Above: (L-R) Harumi Kurihara is a Japanese chef who won a lifetime achievement award at the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards; Bobby Chinn's book Vietnamese Food (see more on him below); Rick Stein is a legend in the U.K. with a handful of restaurants, a hotel, and multiple television shows including Food Heroes; Anissa Helou is a London-based cookbook author, teacher, and chef who specializes in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines.
I'm a die-hard cookbook lover and truth be known, over the past few years, my addiction has exceeded our shores. Australia, Singapore, and the U.K. produce books with a different aesthetic--a small twist here and there that provides a unique perspective.
International cookbooks are fertile ground for new insights. Australia's Donna Hay revolutionized food photography. And thanks to a tip from a jet-setting executive, I discovered the U.K.'s Georgio Locatelli (author of this gem: Made in Italy) and Australia's Christine Mansfield (author of flavor-packed Fire and Spice.) While their titles are now available in the U.S., their books were on my radar long before hitting our shelves.
Ever heard of Bobby Chinn? Until the Worlds of Flavor Conference, I hadn't heard of him either. My loss. With a mischievous smile and exuding charisma, New Zealand-born Bobby Chinn has travel-based cooking shows on Asia's Discovery Channel (not available in the U.S.) He also has a restaurant in Vietnam and two books to his credit. Tony Bourdain says, "What Bobby doesn't know about Southeast Asian Cooking isn't worth knowing."
When it comes to international cookbooks, like foreign movies, eventually, the cream of the crop makes it to our shores, but the selection is limited...and often hard to find. To get my fix, I turn to Amazon's international sites. Suggested titles start the ball rolling and in no time, a name pops up and I wonder....who's that? They may be stars in their own country, yet utterly unknown to me.
Name three celebrity chefs in the U.K. who are not Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson.
How 'bout this...who are the top chefs in Australia? France? Canada?
A treasure trove of inspiration is just a click away.....