5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating book for culinary pros,
This review is from: Momofuku (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)In Nicolas Freeling's Kitchen Book: The Cookbook, Freeling claims professional chefs have little use for cookbooks with step-by-step recipes. That's not how chefs actually learn their trade, Freeling says, and that's not how kitchen pros speak to one another when they discuss food and share tips.
In "Momofuku," David Chang really seems to be speaking to other chefs rather than the general public. His book assumes a certain degree of culinary craftsmanship and at times frames his instructions in kitchen shorthand. He even uses much of the salty language that is the standard in professional kitchens all over.
Don't get me wrong, the recipes are spelled out here. But as others have noted, the recipes are not easy, the ingredients are at times exotic and the techniques are often ones that are best learned while working alongside another cook. I don't see this as a problem with the book, though, as long as your expectations of the book are realistic.
Like "The Kitchen Book," "Momofuku" is much more than a recipe collection. It is a memoir about Chang's life; it is about his culinary philosophy and his dedicated approach to the art. It is about running a business. It's about honoring an ethnic cuisine by executing traditional dishes well and then honoring it even more by extending its breadth through innovation. And, not surprisingly given Chang's Korean heritage, it's about pork, pork and more pork.
I'm not a chef. I'm not even much of a cook. But I like food and I learned a lot from this book. Craftsmen who are passionate about their craft and who can entertainingly talk about it are always worth checking out. You don't need to be an actual woodworker to enjoy watching Norm Abram or a garage owner to listen to "Car Talk." And you don't have to be a chef to like "Momofuku." (Although it probably helps.)