Nobu:The Cookbook – Nobu Matsuhisa

29 November 2001 by
Nobu:The Cookbook – Nobu Matsuhisa
In pride of place in a prominent bookshop in London's West End was a pile of cookbooks - this season's must-haves for the kitchen. Glossy and glamourous, their equivalent weight in porcini - another seasonal must have - would light up the face of any cook with joy. One book was notable for the fact that the face on its cover is rarely seen on television. Nonetheless, Nobu Matsuhisa is a name that commands immediate attention as the chef behind Nobu. Although Matsuhisa has run restaurants in places as diverse as Peru, Argentina and Alaska, his first Matsuhisa restaurant opened in Los Angeles in 1987. Over the past seven years the Nobu empire has spread across the world and is now 13 strong. For such an exalted chef - he has reinvented Japanese fish cookery and created a style as singular as it is delicious - *Nobu: the Cookbook* has a casual style that is most appealing. Opening the book at a picture of a sea urchin tempura, I admit, has me rushing off to eat the dish at Nobu in Park Lane rather than cooking it. The prospect of tackling any of its dishes may be daunting, not least because of the ingredients involved, but a list of suppliers' addresses at the back of the book should turn shopping for ingredients into an adventure. These are recipes that require an understanding of a way of cooking, an appreciation of the freshest produce, much time, and preferably an apprenticeship of many years. But, for the curious, the book is full of marvels to delight and inspire, inciting forays into local Chinatowns for ingredients and implements. The book's myriad techniques are dazzling and create dishes that are utterly sublime. Recipes include Matsuhisa's legendary blackened cod, the equally famous fish rolls and his new-style sashimi. This is an enormously enjoyable book. Its value as a cookbook for the domestic Brit will be measured by sales in Chinatowns the land over. A long, cold winter is before us. That will give us plenty of time indoors to try some of these dishes - just in time for next season's fruit tree blossoms. Just a thought. Jeremy Lee, head chef, Blue Print Cafe, London Nobu: The Cookbook - Quadrille £25 ISBN 1-903845-20-3
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