Tetsuya: Recipes from Australia's Most Acclaimed Chef
By Wakuda, Tetsuya

So what comes to mind when you hear the word Tetsuya? A new Japanese animation or Playstation 2 game that you kid has been talking about?

No, it is the name of the leading culinary star in Australia. Wakuda's style is being labeled as a fusion between French and Japanese cuisine. Though he has no formal training he uses both French and Italian techniques with traditional Japanese dishes. He uses a mix of fresh herbs, vegetables, and either raw or 10% cooked ingredients. The concentration is on a fusion of modern flavors.

So why should I pick up this book by a guy that I essentially have just heard of?

Tetsuya Wakuda is a legend that is obsessed with flavor and the book shows this in stark clarity. The book is pure lavishness where the food is highlighted by photos rather then verbal descriptions. Though you have to come to terms with the fact your food will never look as delectable.

Duck breast with sausage, sage, orange, and ginger. Roasted quail breast with gobo and black truffle. Lime and ginger crème brulee. Or Tartare of Tuna with Goat's Cheese. (An incredibly good dish. After reading and cooking this recipe I had to buy the book)

There are several negatives for the book that do need to be noted. There is a rather explicit wine suggestion for each recipe that is all at the higher end of the price range. There tends to be a long list of ingredients that you will have trouble finding here in the states and these tend to be repeated through out the book. There is also not a lot of variation with the dishes.

The closest American comparison for the recipes would have to be Nobu in NY or LA. (Which I must say I prefer, to be honest.)

It is clear that the book is meant to be a record of Tetsuya Wakuda culinary skills and to record his recipes for posterity. The book is meant to inspire rather then really a reference book. Though it will get you to look at your ingredients in a new and more modern way. You will be amazed with the sheer beauty of the book.

Review by Priscilla Meredith