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Book review: Room for Dessert

13 November 2018 by
Book review: Room for Dessert

Goldfarb's book gives you the chance to pick apart his quirky, literary and often oddball style. For those looking for a living history of El Bulli, beyond the foreword by Albert AdriÁ , this is not it. Goldfarb's time at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant was clearly formative, but it receives only four paragraphs. It can be seen in some of his dishes, like the organised chaos of the Sugar Refinery - a blend of caramels, bitters, spices, vermouth and 'palm sugar sex machine Toblerone' - but generally Goldfarb is an entity unto himself.

The recipes utilise experiences from Paris, Tuscany, Catalonia and Australia. His Bali-inspired Footsteps, or Bubur Injin, is an exploration of the region's black rice, from purée-enriched rice pudding to custard, gelato and 'bubbles' topped with a rice cracker painted with the title of Woody Allen film Sweet and Lowdown.

The book is littered with cultural references, from experimental authors (his meringue millefeuille dish, 10 Years of Solitude, was inspired by the similarly named book by Gabriel GarcÁ­a MÁ¡rquez) to musicians like the Wu Tang Clan. The book's final section is 'the lab of ideas' - a base recipe selection offering the blueprint for Balinese meringue, pancetta financiers and caramelised coconut gelato. It also provides a core philosophy, such as the 10% rule: once you're

suitably proficient in the art, you can tweak your measurements, but only by a 10th at the most.

Goldfarb's writing is thoroughly quirky and occasionally bizarre; often wry and frequently enlightening. Then again, so is the food with which he made his name.

Room for Dessert, by Will Goldfarb (Phaidon, £39.95)

Recipe of the week: Chocolate caramel crème brÁ»lée >>

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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