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Tetsuya Wakuda
cookbook reviewstetsuya wakuda

Tetsuya: Recipes from Australia's Most Acclaimed Chef
Ten Speed Press, 2001
Reviewed by Beverly Kim

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Instead of being defined by the type of cuisine, now, chefs are defined by their own personal style. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, Australia's most acclaimed chef, is an example of a chef whose unique approach to cuisine has influenced chefs worldwide. Utilizing Australian produce, he creates a cuisine which has the simplicity of his Japanese background and the flares of the French and Chinese influences. In his cookbook, Tetsuya one is able to capture the essence of his restaurant and philosophy on food.

The recipes are very simple- not because the chef wanted to simplify his recipes for the home chef, but because he believes that simplicity can abundance. There is hardly any heaviness in his dishes; for example, he uses milk instead of cream inside his puree's and soups. The dishes do require some Japanese speciality produce such as yuzu, mirin, shiso leaves and nori.

Chef Tetsuya Wakuda mentions in his book his love for seafood, which is very evident. From Scampi, Sea Scallops, Smoked Ocean Trout, Cuttlefish, to Bonito, Lobster, Snapper, Rouget, Barramundi and Sea Urchin, many kinds of seafood are presented in refreshing ways. He also includes recipes with Duck, Foie Gras, Venison and Rack of Lamb. He does interesting combinations of braised cheeks or oxtail with seafood and vegetables.

The plate presentations are definitely Japanese influenced and minimalistic. The photographs are breathtaking to look at - and are presented in a minimalistic fashion as well. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda includes his thoughts about the importance of artistic impression, through the ceramics to the architecture of the restaurant.

Wine is also another aspect to the restaurant in which the book devotes attention to. Most of the courses are white wine orientated, but there are others that are Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon orientated.

Overall, there is a lot to learn from Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, such as different kinds of seafood and approaching food with simplicity. Many have done east meets west; however, Chef Tetsuya Wakuda does so in an exceptionally graceful way. The value of this book outweighs the price. This is strongly recommended for any serious chef.

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