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Heston - my new hero!

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by bizent, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    Spot on assasination - love it!! [​IMG]
  2. Thanks. I missed my true calling in becoming a teacher
  3. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    I think you have.
    Chips were lovely though!
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I couldn't give a bollocks about his face or wife. His food is amazing though, and I can eat his food.
    Made a few dishes from his Heston at Home book and they've all been incredible. The 18hr braised belly pork we had the other week was stunning. Never had belly pork as good and the crackling, even though it pains me to admit it, was better than any crackling I've tasted before (and I consider myself fairly adept in this particular field).
    I think the media have done their bit in making him out to be a mad professor, obsessed with only the science in cooking and not interested in simply producing a really good plate of food. He says himself that he dislikes the term 'molecular gastronomy' as it sounds elitist and pretentious. His food is all about cooking with immense care so that everything tastes as good as it possibly can. Which is fine, really, isn't it?

  5. I'm sick to the back teeth of celebrity and Tv chefs flogging books, pots and pans and jars of red sauce. How many more does the world need?
  6. I wish someone would throw one of his "ooooh, got a whole orange in it Christmas puds" at his shiny head and knock him out.
    Twice or thrice fried chips are great - but Heston didn't invent them.
  7. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    All chips are fried twice.
    Heston might not have invented thrice cooked chips (I'm sure he's never made such claims) but he's certainly perfected them. Like lots of his recipes.
    I bought his book precisely because it's very different to virtually all of the cook books out there. But if you haven't read it, then you won't know this.
    Why does someone being successful at doing something extremely well make British people so angry?
  8. I am not angry about his success. He is entitled to it as long as people are buying his books and watching his shows.
    I just find him personally very annoying, hence my desire for him to be knocked out with one of his own puds ;o)
    I do not agree with his "perfecting" recipes. If I look at his "perfecting" bolognese recipe, his modifications are nothing new.
    Long, slow cooking - that is what you do with a ragu.
    White wine instead of red - that is already done in many areas of Italy and is how I was actually taught to cook it many years ago (I have previously posted about it).
    The herbs and spices used - apart from aniseed, nothing I regard as new or modified.
    That is really my gripe, nick - his recipes may be wonderous, but they are marketed as something totally new when I do not consider them to be so.
    Long, slow cooked belly pork is also not new to me - it may, however, be new to many people, which is probably why he is successful (and you are correct, it does make for great crackling).
    That is all fine by me - but I am still entitled to find him annoying ;o)
  9. So do I. Welll put
  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Why, CQ?
    Have you read the recipe in full?
    How many people do exactly this?
    I mean simmer the potatoes at 70C for half an hour before draining and then boiling in salted water?
    Do you do this as standard? If you do, fair enough, but I'd bet most people don't.
    In his book he explains why - it enable you to make a puree out of new potatoes that isn't gluey. Cooking at 70C fixes the starch so it doesn't form the glueiness that forms when new potatoes are pureed.
    You might feel that this is too much effort to make puree, which would be fair enough. But to suggest that adds nothing to what is commonly done in cookery is incorrect. It might not be his own invention (I don't know who invented the process) but most people wouldn't know about this, which is a fairly professional procedure. I didn't know about the process and I've been making mash for years.

    The Perfection series should be taken with a pinch of salt, I think. Most of it was in the spirit of fun and experimentation - he acknowledges that perfection is at best subjective and in actuality, non-existent. The recipes, moreover, are generally too specialist or time consuming for most people to follow.
    The new book though is designed to be used at home. The recipes might not be his invention, but does it matter? Delia Smith didn't invent baking cakes or boiling eggs, but she's sold thousands of books on the subjects (now there's a cook I can't stand - but that's for another thread!). However, they do bring such elements of cookery to the masses.
    For example - how many people would think to roast a chicken at 90C? I wouldn't. Yet I've tried the recipe (as have others on the thread) and it's ace. Everyone knows that belly pork is best cooked long and slow, yet who would routinely braise belly pork for 18 hours at 70C? I've cooked a lot of belly pork in my life, but this was extraordinarily good. This is why I'm a fan - not because I'm impressed with his tomfoolery and hi-jinks he makes money out of in his restaurant (although I'd still love to experience this). His cookery is not achievable on a day to day basis - of course I'll still mash spuds or roast chickens the old fashioned way during the week. But for treats, weekends and when I've got the time, it's all great fun and the results taste great. What's wrong with that?
    He's just trying to get people to think more scientifically about cooking. Which makes perfect sense, because cooking is all about science. People often think that cooking with love and cooking with an appreciation of the science behind it are mutally exclusive. But cooking with an aim to get the food to taste as good as it can is as close to cooking with love as you can get, in my view.
    So, whilst of course people are entitled to their opinion (athough taking exception to his appearance is possibly a little shallow) and I'm at risk of sounding like I'm blindly blowing his trumpet, I still think it's wrong to suggest that he adds nothing to cookery.

    (Not to feel like I'm arguing with you, CQ, I do like a debate though.)
  11. Oh, for God's sake. Is the Great One worth as much effort as this?

  12. Of course I did - that was why I posted it.
    I am still speechless.
  13. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    What at?
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    No effort at all, Bobby.
  15. The faff. We are speaking of mashed tatties, nick. Even if I had the time, no, I would not faff on with a thermometer to cook my spuds. If I am going to do mash, I buy mehligkochend and not festkochend tatties and that is why they mash well (sorry, don't know what you call all that in English).
    Admittedly, I posted the link as an extreme example of what I meant and I know his cooking at home book does contain simpler recipes - but I am afraid I am not a fan, nor can I imagine myself ever becoming enthused.
    Each to his own :eek:)
  16. Yep.
    Cannae be ***** with the faff. I'm too tired at the end of a long day and just want things to be as simple as possible.
    But if you can, that's fine. Chacun a son gout (as Robbie Williams' tattoo proclaims). :)
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Of course this is absolutely fair enough. Most people wouldn't be bothered to cook his recipes. I understand that and mentioned it in my War and Peace post, althugh it may well have become lost in the mire. I don't ever bother to collect stamps but plenty of people do this. I wouldn't usually cook spuds like this either, just now and again for a bit of fun more than anything.
    This isn't your original argument though. You were arguing that his recipes offer nothing interesting or new. Unless we're talking at crossed purposes entirely.
    Each to their own, of course. I understand why people wouldn't cook his recipes, I just don't understand the level of bile evident on the thread. Bob's got his or her knickers in a right twist.
    Floury, not waxy I think [​IMG]
  18. To me, they don't. (I already posted some examples).
  19. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    New to most, then. Roasting a chicken at 90C was new to me at least, but if it wasn't to you, we'll agree to differ?
    Case closed, perhaps.

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