Michelle Tchea, author, founder and owner of Healthy Spoon Pty Ltd and manager of PopIntel Ltd, works with some of the world’s best restaurants, Michelin-rated chefs and 5-star luxury hotels and has been published in GQ, Travel + Leisure, and Food & Wine. With her fourth book Chefs Collective, Michelle has taken on a project near and dear to her heart: promoting the innovation and diversity of some of Asia’s top chefs.
Chefs Collective profiles 50 great Asian chefs working in some of the world’s top kitchens (including four of the world’s greatest female chefs working at Le Mout, Bo.Lan, CIBO, and TATE), Michelin-starred chefs from Florilege, Merciel, Gaon, Ta Vie, and Kei (and others waiting to be discovered), and gives personal insight into the passion, drive, and inspiration behind their culinary success. Each of the chefs provides a signature dish from their restaurant as well as a personal narrative into his or her featured recipe, including background stories, cooking philosophies, food memories, and underrated Asian ingredients.
The 50 featured dishes in Chefs Collective seamlessly blend Asian cuisines including Modern Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai with Western (including molecular gastronomy) in dishes that are adventurous yet playful, innovative, and creative. Some dishes incorporate sensory experiences such as the interplay of sun and shadows in Hualien, Taiwan’s lush foliage (Roasted Asparagus, Chayote with Black Garlic and Mullet Roe by Nicolas Chang of Restaurant Savor in Taipei). Kei Kobayashi, owner and chef of Restaurant Kei in Paris, offers up his signature dish, an eye-catching garden of vegetables with foam of rocket (arugula) and anchovy mayonnaise in a plating reminiscent of stained glass. Others are an homage to classic comfort foods (Mum’s “Mostly Cabbage, A Little Bit of Pork” dumplings from Jowett Yu of Ho Lee Fook, Hong Kong) or national dishes.
The book’s visual design is striking, cleverly incorporating each of the chefs’ native languages into the chapter contents. Featured dishes include meat and poultry, fish and seafood, eggs and vegetables, rice and noodles, and desserts and treats. Japanese flavor profiles and ingredients feature prominently. Imperial, metric, and American cup and spoon measurements are provided, as well as a conversion guide to weights and measures. Some of the recipes incorporate techniques from modernist cuisine and call for specialized kitchen equipment such as a whipping siphon.
Chefs Collective beautifully highlights the diversity of Asian cuisine, including an in-depth look at Asian dishes and ingredients and how they can be prepared for the modern table, as well as combining age-old techniques with modern-day trends in an exciting collection of today’s top culinary talent from around Asia.
Recipes, Tips and Secrets From 50 of the World’s Greatest Chefs (ISBN: 978-981-47-7192-4)
Michelle Tchea, Marshall Cavendish International, 2017.
Author: Michelle Tchea
Copyright: Sascha Bosman