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Nov 1, 2007 09:48 AM

In search of Perfection

Has anyone watched this on the Canadian Food Network?

I just don't get the point of showing this on TV? Are we expected to recreate these recipes with our everyday kitchens? Can't. Are we expected to buy the gagdets he uses or the implements he needs to create the gadgets? Won't. Do I really want to work so hard to create one item, that might or might not be the best? Nope.

Maybe it's just me, but there is nothing I like about this show.

And yes I know that in the blink of an eye, this post will be moved to the media board, where our American friends will not know what I am talking about as I don't think they get this show.

Oh well.

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  1. You might enjoy this spoof of the book - presumably based on the BBC-TV program or vice-versa:

    1 Reply
    1. re: zerlina

      Thank you. I love it!! my thoughts exactly!!

      Thank you

    2. I enjoy watching it, but more as a lead-in to "Good Eats."
      Of course, it's completely over the top. That's part of the joy, I guess, that I derive from it.
      Would I want to make his fish & chips? No. In fact, they really didn't look that appealing. But I will remember next time to add some vodka to my fish batter.
      Perhaps the bottle of wine I had imbibed earlier in the evening finally caught up to me, but I still can't figure out how he made his pizza on Monday night's show. And really, a 500-degree oven? Was that in celsius or fahrenheit? I'll assume celsius, which makes this show even weirder.
      But hey, it's good for a laugh.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rillettes

        Wine LOL - makes so many thing so much more palatable and enjoyable!!

        My first clue was the black forest cake he made. Cake? I think not. For the pizza, it was 500 celsius - 500 farenheit isn't such a stretch.

        I find this show a waste of time. I don't have a lot of time to spend watching the boob tube, so when I do, well, I want it to be well, helpful - not so over the top that it's ridiculous. For the record, I don't watch Ace of Cakes either.

        1. re: maisonbistro

          I actually just saw the Black Forest Gateau episode and found it to be great fun. It's an obviously outrageous recipe, but do you really just watch cooking shows for the recipes? I think this show is tremendously entertaining. Heston Blumenthal's passion for what he does is quite contageous. You can tell how much fun he's having doing all this nerdy R&D.

          And the cake recipe reminded me of this place in Saint-Simon that makes the most fantastic flourless cakes. It's called Aux Petits Caprices and it's almost worth the six hour drive just to get a cake from there. I wonder how much it would cost to have one courriered over here.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Okay, I get it. Everyone thinks this show is fun and great, except for me. No prob. To each his own.

            Because I cook for a living, I like watching cooking shows to learn something I can apply in my day to day life. This isn't one of them - and since my TV time is limited, I won't just watch it for the "fun" of it.

            Don't mean to sound snooty, but between a business, a family, a house, a studying husband, the time I actually get to sit in front of the TV is short.

            Enjoy fellow hounds!

            1. re: SnackHappy

              Funny enough, I was at JTM a few ago enjoying a hot dog in front of William j Walter and my GF and I struck up conversion with an older couple and it came to where we're from and when they found out I was from Rimouski, they told they had been there over the summer and they told me about a bakery in St-Simon that didn't look like much but was amazingly good. Has to be the same place.

        2. Hiya - I haven't seen this show before - what's the gist of it in a nutshell?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kpzoo

            It's Heston Blumenthal being a big ol' nerd and overthinking every aspect of an everyday dish.

            I find it entertaining. Not the greatest food show, but kinda fun in a nerdy way.

          2. I find it entertaining and interesting. No, I probably won't try the recipes in the show, but I might try a few of the ideas (like how he bakes pizza). And he often mentions *really useful* general-purpose kitchen tips off-hand as part of something else.

            3 Replies
            1. re: eoj

              Snackhappy and eoj have got it right, if you've read heston's stuff before (his gardian articles are all available online) he is a nerd and a perfectionist so he overanalyses everything and tries to zero in on all variables and improve on them, which leads to insanely precise details and a by any method aproach to cooking that is totally unfeasible for everyday use. But I am sure he knows this and is why he also throws all the xtra tidbits about cooking and food science. The idea here is to walk away understing the food better and using some of the techniques or ideas to better or improve your cooking. The idea of using alcohol in the fish batter makes total sense and improves the texture, the tip on cooking the pizza on the back of a hot cast iron pan is a neat trick that will help you get that super crisp crust without overcooking everything on the pizza. He isn't really a conventional chef..I mean his first book was a family cooking book so he's obvious not interested in looking for the easiest cash in..This series is a bit exagerated but his stuff written for Guardian his full of really useful tips.

              1. re: cricklewood

                Well, so far I have found absolutely nothing noteworthy or worth trying. I hate to sound like a snob, but I really can't be bothered to try and make the perfect pizza at home (and for those of you who know me, you know that I cook, experiment and create a lot). If I want pizza, I'll order it from a place I know will make it pretty much the way I want it.

                I just don't find him interesting. Obsessed, anal, over-zealous yes, interesting or informative, not really. But that's just me. A lot of people must like him since he does have a show on the air.

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  His personality and show is definately anal, but for me, there's a charm to it. It's a bit like Alton Brown taken to the next level... I don't consider it a cooking show, but rather an informative show on food. Like it or not, his analysis on food and how to achieve better food has its merits. I never saw pizza as something that I would make at home, but after watching his show, at least I know what you might have to do to achieve better pizza.

                  A lot of people like him because he cooks great food and has a great restaurant. Fat Duck is one of the highest praised restaurants not only in the UK, but the world. And just maybe, that reputation has something to do with his scientific approach. Makes you wonder and maybe even appreciate him, just a little.

            2. The more the merrier!!!

              There are enough shows that always do the same thing the same way.

              I prefer watching chefs do something that I really cannot do at home.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien

                I love the show. I agree that most parts of the show is borderline food science fiction, but this is exactly why I like it. I am tired of watching talking recipe books sauteeing onions with tomatoes and calling it a show. I like how I can learn something new about the ingredients, not just a simple recipe that I can perhaps create from a book. I like to watch something that appeals to my imagination, not just my abilities. So let him do things that perhaps a home cook could never manage to do at home. I cannot play the piano, but does it prevent me from enjoying someone that masters it?