"I'm the flavorwalla because I have made my mark as a creator of bold, exciting food with balanced layers of flavours and textures that play off each other," says Floyd Cardoz.
For Cardoz, that specialty is flavour and that's what this book is about: showcasing the flavour possibilities in home cooking, using fewer ingredients than in his restaurants, such as the Bombay Canteen in his home city of Mumbai and Paowalla, which opened in New York on 27 July.
But the emphasis on simplicity shouldn't put off Cardoz's professional peers. There is plenty to learn about the delicate art of spicing from the season three winner of Top Chef Masters, a TV show on Bravo. In fact, every single recipe in this compendium, which includes weeknight meals, dinner for two, summer cooking and game, features some sort of spice.
Cardoz describes his food as a fusion "with subtle Indian accents". For every tomato and potato curry there's a grilled hanger steak with red wine sauce and Bombay lamb kebabs sit alongside grilled lamb shanks with salsa verde.
Perhaps the most useful part is the chapter on spices, outlining how to store, grind and cook them. He also outlines his "guiding philosophies", and while these will be familiar to a professional kitchen, they are excellent reminders of how to maximise GP.
Make your food stretch, he says. Cardoz will prepare a one pound of steak for four people because four ounces is a healthy portion of meat. And when served with a variety of vegetables and starches - such as his flank steak with Thai salad - it can go a long way.
Other tips include the age-old adage of waste not, want not and to make the most of a hot oven and cook multiple things. It's not ground-breaking, but are there some junior chefs out there that could benefit from these words of wisdom? Almost certainly.
By Janie Stamford
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