What Is Cooking: Ferran Adrià's Newest Book

What Is Cooking: Ferran Adrià's Newest Book
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
November 2, 2020

What Is Cooking: Ferran Adrià's Reflection on the essence of cooking

In this week's cookbook review, we decided to take a look at one of the newest books from Phaidon, What is Cooking.

For groundbreaking chefs such as Ferran Adrià, cooking has reached a level of complexity where science, chemistry, and technology intersect with immense creativity and imagination. Adrià's latest 'Sapiens' volume takes readers on a compelling journey to better understand the relationship between the human race and the process of preparing food.

Packed with images from Adrià's legendary restaurant elBulli, his unique personal sketches, and explanatory diagrams that are used in his lectures, this book revolutionizes the way we look at how we prepare what we eat.

What is Cooking by Ferran Adria

A Cookbook Without Recipes

What is Cooking is not a traditional cookbook. In fact, it's closer to being a book than a cookbook. Without having any recipe it is difficult to be considered a cookbook.

According to the authors, it’s ‘a compilation of the connected knowledge needed to answer the question: ‘What is cooking?’ This is a book that will make you think more deeply about what you eat, why you cook the dishes you do, what food comforts you, and conversely what food takes you out of your comfort zone. In which case, Adrià's in-depth exploration of the simple question, 'what is cooking', will resonate even more.

As Ferran tries to better understand the evolution and relationship between the human race and the process of preparing the food, he takes everyone on a journey, exploring gastronomy from the top-down. From the birth of cuisine, to why we cook, what it means to cook creatively, and the language we have attributed to cooking.

What is Cooking by Ferran Adria

Chapter 6: Culinary Resources Explained in Detail: Restaurants, Bars and Coffee Shops, Institutional, Leisure, Hospitality/Holiday Accommodation, Industry 

An Inside Look at elBullifoundation

What is Cooking offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings at Adrià's experimental elBullifoundation, littered with her personal ideas, sketches, and photography from legendary restaurant elBulli as well as explanatory diagrams used in his lectures and exhibitions.

This book is a proposition, a call to eschew dogmas, and a project to broaden our understating and the decision-making skills that come into play when considering what and how to cook. It is an invitation, a perception based on research that questions currently held notions to allow you to reach your own decision about what cooking is.

As part of a collection of Bullipedia, What Is Cooking is the first book by Ferran Adrià’s elBullifoundation and team on the subject of cooking. This is the beginning of everything. The beginning of Sapiens, of the Sapiens methodology applied to the fine-dining sector, and of Bullipedia.

What is Cooking by Ferran Adria

Chapter 7: What Do We Cook and How Do We Cook It? Pea Spheres.

Final Thoughts

What Is Cooking is fascinating reading for everyone interested in the nature of the food we eat, from enthusiastic home cooks to culinary professionals alike. Destined to be a classic, the Sapiens project addresses the lack of academic understanding of the culinary arts and fine dining by setting a methodology for knowledge and research.


Undoubtedly, What Is Cooking will become a timeless book that chefs, culinary educators, and cooking enthusiasts, and Adrià disciples will want to add to their book collections.









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