In this enormous, beautiful book, we hear the full story of the meteoric rise of Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck, birthplace of snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream, and encounter the passion, perfection and weird science behind the man and the restaurant.
Heston Blumenthal is widely acknowledged to be a genius, and The Fat Duck has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by a peer group of top chefs. But he is entirely self-taught, and the story of his restaurant has broken every rule in the book. His success has been borne out of his pure obsession, endless invention and a childish curiosity into how things work – whether it’s how smell affects taste, what different flavours mean to us on a biological level, or how temperature is distributed in the centre of a soufflé.
In the first section of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, we learn the history of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings to its third Michelin star (the day Heston received the news of this he had been wondering how exactly he would be able to pay his staff that month). Next we meet 50 of his signature recipes – sardine on toast sorbet, salmon poached with liquorice, hot and iced tea, chocolate wine – which, while challenging for anyone not equipped with ice baths, dehydrators, vacuum pumps and nitrogen on tap, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike. Finally, we hear from the experts whose scientific know-how has contributed to Heston’s topsy-turvy world, on subjects as diverse as synaesthesia, creaminess and flavour expectation.
With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout, illustrations by Dave McKean, multiple ribbons, real cloth binding and a gorgeous slip case, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world’s most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal Hardback, 532 pages, 340x290mm
Buy it here: Amazon
“For designers the Raval Hotel is what a candy shop is to a five year old.” Barcelona’s 5 star Raval Hotel, is now open after a 35 million Euro face lift.
Barceló Raval Hotel, Barcelona, Spain, by Jose Maria Guillen White
Photos by Jordi Miralles
These models of actual Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) Communication towers, were given to party apparachiks and visiting dignitaries during the opening ceremonies. Artisans in West Germany were later inspired by the form and the collection was enhanced.
TV Towers are available at Domino in Amsterdam—a store with a split personality: on one side is Domino Vintage (3rd photo down) which sells outstanding furniture, lamps, objects and art from both known and unknown designers from the 1950s to the 1980s, and on the other side, Domino con Amore (Photo above) which sells beautiful Italian hand-made shoes shirts and bags.
TV Towers, ca. 1940 – 1980, designers unknown, available at Domino Vintage
In 1929, Buckminster Fuller was introduced to an artist who shared his own mania for “comprehensivity”: Isamu Noguchi. Their first meeting at Romany Marie’s Tavern in New York City was a transformative experience for both men. Noguchi had just returned from studying in Europe on a Guggenheim fellowship, where he worked alongside Constantin Brancusi. For hours Noguchi would listen to Fuller’s orations at the tavern on the utopian possibilities of technology revolving around his “Dymaxion” house and automobile.
In later years, Fuller recalled that the aim of the “Dymaxion” transport project was “to develop an omni-medium transport vehicle to function in the sky, in negotiable terrain, or on water.” Using existing Ford Motor engines, Fuller postulated that by taking the conceptual basis of an airplane and applying the principles of wind resistance and the aerodynamic shape of fish, he could develop a new concept of the automobile. The word “Dymaxion” as an amalgamation of the words dynamism, maximum and ions, represented the energy that Fuller felt could be harnessed and used to advance the current simplistic concept of land transport.
Fuller originally sketched his stylized vehicle in 1927 and in 1932 looked to his friend, Noguchi, to sculpt the three-wheel model for the “Dymaxion” car based on these early drawings. The models were later painted by Fuller.
In the full-scale prototypes, Fuller abandoned the multi-terrain concept and sought to maximize the efficiency of existing technology, using rear wheel steering and aerodynamic shaping. The three realized “Dymaxion” cars were plagued by bad press following a fatal driving accident at the 1933 World’s Fair debut and the project was abandoned.
Dymaxion Car Model, Executed by Isamu Noguchi, Painted by Buckminster Fuller, Sold at Auction $92,500, at Sotheby’s
Works by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé are in demand. This storage unit designed by Charlotte Perriand was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Cor through Galerie Steph Simon to accompany the Nuage Bibliothèque. Three sliding doors conceal storage compartment and two adjustable shelves.
Bloc bahut, 1959, by Charlotte Perriand, Ateliers Jean Prouvé for Galerie Steph Simon,
Sold at Auction for $240,000 Wright
See more products designed by Jean Prouvé
A sculpture by the Australian artist, Clement Meadmore is up for auction at Wright. Meadmore is best known for his distinct twists and turns in Corten steel, which naturally rusts as it ages. Meditation is fabricated from lacquered aluminum.
Healthy fresh food served in a real home environment, the concept extends from the interior to the garden.
Hugh Ferriss (1889 – 1962) was an American delineator (one who creates perspective drawings of buildings) and architect. According to Daniel Okrent, Ferriss never designed a single noteworthy building, but after his death a colleague said he ‘influenced my generation of architects’ more than any other man. Ferriss also influenced popular culture, for example Gotham City (the setting for Batman) and Kerry Conran’s “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”. “Just Imagine” (movie from 1930), strongly influenced by Hugh Ferriss’s book, Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929), takes the archetype vision of the future city as defined by a Manhattan-like skyline, and portrays it in all its beauty and majesty.
Buy the book: Amazon
‘Playful’, ‘controversial’, ‘cheeky’, ‘innovative’ and ‘provocative’ are just some of the terms used to describe BIG. Headed by Bjarke Ingels, this architectural company has in the space of a few years created prize-winning projects, a long list of innovative buildings and an international reputation, as well as taking an active part in current debates in society
This exhibition forms part of a pilot project called ‘Close up’, which through exhibitions, debates, seminars and teaching sessions takes a long, hard look at new tendencies, theories and challenges within Danish architecture.
Sol LeWitt helped establish Conceptualism and Minimalism as dominant movements of the postwar era. Many of LeWitt’s works explore the variations possible within the basic structure of a cube. The permutations are simple, clear and logical.
“Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.”
- Sol LeWitt
Cube Without a Cube, $21,600 (top two) and K 1 2 3 4 5 6 #2, $132,000 (bottom)
by Sol LeWitt 1928-2007, Sold at Auction at Wright