Sunday, April 24, 2005

The El Bulli book

Now that I am surrounded by passionate cooks it seems if I hear constantly, "have you seen the El Bulli book yet?" El Bulli book this, El Bulli book that. Allright allready, I'll look at the book!!!

And I did. And all i have to ask is, have you seen the el bulli book?

Because if you haven't, do.

Priced at nearly 300 dollars (225 at Walmart.com) you think that it's over priced and how could a cook book possibly be that valuable. It is. I will walk the 2 miles into Maidenhead and back to save myself the 2 quid for the bus, but I would drop the cash for this. And then buy the next one.

I sat in Books for Cooks transfixed wiht the volume for nearly an hour. It's beyond what I ever expected to see on those pages. The fluid creativity oozing from the pictures is one thing. The stunning aesthetics of the cuisine is another. Then instead of printing recipes, they list by picture the flavors instead. Like, pineapple + vanilla + cola + shrimp. Well, not that exactly but you get the idea. Instead of presenting you with rediculously impossible instructions, you get the pure base of the dish, it's flavor.

Then, it's in chronological order. So you see the evolution of the cuisine through the years.

The food is beyond anything I have seen.
The pictures are out of this world.
The format of the book is perfect.

While I know I won't pick up and open an El Bulli twin in the future, it is none the less inspiring. As I sat there I'd find myself staring off into space, my thoughts racing from possibility to possibility. My heart beating faster, my inspiration growing.

I think one of the greatest things a chef can do is let those around influence you. Otherwise your kitchen becomes a vaccuum and your cuisine grows stale. Look, listen, taste, sponge up and experience as much as you can. Know the names, know what they do, look at their food. You begin your career like that, at no point should you fix and lock up.

Keep it real!!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you ever want to borrow the Bulli books let me know, I live just around the corner, past the sheep and right at the mini-roundabout. I'd be happy to lend them to you for a couple of days if you are that inspired.

April 25, 2005 11:29 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I only know a handful of people here, are you one of them anonymus blogger?

April 30, 2005 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I don't know you, I just realised that to get to work you go very near my house. The books are in Spanish as I couldn't wait for the English versions to come out but if there are any recipes you want I can always translate.Also in Spanish, I have S.21, the modern patisserie book,oril Balaguer's Postres and Albert Adria's Bulli Postres. Just looking at the photos is enough to fire the imagination.

I would be happy for you to borrow them at any time for a few days- rather than turning left and going under the bridge just turn right and we are at number 114. We are usually there in the evenings and will be there all day tomorrow being a holiday.

May 01, 2005 10:34 AM  
Anonymous David said...

With respect to this entry about the El Bulli book - can I have a question? What proportion of the book would you say talks about pastry/deserts? I am looking for a book about pastry for my girlfriend who is a pastry chef and this would be an option. Thank you.

December 07, 2006 8:05 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Hi David- Yes, the El Bulli Book has a portion devoted to desserts that is facinating. But if you want to get her a really amazing pastry book look for Oriel Baluger's book. It's AMAZING.

December 07, 2006 10:36 PM  

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