There are obvious advantages to raw foods--they're cool, slimming, nutritious, and easy to fix. Additionally, Lau suggests that they're perfect when you're cooking for an indeterminate number. There are also some drawbacks--the hors d'oeuvres tend to look like the salads tend to look like the entrÃ‰es--and peak freshness (a must) is not always obtainable. Still, and especially for summer, the mix-n'-match platters of fruits, nuts, cheeses, and raw vegetables provide a welcome emphasis. Lau gives good advice to ""broaden your vegetable horizons"" by trying asparagus, string beans, and summer squash uncooked and in the buff. Raw potatoes however, even peeled, are an acquired taste and you can skip the flower petal garnishes. The meat and fish sections are, understandably, a bit limited--steak tartare, seviche, and sashimi variously seasoned and garnished and the very expensive raw-cured hams which are mainly for accent purposes. Not the cookbook for a multi-course sit-down meal, but for individual dishes--try the watercress, ham, and cashew salad--it's a cornucopia of ideas.