating each step of the process - including a nice double-page photo showing all the ingredients necessary for each course, a table showing how much of each ingredient is required to prepare the meal for 2,6,20 or 75 people, and a timeline indicating when to undertake each step.

Some might co
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Anna
Nov 05, 2011 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all food lovers
Shelves: 2011
I love Ferran Adria's imagination with El Bulli and everything it has inspired, and since changed in the culinary world.
I also love when chefs go back to basics, to using ingredients one can afford to cook every day.

This cookbook contains 31 sets of recipes (starter and a main, or two mains, and a dessert each) that match together, of the recipes that were used for the staff meals in El Bulli. All meals had to be delicious, nutrient, and be able to be made under 3 euros ($ 4,50) per person. So i
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todd
Brilliant! This is a collection of 31 "family meals" from the creator of elBulli. Unlike a lot of celebrity cookbooks that emphasize culinary gymnastics that show the chef's "genius", the recipes here are from the simple meals that the staff at elBulli shared before the restaurant evening began. Anyone who has ever dined standing up before the hard work really cranks up will appreciate the setting (thank-you Charlie Trotter!).

Each meal includes a starter, main and dessert. Not only do the recipe
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Valeria
The recipes are simple, I was hoping for a challenge. In some rare cases the Chef adds an interesting twist, but there is nothing extraordinary new, they are basic traditional recipes from diverse cultures. It is a good book for a novice cook or for a family who wants to be inspired by set menus and bring in some new flavors. Seasoned chefs and culinary experts will find it repetitive and not as exciting as one would expect from Ferran Adria!

I was probably expecting interesting combinations of
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CD
Cookbooks should be about cooking and this one fills the description. 31 meals worth of recipes, 10 or so great sauce recipe/formulas, hints and tips and techniques in abundance and all are achievable for any level of cook.

The entries are laid out in meal format but are easily mix and matchable. There are a few recipes that the ingredients are only regionally available or usable such as squid ink. You need a decent fish monger to get the quality of fish that is required as an ingredient and tha
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Eling
While many of the recipes in this book may not be the ones I'd turn to on an every day basis, and the three-course menu each is presented within probably won't ever happen, the quality & variety of the recipes and especially the design of this book make it one that I'm definitely adding to my coveted books list.

There are photos for EVERY SINGLE RECIPE in the book -- that's 31 x 3 = 93 dishes, and not only that, but each recipe is has STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS WITH PHOTOS. It's like an amazing
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Tuck
the family meal at el bulli (now closed? adria i know was thinking of closing and doing something else, like a food institute) is for the staff and is the free meal at lunch everyday. simple and fairly balanced 3 course meals with bread. there are no spheres, foams, or liquid nitrogen involved at all. i like the layout and system of the book, how one can plan ahead for meals, store things in the freezer, most ingredients not too too difficult to get ahold of, except for all the fresh fish if you ...more
Deepa
Adria proposes 31 meals consisting of a 1st course, 2nd course dish and an dessert.

The dishes seem to be thought out for the average everyday cook, no difficult methods, not too many exotic ingredients.

The layout is very user friendly, a setup page shows and lists ingredients needed for the 3 dishes followed by a page showing how to organize cooking the 3 dishes proposed in order to save time (ex. while chicken is in the oven cut and marinate watermelon...). The following 3 pages are step by st
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Elizabeth
Gorgeous!. Of course the publisher is Phaidon. But still. The layout really works for me and I cannot wait to try many of these recipes. I am seriously thinking of trying each meal in its entirety as it is presented to the reader. And I have never been inclined to do so before.

It's that good.
Louise
I try not to buy too many cookbooks because I rarely follow recipes, but I was immediately drawn to this one. I am more likely to cook something out of The Family Meal than something out of the El Bulli cookbooks, that's for sure. The Family Meal's conceit is that all the recipes are grouped into different meals, so you have one meal of an appetizer, a main, and a dessert. And the ingredients are usually easy to find, affordable, or pantry items. There are parts of the book where it diverges fro ...more
Heather
A fantastic book, especially for those who love visuals. As a type A personality, I love how the ingredients and planning are laid out before each meal. They give you conversions for different amounts of servings, which is nice since some ingredients multiply in an unexpected way.

They use the siphon and pressure cooker a lot, the lingering remnants that this book comes from Ferran Adria; however, he tells you alternatives if you don't have that equipment.

The recipes aren't typed out like norma
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Elizabeth
Gorgeous book with step by step photos.
Foxthyme
This book is laid out in an visually interesting way. Each section is a meal, usually starting with an appetizer, a meal, and a dessert. All of the ingredients for all three meals are laid out in three lines so you have an immediate visual of all the ingredients. The next few pages are a step by step to making each part of the meal.

It is visually appealing and the food combinations are not your as per usual. For instance, Meal 16 is Noodles with shiitake & ginger, Duck with chimichurri sauc
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Ariadna73
I liked the way they presented the recipes very much. They don't rely on text as much as they do on images, and the result is a very easy to follow book. I will definitely try some of the recipes, especially those involving fish. I was glad to see a lot of methods and ingredient combinations that I use regularly, and find out that I was not the only one crazy person who did things in a particular way.

Example of one recipe: description


One yummy result: description


Another delicious soup: description


Explanation of fish: description


List of in

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Melanie
Enjoyed a glimpse at the staff meal in El Bulli. The majority of the recipes are approachable and doable in my simply outfitted apartment kitchen, and (relatively) easy on my meager budget, too. I like how each recipe lists instructions on how to prepare the described dish for 2, 6, or 75 (!) people. The bolognese sauce recipe was tasty and froze well. Who knew an El Bulli recipe could be so practical? A surprisingly delicious dish was the Garbanzo Beans with Spinach and Egg; good for a tasty li ...more
Ayesha
I cannot sing enough praises for this amazing cook book. It almost feels like a mini-culinary-school-lesson as you go through each recipe. Unlike most cookbooks, this one has ALL of the following advantages that home cooks cannot do without: a) step-by-step pictures, b) menus, c) timeline for when to start cooking/prepping for the entire menu, d) indices with descriptions on various types of fish, etc. e) basic recipes, tips, tricks, etc.

Most of all, the recipes require few ingredients and yiel
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Jan
A beautiful cookbook, with lots of lovely photos of all of the ingredients needed...a lot like the Ad Hoc cookbook, and others of that ilk. I think what blows this one away is the huge list of cooking tools and ingredients needed for one's pantry. Huge list. But I still would like to make a good vichyssoise someday...and they have a blended gazpacho, which wouldn't work for me, as I like all of the bits of vegetable matter that I know and love from my mom making this cold soup. I have this book ...more
Beth
I like the layout of this cookbook. There are 31 three course meals with a photo layout of the ingredients needed for all the courses, then a photo + recipe for each course. I loved how the desserts were more fruit than pastry. I also liked how they broke down which basics you could make ahead and freeze and for how long. I liked how they went over what you can do with some of the waste that comes from making these, most cookbooks never tell you what you can do with the leftovers and just assume ...more
Beverly
I wanted to like this book a lot. The thinking behind it was sound. The presentation of the recipes is clear. However, the way that Mr. Adria keeps the cost of feeding his staff down in Spain is to feed them lots of different preparations of little fish. Here in America we pay a premium for these same little fish, so what is supposed to be economical cooking becomes luxury cooking. There were maybe 4 things I really want to cook in this book. Glad I got it from the library instead of the booksto ...more
Vuk Trifkovic
Very good. At first the photography looked silly, but it does not matter. The dishes are straightforward with just enough Iberian spirit and just enough twist of the high-end cuisine that they'd cook for the guests at elBulli.

I also appreciated their effort to approach the whole thing bit more professionally. The very fact that it's not phrased in the typical 'cook this one pot for your friends and family' but insists on mis-en-place is a very good thing if you want to improve your technique.
Grace
While this book will hardly enable one to replicate an elBulli experience in their own kitchen, the recipes found here are systematic, nutritious and engaging. I am a good cook, but I feel like this book is still broadening my horizons a bit. I love that he considers squid ink to be a staple food. :)
Emily
you can't argue that ferran adria is one of the best cooks in the world, but sometimes his use of "foams" is excessive, but still this is a BEAUTIFUL cookbook, filled with step by step pictures of ingredients and process. some good menu ideas, interstingly simple for how complex the meals can be...
Nikki
Absolutely delicious. Easy to follow. Perfect combinations for realistic home cooking, just right for working parents. Loses one star because Midwesterners will have to double pork cooking times and slash the amount of oil, but otherwise, an indispensable addition to a family cookbook shelf.
SLK
lots of photos, and great recipes. I definitely want to take this out of the library again, if only for the truffle recipe. Very well photographed and very descriptive. I felt like I could easily cook some of the lovely dishes inside!
Ricardo Marcos
This is a good reference book for people interested in learning how to cook visually, the staff meals of the elBulli restaurant. Menu planning is also part of the book. Recipes included for different portion sizes too. Worth the money.
Petra
Jun 26, 2013 Petra marked it as to-read
Got two "buys" from Anna & Kristina of The Grocery Bags. They made the dishes to feed a crowd of 75 (ikes!) and despite that the recipes looked easy to follow, interesting and had positive comments about the taste.
Stella
Wow! I wish all cookbooks were laid out in this style. So easy. So organized. Amazing. The recipes are not something that I'll probably attempt, (save for the Caesar salad), but the book is just beautiful.
patty
WOW! What a beautiful book ! Surely this cookbook will rate a 5, but firstly need to prepare a few of the dishes to rate. :)

Update May 2014: Saffron Risotto is a winner and easier than most risotto recipes.
Jamie
The Family Meal is a beautiful book, and I love the ready-made menus. Having photographs to accompany each step is helpful, though the instructions themselves are pretty minimal and seem to skip over key steps.
Literacyizforfagz
No explosions or bi-curious chick scenes, which was something of a let down. 4 out of 5 stars, could benefit from superior editing in the next edition to smooth out some glaring omissions
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One of the world's top chefs, Adrià headed the restaurant El Bulli.
More about Ferran Adrià...
A Day At Elbulli El Bulli: 1998-2002 El Bulli 2003-2004 El Bulli 1994-1997 Modern Gastronomy A to Z: A Scientific and Gastronomic Lexicon

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