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
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 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