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The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: May 25, 2009

Cookbook of the day – nobu the cookbook




by Nobuyuki Matuhisha

Kodansha International

  • ISBN-10: 4770025335
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770025333
  • With an introduction by his business partner Robert DeNiro, this lavishly illustrated book illuminates Nobu (as he and his flagship restaurant are known) and his forward-thinking take on Japanese and Asian cuisine.  As Alain Ducasse, famed three starred chef succinctly and accurately proclaims on the inner dust cover, “Everytime I have a meal there, I’m seduced by the diversity and the qualtiy of the produce, as well as the novelty and precision of the dishes Nobu puts together. Every detail gives real pleasure!”

    The book starts with his personal journey and continues with with an informative section entitled “Ingredients, techniques, equipment and measurements”. It concludes with a section on his various sauces, a rundown on Japanese beverages and a profile of his various ventures. 

    The numerous highly detailed and enticing full page color photographs of the dishes will give a cook an appreciation for the structure and artistry that Nobu applies to his dishes and will hopefully inspire the cook to new heights of  plating and dish creation creativity. The principles of balance, contrast in both color and texture and the attention to detail can inform any style of cuisine, even the simplest and most humble type.

    And, if you’ve ever wondered how to dress and filet an eel (a hint, you’ll need a hammer and a nail), this book is for you.

    This book is beautiful enough to be a coffee table display book, but you’ll want to make sure that it isn’t a stranger to your kitchen countertop.

    There has been a bit of a backlash against Nobu since he’s expanded his empire to other continents. This is to be expected because, frankly, how do you clone someone’s personal artistic sensibility and culinary skills? Once you turn your kitchen over to another chef, you’re going to, by definition, dilute your vision. 

    But that doesn’t alter the utility of this cookbook. You’ll learn by looking as well as reading.

    Here is one of his famed constructions. Simple, with a sense of balance in both flavor, color and form. You’ll find the recipe in this cookbook.


    Black cod with miso

    There are only 6 ingredients if you count the ingredients of the Nobu-style Saikyo Miso. It’s the very model of simplicity and clarity. Actually, this photo adds a green leaf and another ingredient not included in the cookbook recipe – the two small truffle-esque items that prop up the hajikami (ginger pickled in sweet vinegar). The ginger isn’t rolled in sesame seeds in the cookbook either. But you can still appreciate the simplicity of the dish, even though two more things have been added to the mix. Note that these items are added in keeping to the original sense of balance.

    Happy Memorial Day to one and all

    And a special shoutout to those currently serving away from their families, those who have been damaged by war and those fellow veterans of mine who served in peacetime even though they didn’t have to.

    When you’re having fun today, don’t forget what the day’s for.


    There’s not a better day to pray for peace either.