Ferran Adrià, along with one of the head chefs at El Bulli, Eugeni de Diego, decided to compile a cookbook that was a little different from the status quo. The book is composed of recipes that fed the staff at El Bulli; arguably the best contemporary restaurant in the world until it shut its doors in the recent past. The book is aptly named “The Family Meal: home cooking with Ferran Adrià”, and presents recipes in the form of meals, aiming to give a complete picture of well thought-out meals, including instructions for preparation and step-by-step illustrations of technique. The recipes are designed to be simple, cheap, and reminiscent of the meals eaten in homes across Spain and other countries, the latter as a result of the many international chefs that were fortunate and gifted enough to work in the El Bulli kitchen. Going through the recipes, you get the sense that the food in this book is reflective of Ferran’s love for food and his modesty. It is simultaneously hard to believe and refreshing that someone considered to be among the most influential modern pioneer in the culinary framework, remains with all his accolades, amazingly and unapologetically humble.
“The Family Meal” includes a recipe for a cod and green pepper sandwich. It is as simple as it sounds. A toasted slice of country style bread, upon which a pan fried long sweet green pepper is placed having been cooked until soft and browned on both sides, followed by a fillet of cod which was also pan fried after being seasoned, floured, and egg-washed, and finally finished with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. This particular dish is relatively easy to execute, fits within any budget, and as satisfying as any meal you are likely to be a part of. Good food needs not be fussy nor expensive, pretentious nor elaborate; but rather, good food only needs to be, at its most fundamental level, HONEST.