Fusion: A Culinary Journey Peter Gordon
Jacqui Small, £25
Growing up in New Zealand, it took Peter Gordon until his late teens to discover avocado or sushi. But since then, he has made an art of finding foods and inspiration from around the globe to create culinary combinations hitherto unheard of.
Through his travels, Gordon has developed a taste for taking cooking techniques and ingredients seemingly worlds apart and combining them to exciting effect.
In this, his signature book, he shares his culinary philosophy and his belief that "any ingredient, from any region of the world, has the potential to be cooked and eaten with any other region from any other part of the world - so long as the result is lip-smackingly delicious".
Fusion: A Culinary Journey is strong on narrative, with Gordon explaining the roots of fusion food and why it is viewed as a threat to traditional culinary values.
For the purists, he points out that food has always been on the move, with many national cuisines having developed as a result of historical fusion. "If you were to trace the individual sources of all the classic ingredients from each cultural cuisine, I promise you'd be amazed at the vast and incredible range of their countries of origin," he says.
And so Gordon sets off, taking the reader on a journey in which he makes some unlikely marriages. Sashimi with soy tapioca and wasabi yuzu beurre blanc combines classic Japanese raw fish with a famous French sauce, while lemon poached chicken on Manchego polenta with Sichuan pepper, spinach, pine nuts, peas and beans takes its cues from a combination of Spanish, Italian and Chinese cuisine.
Among the thrilling and inspiring recipes, Gordon describes the provenance of the ingredients and their relevance to each country, while also explaining his experiences in the countries that had the greatest influence on his style and cuisine.
With more than 80 recipes and descriptions of the key ingredients that epitomise fusion cuisine, this beautifully illustrated book will inspire and stimulate, as well as entertain.