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Alan Wong's New Wave Luau: Recipes from Honolulu's Award-Winning Chef Hardcover – June 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews Review

Alan Wong's New Wave Luau is a glamorous book full of color photos that convey the complexity of his lush and exciting cooking. It is also alive with Chef Wong's passion for his Asian heritage and that of the Hawaiian Islands, where his restaurant has three times been selected Best Restaurant of the Year by Honolulu magazine.

Chosen Best Regional Chef for the Pacific Northwest in 1996 by the James Beard Foundation, Wong is a master of multicultural cooking. Called Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, his dishes fuse local ingredients and traditions with foods and techniques from Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Taking the succulent meat from whole Kalua Pig, pit-roasted luau style, he uses it in a risotto dotted with corn and crunchy water chestnuts, then enriched with truffle butter. He also features this smoky pork in nachos built on crunchy taro chips, topped with chile-spiked guacamole.

As you feast on the photos, it is almost possible to taste the artistic creations depicted, each one dense with contrasting flavors and textures. His Surf and Turf, for example, features grilled beef tenderloin and a Kona lobster tail wrapped around a scallop. They are served with a roasted potato topped with wasabi-spiked mashed potatoes. This potato sprouts leaves of tat soi, an Asian green, and spiraling antennae of fried linguini. Grilled marinated mushrooms and asparagus add to the plate, which is drizzled with a sauce combining cream, truffle butter, and soy vinaigrette. Then it is ringed with shining dots of basil oil and finished with a sprinkling of chives and diced tomato.

Lest this strenuous cooking intimidate you, it is easy to make Wong's Asian Guacamole flavored with ginger and sake, Five Spice Risotto rich with shiitake mushrooms, and Asian Ratatouille, unexpectedly enhanced with oyster sauce and sesame oil. Each adds immeasurably to a meal of grilled fish or store-bought roast chicken.

Anyone with an ice-cream maker must try the recipes for tropical Guava, Lychee-Ginger, and Mango Lime ice cream, and a quartet of memorably exotic, liquored sorbets. --Dana Jacobi


Wong's Hawaiian cooking transcends what most tourists to the

islands ever experience as native cuisine. Mark Knoblauch -- Booklist, Chicago, IL June 1, 1999

[This book] celebrates the individualistic fusion cuisine of one of Hawaii's top young chefs. The recipes are clear and well written. -- Library Journal June 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898159636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898159639
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stevie Kapanui ( on August 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
There are very few cookbooks worth paying full price for -- this one is worth double the full price! Alan Wong has been WOW-ing local residents and visitors to Hawaii for years and now with this book he will "WOW" you! Chef Wong is of Japanese-Chinese-Hawaiian ancestry and uses this to build on his classical french training (under Andre Soltner at Lutece). His recipes produce foods that "explode" and excite the palate, oft-times blending complex flavors and other times producing multi-waves of flavors. This is food the way it is meant to be and taste! And for those not familiar with Chef Wong's accomplishments, he began his career at Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu, (where he later returned to instruct) did his apprenticeship at the prestigious Greenbrier Resort (West Virginia), worked at Lutece in New York, then returned to the Big Island of Hawaii where he was a former Chef of the five diamond Mauna Lani Bay Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Alan is now owner of his own restaurant, Alan Wong's Restaurant, where he showcases local talent and pays tribute to his heritage. Aloha & Mahalo Chef on a much awaited and fabulous cookbook. I miss cooking with you and eating your food !!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. L. Thomas on May 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes there are cookbooks that you can taste and then there are the ones that prefer a more clinical approach to cooking . Alan Wong's New Wave Luau is a very good exposition of Pacific Rim Cuisine. This book along with Sam Choy and Roy Yamaguchi give the cook/reader a flavorful and expansive overview of what is the cuisine of the islands and the Pacific Rim. The recipes explore Hawaii's culinary influences and then creates a few influences of his own.
The book is not for beginners. For those who are interested in learning more about contemporary cuisine this is a great read. The ingredients can now be found in most international markets, and if not then with a little research you can find just about everything through an online retailer.
The recipes do work if you follow the directions. There is much to learn from New Wave Luau and all you have to do is read, study the photos, learn about how the flavors interact and then cook your way through them. It's a lot of fun.
I have had the book for several years now and still return to it every now and then for a few inspirations and guides when researching new foods that I am interested in. This is a book for the serious cook. And then, once you get past the hard stuff it is all fun and adventure, really. Hawaiian cuisine is a marvel of color, flavor and aroma. Of course seafood is king in any book of island recipes, and it should be. Alan Wong's New Wave Luau just jumps off of the page inviting the reader into the grocery store and the kitchen, and sometimes into the fishing boat.
What is New Wave Luau? Well, go to page 86 and cook the Steamed Opakapaka and Gingered Vegetables in Truffle Broth, and there you have it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rosalinda Taymor on November 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Alan Wong does a great service to all of the culinary professionals out there such as myself by nearly creating a cuisine. His interpretations of hawaiian regional cuisine meld flavors together like no other....each recipe is described for the layperson and the pictures of the final products make one's mouth water. BUY-THIS-BOOK!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hotelguy26 on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
First off, let me say this book is not for everyone.

I have been cooking for years, and have always been into culinary. I do not have a culinary degree, but have a very good handle on things in a kitchen and do consider myself somewhat of a chef. That being said, this book is amazing. I found the recepies to be extremely balanced and complex in color, tastes and textures. Not for an untrained palate. The dishes are excellent. I continually use these recipies, and even tweak and deviate from some to create a style of my own. Despite what others comment, ingredients are not hard to find. With new supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Wegmans, and local international markets, it is fairly easy (expensive, yes) to find what you need, you just have to dig a little and know where to look. Not going to find most of these in your every day local supermarket. As far as impractical, I didn't find that at all. I found many of the recipies to be moderate, some were easy, and some more challenging (but I like to be challenged in the kitchen, so I enjoyed it). As far as replication, you will NEVER be able to perfectly replicate any of these recipies and have them turn out like the pictures. Alan Wong is a world renoun award winning chef, and is known as one of the co-founders of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. He has cooked for President Obama. Think about that. You can give me a brush and tell me how to paint a Picasso. Doesn't mean it's going to turn out like one. Come on people.

Best advice? This book is not for a novice chef, a family trying to prepare a quick meal for themselves and children, or someone with a weak palate. It is not for someone who doesn't have time, someone who isn't creative or someone who dabbles every now and then in the kitchen.
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