Watching Australia's Masterchef 2010, Adam Liaw, throughout the series it seemed inevitable that this humble and very talented young man would grace centre stage at the finals.
Liaw was born in Penang, Malaysia to a Hainanese Chinese father and a Singaporean-born mother with English, French and Indonesian Heritage. He has lived and worked in Australia, Japan, China and India; and his heritage and experiences combined have provided him with an enviable list of food experiences. His book, Two Asian Kitchens is reflective of that rich diversity.
He quotes a Confucian proverb which he says "...reads in part 'wen gu zhi xin' or, in Japanese, 'onko-chisin'. This translates roughly to 'consider old things to understand new things'. This is the essence of the Two Asian Kitchens. The Old Kitchen represents the traditional dishes of my history, while The New Kitchen tells the next chapter in the story of the food I love."
The Old Kitchen chapter includes treasured family recipes such as Liaw's favourite dish, Hainanese chicken rice and Siew yuk or roast pork, a dish Liaw says he has served to his grandmother many times. The New Kitchen chapter features Asian inspired recipes that are Australian creations. For example, Wagyu sirloin steak served with Chimichurri and wasabi and Yuzu kocho made from a Japanese citrus fruit (or lemon as a substitute) and green chillies.
Liaw certainly has an inspiring style of his own and his beautiful book and very interesting web site are a testament to this.
Two Asian Kitchens by Adam Liaw (Random House, Ebury Press, $49.95).
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