Like Alton Brown on Steroids

January 2, 2009

I realize I lied in the purple applesauce post about watching only two cooking shows. I also watch Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word and Heston Blumenthal’s In Search of Perfection. Both of those, however, are downloaded from the BBC, so I don’t have to watch them on a broadcast schedule.

One of my Xmas gifts was Blumenthal’s The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, the fourth huge molecular gastronomy cookbook published this year (the other three being A Day at El Bulli by Ferran Adria, Alinea by Grant Achatz, and Under Pressure by Thomas Keller). He mentions his TV series in the “History” section of the book, so I located the shows and have been watching them over the last few days.

Blumenthal is obsessed with creating the perfect version of a particular food. Thus far I have watched him create “perfect” bangers & mash, treacle tart, black forest torte, fish & chips, and steak & salad. The shows are beatifully produced, and his enthusiasm is genuine without being intimidating. (It still kills me that the man who runs what is considered one of the best restaurants in the world is completely self-taught.)

As Di & I watched the steak episode, in which the first step is to take a blowtorch to the meat to give it a crust, I said “He’s like Alton Brown (of Good Eats) on steroids.”

I have a blowtorch, and I know how to use it. Watch this space, or look for the “third degree burns” tagged posting.

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