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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  745 Ratings  ·  62 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 in "The Family Meal" are easy-to-prepare and mean
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2011 by Phaidon Press (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary
1) This is not (probably) YOUR family meal. The Family Meal is the meal Ferran Adrià's staff at El Bulli ate every work day before the meal which they served to guests. Each meal has a starter, entree, and dessert (although some of the desserts are alcoholic beverages such as Pina Colada).

2) If you are familiar with Adrià, you know he was on the forefront of molecular gastronomy and famous for his unique, mind-bending creative recipes. This is not that. This is normal food.

3) Food Porn. If that
May 24, 2012 marked it as to-keep-reference
Shelves: to-eat
Will create category To-Eat for this.
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: wine-and-food
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
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
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
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
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

Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, 2012
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
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a simple but brilliant cookbook. It describes a month's worth of "family meals" from El Bulli, in which the meal was prepared by and for the staff prior to dinner service each night. The recipes are simple - burgers and chips, rice with duck, chocolate cookies - but brilliantly laid out, which a two-page photo of the ingredients, a timeline for preparation, and a comic-book style layout of photos showing each step of the preparation. Each recipe also tells you how much of each ingredient ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodies
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.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book with step by step photos.
Romà Giménez Jori
És un llibre de cuina molt ben pensat, amb menús ja establerts però que pots combinar com vulguis, apte tant per a restaurant com per a casa nostra. La majoria de receptes són molt casolanes i és un encert l'apartat inicial amb consells per al rebost i consells per a la conservació.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking-food
love the time line for each recipe that tells you when to begin cooking this part of the dish.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is to me, the perfect cookbook. Very large and tome-like, step-by-step pictures make it absolutely sublime.

In a world full of Instagram, Buzzfeed articles and Tumbler blogs where an image accompanies every statement, I have become lax and I have sadly, come to prefer "bloggy" recipes with pitcures detailing each step. And this book provides just that! Minimalist yet thorough, the modern design of this cookbook almost has a 90's feel. Which is never a bad thing in the way of nostalgia.

It al
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
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
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm still technically working my way through this amazing book and I'm not even going to attempt many of the recipes but this book is a 5-star alone for the first 30 pages of information about how El Bulli organized their meal planning, recipes and menus. GENIUS. All the recipes are photographed, step by step as they are explained and all the recipes are offered in scaled format - to feed 2, 6 or 75. SEVENTY FIVE! I totally geeked out at the proportionate changes and having never worked in a pro ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking, non-fiction
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 Lequeuvre
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
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.
William Colsher
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This volume fills out the "inside elBulli experience" category along with A Day At El Bulli and the Sorcerer's Apprentices.

Note that the word "Family" here means "staff" rather than Mom+Dad+Kids. These are a selection of the actual meals served to the elBulli staff each day.

If you decide to purchase this book try to get one of the European or UK editions. The USA version has some issues with the conversion from grams/liters to cups/ounces that pretty much blow up some of the recipes.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it
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. :)
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly approachable cookbook with 31 3 course menus and lots of pictures of what to do including timing charts. Unlike a lot of chefs at this level, Adria does not seem particularly concerned with emphasizing the best, most expensive ingredients for the home cook, rather what is easiest and will actually get on your table. Not a coffee table book but a b ok to cook from.
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One of the world's top chefs, Adrià headed the restaurant El Bulli.
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