Kishwar’s favourite cookbooks
In a brief but insightful episode of Star Book Talk last week, Bangladeshi-Australian chef Kishwar Chowdhury, runner up of MasterChef Australia 2021, revealed her fascination with cookbooks and books related to food as an artform. Here we find out more about the three books Kishwar highlighted as personal favourites—even, at one point, pulling out one of them from her shelves!
LES DINERS DE GALA
Salvador Dali (Taschen, 1973)
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904-1989) and his wife and muse, Gala (1894-1982) were notoriously famous for the dinner parties they threw, embellished with exotic and wildly imaginative elements. The 136 recipes of these parties are collected and accompanied by artwork in an aesthetically stunning hardcover edition, which experiments as much with gastronomy as with the art of dinner conversation, dessert making, and more. The recipes, though cooked at home, come from renowned French chefs from the likes of Maxim's, Le Train Bleu, and the Lasserre.
HESTON BLUMENTHAL AT HOME
Heston Blumental (Bloomsbury, 2011)
A self-taught British chef of French cuisine, who runs the renowned Fat Duck restaurant and has appeared previously on MasterChef Australia, Blumenthal is known for his innovative and scientific approaches to cooking. In this cookbook, he deconstructs some of these experiments for beginner home cooks, working with vegetables, seafood, and chocolate, among other exciting ingredients.
JERUSALEM: A COOKBOOK
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press, 2012)
The 120 recipes of Jerusalem explore the culinary diversity of the authors' home city, which has been home to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities. Born in the Jewish west of the city, Ottolenghi is among the most revered chefs in the world, with five restaurants in London and two cookbooks to his name. In Jerusalem, Tamimi and Ottolenghi play around with vegetables, fish, and desserts, all of which, as Kishwar points out, use "the pulses, grains, and root vegetables, and also the proteins like the mackerel and oily fish that you get in those areas. They were recipes that were really easy to replicate in Bangladesh."
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