Showing posts with label Cookbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookbooks. Show all posts

15 October 2011

'In The Mix' - New Recipe Book From Thermomix Featuring Darren Purchese

Monday 10th of October was the launch of the highly anticipated new book from Thermomix written by the extremely talented Dani Valent. The book features recipes from some of the best chefs here in Australia and worldwide and we have had a sneak peak and can say it is fantastic.

Here at Sweet Studio we use multiple Thermomix machines daily and could not live without them. To emphasise our continued support with Thermomix Darren Purchese happily contributed a dessert for the book along with an impressive roll call of chefs, food writers and bloggers.

Some of the chefs that have contributed are Melbourne's Ray Capaldi, George Calombaris, Matt Wilkinson and our own B&P manager extraordinaire Cath Claringbold.

International chefs include our Spanish friends Ramon Morato and Paco Roncero, UK chefs Sat Bains & James Petrie and loads more.

To get your hands on a copy it is retailing form $60 and available from or by calling 1800 004 838

24 August 2010

Top 50 Cookbooks Of All Time, Our Favourite Cookbooks & What We Are Waiting For & The One We Can't Find!

Richard Olney's 'The French Menu Cookbook' Came Out On Top

David Thompson Was Australia's representative In The Top 10 

The UK's Guardian newspaper recently published it's annual list of the top 50 cookbooks of all time. This of course is highly subjective and is understandably English-centric coming from the UK, but it does raise the question 'What makes a good cookbook?' A good cookbook is different things to different people, our choices and reasons may differ from another persons, and who's to say who is right?

As you may know if you have followed this blog for some time now, we are passionate about our cookbooks, especially pastry orientated ones. This does not discount the fact though that our favourite books of all time are often from the savoury side. Heston's 'The Big Fat Duck Cookbook' is one of our absolute favourites but it is not found in the list published by the Guardian. This may be because of its accessibility to the home cook (and most chefs!). This exposes flaws in 'lists' and reinforces the fact that one cannot generalise a vast genre into one list. So with that, check out the link to the Guardian articles and if your favourite books are not on there, so be it! They are valuable to you and that's all that matters.

Guardian Article Top 50 Cookbooks 50-11  

Top 10

Here is a list of some our favourite cookbooks (in case you were interested) and in no particular order.
Ramon Morato signing us copies of his 'Chocolate' cookbook.

We could go on all day with this and we are fortunate enough to have an extensive library, which is difficult as cookbook collecting can turn out to be an expensive hobby.

One book that you will just HAVE to save your pennies (LOTS OF PENNIES!!) for though is Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold and colleagues.

You know when a book is going to be really special (and pricey), when it has its own website!
This book is really going to be something, out in December 2010 it should encompass everything you need to know about modern cookery. Stunning photography and top quality printing along with years of research will make this a must have for us. 

2400 pages of pure information and essential images and recipes, this is the one we have been waiting for. Chefs Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal wrote the forewords and we are putting our money away and counting the days to is release. 

One book that does elude our collection though is Albert Adria's first release 'Los postres de El Bulli', this is a very rare book indeed and was deleted a short time after its minimal release in 1998. We have only ever seen one copy (two actually - bit greedy!) and that was in Ramon Morato's collection (above) when we visited him at Chocovic in Spain.
Ramon's TWO!! copies.
This is the elusive book that we will continue to hunt down - so if anybody has a spare that they would like to sell, then drop us a line and we promise it will go to a good home!!

Enjoy your cookbooks everyone, hopefully we will have one out one day if we continue to learn, work hard and persevere! 

23 January 2010

Books For Inspiration

Regular readers of this blog will know of our passion (obsession?) with cookbooks, we greedily snap up the latest titles and hoard a substantial amount of books, to the extent we run out of room! These books come in most useful when researching dishes or ingredients, when looking for a particular cooking technique, or just to help us decide what to cook on a Sunday. The books above though, and books of that sort, often help us in more ways than a cookbook. When creating dishes or designing new creations we find books on food science, art & design and historical books an inspirational source of ideas. The science books help us determine the best ingredients to use for a specific technique, for example 'Food - The Chemistry Of It's Components' highlights new and interesting uses for hydrocolloids. It also has invaluable nutritional information which helps us decide quantities of fats, carbohydrates, sodiums and so on in developing a balanced dish. Cookbooks, depending on the author, can't always be trusted to provide the most accurate information. Usually a cookbook is the product of one chef/cook's opinion and as you know opinions are not always based on fact. The research we conduct, partly utilizes fact based food chemistry book reading and we find this really helps our understanding of ingredients.
We find art & design books fascinating and it is surprising how much a chef can take inspiration from these. On a practical level some of these books help us here at Burch & Purchese, in forming new ways to package our products. Sometimes the packaging helps to evolve product but making us think 'outside the box' so to speak. The design material we have also provides excellent examples of shape and structure, these help us in creating new designs for a cakes and dishes. Just as nature can inspire structural design, eg. Gaudi, structural design can inspire pastry chefs in their creations. These books help us in our work.
Books by chefs/cooks from another era are also immensely useful, not to mention enjoyable. The works of Careme, Brillat-Savarin and even further back Apicuis provide astounding facts on nutrition, dish construction and ingredients. It is amazing they were able to conclude things that we take for granted because of technology available to us. We take inspiration from these chef's notes on seasonality, menus and other subjects and try to incorporate their teachings in our work. In all it helps to broaden your reading spectrum, you may be surprised at what you discover! Below are Amazon links to the books mentioned.

05 November 2009

Burch & Purchese Recommended Books 3 - Chocolate by Ramon Morato

Ramon's book: Chocolate

In depth recipes with Spanish and English translations.
Quality photography throughout.
Ramon signs our book!!We were asked just recently by a journalist, "What is your favourite and most used cookbook of all time?", well where to start. Firstly we individually and jointly have an extensive range of books on all subjects covering the culinary spectrum. All have them have provided us with much joy and knowledge over the years. Looking at the question again though "most used", well we probably don't need to look much farther than the book illustrated above. 'Chocolate' by our good friend Ramon Morato was a revelation to us and was a benchmark in books on chocolate in our opinion. It is massive in content and quality and covers all areas including, plated desserts, entrements, pralines and much more. We were big fans of this book before we met Ramon, so when we had the chance to work with him we felt privileged. The book certainly conveys his professional attitude and we could not resist asking him for his signature which has pride of place in our library. We recommend this book to all pastry chefs out there.

21 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Love Books For Cooks, Fitzroy

As you know, Burch and Purchese are serious about our cookbooks. Our extensive collection is invaluable to us and we are always on the the lookout for the latest titles or old and rare, out of print editions. This is why we spend a lot of our spare time in Books For Cooks in Gertrude Street. This shop is our idea of heaven and has too may titles to mention. Tim & Amanda who own and operate the store are friendly and helpful and work tirelessly to acquire books to expand the collection. There is always something of interest when you enter the store and a lot of the titles are signed by the author. This delightful shop is a haven for chefs in this area and frequent bumping in to people occurs here. Tim and Amanda have been great supporters of Burch and Purchese and we would like to recommend their store to you. One word of warning, once you start shopping here you may not be able to stop.

20 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Recommended Books 2 - The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

It is no secret that Burch & Purchese admire Chef Blumenthal's work immensely. His ethos and meticulous approach to cooking has been an inspiration to us and this hefty tome encapsulates the essence of The Fat Duck. We were lucky enough to have eaten at Chef Blumenthal's fantastic restaurant last year and we met up with him again for this years Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This book is a fascinating insight into his cooking and beliefs on food. It features all of the recipes from his current tasting menu as well as an amazing photographic archive, this is coupled with delightful artwork which is prominent throughout. The illustrations really highlight the thoughts of this great chef and makes this book really unique. Not all of the recipes are achievable at home or even in a commercial kitchen but some are really worth the time and effort as the results are spectacular. Burch & Purchese have attempted quite a few of the recipes and have certainly incorporated a number of techniques offered. This book is a joy to own and has so much depth, for the scientist in you there are essays, researches and findings on food, senses and technologies. At nearly 7 kilos The Fat Duck Cookbook is worth its weight, we cannot recommend this book highly enough. Well done Chef Blumenthal and we eagerly await your new book on Umami later on this year.

11 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Recommended Books 1 - Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras

We are both avid collectors of cookbooks (as we are sure you are too), and we have amassed a substantial collection between us. This is the first in a series of recommended cookbooks, in which we explain the reasons behind some of our choices. This first book is not pastry focused but has a large amount of desserts with stunning photography. Michel Bras is the chef owner of Bras restaurant in Laguiole, Aubrac, France. He now runs the restaurant with his son Sebastien and their wives and the restaurant has been awarded 3 michelin stars for ten years. The book focuses on Michel Bras love of the environment surrounding his restaurant which is his inspiration for his cuisine. Photography is second to none and the recipes easy to navigate. Featured in this book is the recipe for his famous 'gargouillou' of young vegetables as well as enough patisserie information, tips and photography to satisfy the most inquisitive of pastry chefs. This book is hard to find these days in English as they no longer publish it. It is however available in other languages and can also be found on second hand book websites. This book comes highly recommended by us and we hope you can find a copy and enjoy it as much as we do.