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Wild, Wild East: Recipes and Stories from Vietnam Hardcover – September 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

(back cover)
A true culinary adventure told by
Hanoi's enfant terrible, Bobby Chinn.


(front flap)
Bobby Chinn describes Vietnamese food as being as near to Nirvana as he can imagine -- fresh, clean flavors, light and healthy, and incredibly diverse.

Presenting directions for everything from simple grilled chicken wings to deep-fried spring rolls and Bobby Chinn's own fusion-style dishes, Wild, Wild East is more than a recipe book: it's also an authentic guide to Vietnamese food as it is prepared and enjoyed today. Evocative photos by award-winning photographer Jason Lowe and stories by Bobby about every dish in this book make Wild, Wild East a true culinary tour of Vietnam. You'll read about Bobby's first experience running a kitchen, and you'll learn how he discovered the recipe for his secret sauce for grilled chicken. You'll also enjoy his extraordinary tales about some of the more unusual foods and ingredients that contribute to Vietnamese cuisine. Wild, Wild East is a both a true personal adventure story and a treasury of palate-pleasing recipes.

(back flap)
Half Chinese, half Egyptian, raised in England, a familiar figure in San Francisco and New York food circles, and now living in Hanoi, Bobby Chinn is one of Asia's most highly respected chefs. Having come from a family of great cooks, Bobby has always been passionate about food. He learned his trade when taken under the wing by three leading San Francisco chefs--Hubert Keller, Gary Danko, and Traci des Jardine. He now owns a restaurant in Hanoi, and is working with the Discovery Channel on a series devoted to Asian foods and cultures. He has also appeared in the U.K. on BBC2's Saturday Kitchen and Full On Food. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bobby Chin is one of Asia's most respected chefs. Half Chinese, half Egyptian, raised in England, and also a familiar figure in San Francisco and New York, Bobby is now based in Hanoi, where he owns his own restaurant. He appears frequently on television in Britain.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764161490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764161490
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The receipes in this book sound wonderful. However, this is the worst, and I have hundreds, cookbook I have ever encountered for mistakes. Where is the second brining in the smoked duck? How much sugar and water do you use in the Lychee Sorbet? I have even emailed the publisher for help to no avail. There are some vital parts to both of the receipes missing that I've tried to make. If you are not a very accomplished cook, look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover
There are so many delicious recipes - I've tried a few so far and they turned out great. Vietnamese food is flavorful but very light. I love looking at the photos of food and scenes from Vietnam. I put this book on my coffee table for my guests to enjoy. Before this cookbook all the Vietnamese cookbooks I've seen were poorly laid out or the recipes were just too difficult to copy. I finally found the Vietnamese cookbook I can use and enjoy for a long time.
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Format: Hardcover
..i am so thankful that someone has taken the time to make good vietnamese cuisine assessable to those of us who can't cook! I recently saw a segment on a local TV program with the author/chef and his personal story fascinated me...a SF native who finds a home away from home in Hanoi, Vietnam...and finds comfort in the food and culture surrounding him. Bobby Chinn's book succeeds in bringing all the fresh and contemporary elements of Vietnamese cuisine to the forefront with easy to follow recipes that make it a pleasure to cook! His playful take on traditional recipes is fresh and unexpected and the book is jam packed with healthy, creative dishes that anyone can reproduce. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys being creative in the kitchen....it makes a wonderful gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay recipes (some had errors, like listing an ingredient and forgetting to include it in the dish), and I could have done without the 'colorful' language. Some of the stories were completely out of place in a cookbook, like the one dealing with a crazed restaurant owner hacking away at an oven full of live rats with a cleaver. Who wants to cook, much less eat, after reading about something like that?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made me ill. Depressing, vulgar, and self-aggrandizing, it was more than merely a waste of time--it was an insult to my intelligence. After wading through as much of this thing as I could stomach, I was left with two clear impressions: 1). Bobby Chinn desperately wants to be Anthony Bourdain, and 2). Bobby Chinn is NOT a chef. Not a good one, anyway.

How do I know he's not a chef? Because when a chef takes on the task of feeding customers, that chef takes possession of the kitchen and its staff. And only a complete amateur would allow gazpacho laced with gasoline to be set in front of his guests, as Chinn admits he did. But does he take responsibility for serving toxic soup to his customers without so much as a taste or a sniff from the "chef"? Oh, no. Instead, he bores us with a vile story about how he screamed obscenities at some ignorant, lazy old woman in the kitchen. We're supposed to be impressed. And entertained, I suppose. I was neither.

Or how about the time he and his drunken buddies sat nearby and howled with laughter while his bartender abused a customer who wasn't happy with her drink? We're supposed to think this is a hilarious story. I guess you had to be there.

Despite the half-hearted forward by Bourdain himself, "chef" Chinn misses the Bourdain mark by miles. Instead, he comes across as sort of a potty-mouthed Jeffrey Steingarten: piggish, vapid, and hopelessly convinced that if he keeps boring people with stories about the all the "lovely" offal he's consumed, someone will think he's cool. He tells us about the time he and his buddies went slumming (pheasant feathers in hand, I presume), looking for dog meat. According to Chinn, dog is stringy and tough and not particularly good to eat.
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Format: Hardcover
...i am so thankful that someone has taken the time to make good vietnamese cuisine assessable to those of us who can't cook! I recently saw a segment on a local TV program with the author/chef and his personal story fascinated me...a SF native who finds a home away from home in Hanoi, Vietnam...and finds comfort in the food and culture surrounding him. Bobby Chinn's book succeeds in bringing all the fresh and contemporary elements of Vietnamese cuisine to the forefront with easy to follow recipes that make it a pleasure to cook! His playful take on traditional recipes is fresh and unexpected and the book is jam packed with healthy, creative dishes that anyone can reproduce. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys being creative in the kitchen....it makes a wonderful gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book. Very entertaining. I enjoy the narrative style and the humor in the book.
As a Vietnamese I also find the recipes to be very authentic (minus a few spelling errors). Some of the dishes are so authentic that they require an "acquired" taste. My husband cannot eat Roquefort (Blue Cheese): this is the same for some Vietnamese plates for some of us.
Although the writing is excellent, I find the photos too boring and too ethnically artsy. I will get more of Bobby's books.
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