Category Archive: Cookbook Reviews

Bills Food

Australian star chef Bill Granger’s cookbook “Bills Food” is a must for everyone who loves whipping up delicious food without slaving away for hours. The food is casual yet elegant, easy to prepare and completely fuss free. The recipes are fresh and hip takes on all-time favorites, including some indulgent comfort food. Italian and Asian elements play an important role throughout throughout the book, as does his love for fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs. You won’t find any heavy sauces or butter loaded dishes, it’s all light and healthy (maybe with the exception of the Chocolate Brownies with Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce…but hey, you gotta have chocolate, right?).

The recipes are neatly divided into four categories, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. All recipes feature gorgeous full page color photographs by the very talented Petrina Tinslay, plus there’s a great listing of some of Bill Granger’s favorite cookbooks at the end of the book.

From the Breakfast chapter…

From the Lunch chapter…

From the Afternoon Tea chapter (one of my favorite recipes in the book)…

And from the Dinner chapter…

Highly recommended!

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A Delicious Cause

Friends-International is an award winning NGO working to get children and teens in some of South-East Asia’s poorest urban areas off the streets by educating and training them. One of their most successful training programs has produced two outstanding restaurants in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, the upscale Romdeng and the casual Friends. Both restaurants train and employ former street children, where they learn everything from cooking to waiting tables to running a restaurant. They are run by the NGO’s Cambodian branch, Mith Samlanh Friends.

The organization’s second cookbook, From Spiders to Water Lilies. Creative Cambodian Cooking With Friends, won two awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris. It won “Best Asian Cuisine Book” and made it into the top five in the category “Fund Raising and Charity Cookbook”.

The cookbook is also available in a German edition, and features forty delicious renditions of creative new interpretations of classic Khmer food. It provides an excellent introduction to Khmer cooking, which is unjustly still very much unknown outside of Cambodia.

There is, of course, Cambodia’s national dish, Fish Amok, as well as mouth watering salads, soups and curries, grilled and steamed dishes, and sensational desserts. The colorful names of the dishes alone hint at their intense flavor, and will have you salivate. Take, for example, the Banana Flower Salad with Grilled Cambodian Bacon, Limes, and Sweet Chili Sauce. Or the Fried River Fish with Lemongrass, Onions, and Baby Eggplant. The desserts are equally fantastic, and inspired by staples of Cambodian cuisine, such as rice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and fresh tropical fruit. Modern interpretations of traditional Asian ingredients result in light and creative dishes with complex flavors, as is illustrated by Pineapple and Chili in Coconut Jelly with Kaffir Lime Syrup.

The cookbook also features an excellent overview of the most common ingredients found in Khmer cooking, as well as plenty of inspiring color photographs showcasing both the recipes and Friends-International’s hospitality staff and trainees at Romdeng in Phnom Penh. All proceeds from the book go towards the training program.

Romdeng
#74 Street 174, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Friends. The Restaurant
House #215, Street 13, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

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