KEN HOM'S EAST MEETS WEST CUISINE: An American Chef Redefines the Foodstyles of Two Cultures by Ken Hom

KEN HOM'S EAST MEETS WEST CUISINE: An American Chef Redefines the Foodstyles of Two Cultures

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Everybody who owns a wok seems to be churning out a synthesis-of-cuisines cookbook, but few do it as intelligently as Horn. The Chicago-raised TV-cooking instructor, whose earlier books (notably Chinese Technique, 1981) were good but not dazzling, seems to take on another sort of confidence and flair here. A longish, partly autobiographical introduction presents a fine general apologia for the entire Eurasian-American approach. Such possibilities have also been explored by Nina Simonds (Chinese Seasons, 1986), and the L.A. restaurateur Wolfgang Puck has made them a trademark--but somehow no one seems to have thought his way through the East. West marriage as nimbly as Horn. Some of his hybridizations are as simple as whisking butter into a basically Chinese sauce, or giving rice noodles the pasta primavera treatment. More often they unite wide-ranging elements--for example, a goat-cheese filling in saffron-tinted wonton skins. Most of the recipes won't overtake a moderately able cook; boned turkey is as technically demanding as things get. Horn's writing is sprightly and literate; his directions are succinct and natural-sounding rather than full of lab-manual fuss. The entire effect: the right party turned loose in the right pasture.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Simon & Schuster