What Honolulu chefs are reading now
Looking for holiday gifts? Check out what some Honolulu chefs are reading now:
Quinten Frye, chef at Salt
Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan of The Slanted Door in San Francisco
This was Frye's most recent cookbook purchase: "I'm most drawn towards this style because of the authenticity, tradition and technique, and the ingredients that are used can be found throughout Hawaii."
David Chang's quarterly magazine published by McSweeney's "has drawn a lot of attention from fellow cooks/chefs. I like [Chang's] raw, behind-the-scenes look at the culinary world."
Ed Kenney, chef/owner at Town
A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory in New York
Ed Kenney has a thing for a female chefs. No, not that in way (ok, maybe). He finds their food less ego-driven. Right now, he's digging Bloomfield's new book: "It's so good! So simple, soulful, satisfying."
Honpa Hongwanji's Favorite Island Cookery series
"I've also had fun reading [this series] from the early '70s. The guilt-free use of MSG (aka "Flavor Powder") is awesome."
Lance Kosaka, chef at Cafe Julia
"I really enjoy [the magazines] because they are always interesting, informative, hilarious and written from an industry standpoint."
Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant
Another quirky McSweeney's publication. Kosaka says he loves this book for the story—the evolution of a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants operation spawning the nationally-acclaimed Mission Chinese Food and other ventures.
Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
"I've been very interested in bread and baking lately," Kosaka says. "Not only are the technical aspects of these books interesting, but I really enjoy the stories they tell."
Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
"Bouchon is pretty unreal. As with all Thomas Keller books, it's filled with great stories, beautiful photographs, and it's very inspiring."
Lindsey Ozawa, chef/owner at Prima
Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold
Prima recently acquired Modernist Cuisine, which is more of an encyclopedia than a cookbook (the five volumes go for $625), written by Microsoft's former CTO. For the hardcore food geek.
The Last Days of Haute Cuisine
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef
"The older I get, the less I read cookbooks," Ozawa says. "When I was in my younger years I used to buy a ton of books and couldn't get enough. Nowadays, I usually read more books on food writing and fewer books containing recipes."
- Lucky Peach gets a third vote from Ozawa.
Chris Sy, BreadShop
Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson
Bon Appetit calls Nilsson's restaurant, Faviken Magasinet, "the most daring restaurant in the world." It's hidden on a 20,000 acre farm in a remote part of Sweden, so it may be hard to replicate some of the recipes, such as the grilled pine mushrooms with vinegar matured in the burned-out trunk of a spruce tree. Sy admits that as a cookbook, it may be impractical, but he finds the chef's fanaticism alluring.
Bread is Sy's livelihood at the moment, hence Keller's latest catches his attention.
Lucky Peach, Tartine Bread and Faviken also available at R&D, 691 Auahi St.