All you need to know about The Family Meal, 10th Anniversary Edition
One decade on, Ferran Adrià revisits his seminal book of everyday recipes
Not every dish prepared at elBulli was for public consumption. Of course, the food from that fabled restaurant which topped the World’s 50 Best list a record five times before closing in 2011, found fame with gastronomes across the globe, thanks to its innovative, beautiful dishes.
However, the staff at this Catalonian restaurant didn’t subsist on a diet of spherical olives alone. As the restaurant prepared to close, Founder Ferran Adrià and his team revealed exactly what sort of dishes its 75 employees enjoyed during ‘the family meal’, the dinner eaten every day by the restaurant’s workers.
The dishes featured in this hit book, first published by Phaidon as The Family Meal in 2011, remain disarmingly simple. Arranged into a series of ‘menus’, with a starter, a main course and a dessert, the book features familiar dishes such as cheeseburgers, spaghetti bolognese and potato salad. However, the relatively everyday dishes are executed with haute-cuisine precision, and include a few, unusual twists. Take for example, Adrià's potato chip (crisp) omelette, or the veal recipe, which requires cooks first to brown the meat conventionally, then cook in a pressure cooker.
When Adrià first offered these secrets up to home chefs, they were incredibly well received. The book remains one of Phaidon’s all-time bestselling food titles, with more than 150,000 copies sold in the decade following its publication.
Now, to mark ten years since that initial offering, Adrià has returned to The Family Meal, to include a new foreword, and a crisp, new layout. The book includes many favourites. Look out for baked sea bass, roast chicken and peas with ham. Its recipes are still arranged into familiar menus, enabling home cooks to balance out flavours across the course of a meal.
At 384 pages, The Family Meal, 10th Anniversary Edition is comprehensive, yet even simpler to navigate. Accomplished home cooks will appreciate the top-table insights and tricks The 10th Anniversary Edition includes in its old favourites; (the book advises you to blend the herbs in a food processor before rubbing them onto a chicken prior to roasting, for example).
Less accomplished cooks will love the way the book’s pictures guide you through every step, from preparation to serving suggestions. Serial dinner-party hosts will find a new way to show off tried-and-test dishes when social distancing ends, while those a little less used to having people over, or who've gotten out of the habit, will love the way Adrià and his team guides readers though the entire preparation of the meal, minute-by-minute, enabling you to nip in and out of the kitchen with enviably agility. To find out more and order your copy, take a look at The Family Meal, 10th Anniversary Edition in the store now.