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Beyond Fusion
cookbook reviewsbeyond fusion

Beyond Fusion:
A New Look at Ethnic Influences on Contemporary Cooking
Flame of the Forest publishing
by Chef Rainer Zinngrebe
List Price: $36
Our Price : $25.20
You Save: $10.80 (30%)

Reviewed by Jeremy Emmerson

Click Here To Buy


June 2004
This review was first published two years ago, back then the book (penned by our cooking expert) was only available on import at around $130. Now Beyond Fusion is available through Amazon at only twenty-five bucks and with that good news I felt it was time to reintroduce the book and a couple of its recipes..

Rainer's credentials are impressive. Renowned chef Pierre Koffmann refers to him as one of the most brilliant young chefs to graduate his restaurant La Tante Claire in Chelsea (London). In addition to this culinary confirmation, Rainer has traveled and worked thoughout Asia, North America and Europe. So who better to iron out some of the wrinkles in the confusion over fusion than a chef who has first hand experience of working within a multitude of cultures and countries?

To set the scene the cookbook begins with a journey through an Asian wet market “the Temple to which the majority of Asian housewives make their daily pilgrimage for fresh food, household wares and other necessities.” Wet markets offers every commodity that a cook could desire; produce, seafood, spices - even live chickens wait to be bought, slaughtered and plucked. To many chefs in Asia the pilgrimage to a wet market serves as the fuel that fires their imagination.

This well written piece puts the reader in the mood for the next five chapters of recipes. The chapters are logically categorized offering; soups and laksa (Asian noodle soups), vegetables, fish and seafood, meat and poultry and finally sweets.

The skills and techniques used in each of the dishes varies - the recipes suit cooks of every level. The Thai Red Curry Cappuccino proved to be delicious and the Kataifi Prawns is a really simple multi purpose dish that would be a good addition to anyone's home repertoire or a great snack for professional chef to add to their bar menu.

Each creation is accompanied by a brief narration from Rainer and complimented with inspirational photography courtesy of the author's friend Shekar. The lay out of the book is colorful and simple, finishing with a few "notes" from the chef. In this final part of the book Rainer explains some of his basic philosophies and credits the hard work of those who made the book possible.

To summarize - if you want to understand or love fusion food or are a true cookbook lover, Beyond Fusion will make a fantastic addition to your library.
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