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"Thai Cooking" by David Thompson

Cookbook

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50 replies to this topic

#1 awbrig

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:34 PM

What can you tell me about this author or his books/restaurants? I am going to meet him on Wednesday for a book signing, and to be honest, have never heard of him. Thanks! :smile:
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#2 ngatti

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:39 PM

I believe it has been favorably reviewed in the latest issue of Ed Behr's, "The Art of Eating".

Nick

#3 Fat Guy

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:40 PM

He's an Aussie, I know that. Maybe you should hunt down some of the people who hang out on the Down Under forums and get them to check this thread.

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#4 Kikujiro

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 04:04 AM

Awbrig, try searching on Nahm (his London restaurant). He was brought over from Sydney to open in the space left at the upscale boutique Halking hotel when Stefano Cavallini's restaurant there closed. My understanding is that he has collected family-heirloom handwritten recipes all over Thailand (the traditional way they are disseminated over there) and is the only non-Thai to have cooked for their royal family.

#5 Vanessa

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 04:25 AM

As mentioned, there have been plenty of references to David Thompson and his book on the UK boards but this one may be the most relevant, if you can wade through the transatlantic humour.

v

#6 A Scottish Chef

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 04:42 AM

Here's hoping the book is as good as it's made out to be.

eGullet and reading Amazon reccomendations are killing both my wallet and what was left of my free time.

#7 cherrypi

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 09:52 AM

See Nigel Slater's article on Thai Food in the Guardian:

Nigel Slater's cookbook of the month

#8 tommy

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 10:23 AM

oh, it's only like, the only thai cookbook/reference you'll ever need. a-duh.

#9 awbrig

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 06:22 PM

Posted Image

David Thompson, Emory and Charlie Trotter

#10 Sandra Levine

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 07:43 AM

Inspired by the delicious Thai beef salad I produced with leftover steak, (from the new Joy of Cooking, believe it or not) I am considering buying this beautiful book. Has anyone used it? Opinions, please.

#11 tommy

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 07:52 AM

the book has the most brilliant and purest recipe for larb that i've ever seen. i bring this book to bed with me and tuck it under my pillow. it comforts me and makes me feel safe, and loved.

other discussions of this book are throughout egullet. you can probably search on the author's name to come up with more praise, and, a picture of awbrig's boy. :blink:

glad your thai beef salad came out good.

#12 Sandra Levine

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:13 AM

I'm not sure I want to commit to all that pounding.

#13 Adam Balic

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:25 AM

Pounding fun. And you can use a blender, although he says not to, but then says it is proberly OK to use blender.

#14 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:34 AM

Adam, I like pounding too!

Or I use a stick blender (as suggested by Basildog) for better control than you get with a blender or processor.

Edited by Jinmyo, 04 March 2003 - 08:34 AM.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#15 tommy

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:36 AM

huh? :blink:

#16 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:41 AM

Mortar. Pestle. Pounding.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#17 =Mark

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:57 AM

This topic is inducing Larb Jones. Must go get Larb for lunch... Posted Image
=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.
Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.
Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

#18 tommy

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:15 AM

This topic is inducing Larb Jones.  Must go get Larb for lunch...  Posted Image

it's already been decided. i'm going for larb in about 30 minutes.

#19 mamster

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:30 AM

John Thorne reviews in the book in the current issue of Saveur. He says about what I said: it's a great read, totally uncompromising on ingredients and techniques, and therefore really hard to cook from. What he doesn't mention is that physically, it's a piece of junk: bad design, bad construction, bad photos. I still think everyone who's serious about Thai food has to own this book, but I can't get as excited about it as other people.
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#20 tommy

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:33 AM

mamster's right about the quality of the book. my binding was broke the day it arrived.

i haven't cooked much from it ('cept for the perfect larb), but i've reviewed many of the recipes and they didn't jump out as something that would pose any sort problem.

#21 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:36 AM

There's a review in Art of Eating #63.

No doubt, there are more approachable Thai cookbooks, but none has the breadth of this one. bla bla bla. This book is an inspiring challenge to cooks, and it will be a touchstone for coming generations interested in genuine Thai food.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#22 Adam Balic

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:38 AM

Adam, I like pounding too!

Or I use a stick blender (as suggested by Basildog) for better control than you get with a blender or processor.

Nah, stick introduces to much air. Just blend the sloppy stuff (shallots) or annoying stuff (kaffir lime leave) and add to the pestal ground stuff. Blending lemon grass or gingeroid stuff is a no-no (fibre issues), unless you cut it up real small, in which cse you might as well pound. I want a bigger mortar.

#23 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:42 AM

That's right.

And I think that the blender rubs the oils the wrong way but I can't prove it.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#24 Adam Balic

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:45 AM

John Thorne reviews in the book in the current issue of Saveur.  He says about what I said:  it's a great read, totally uncompromising on ingredients and techniques, and therefore really hard to cook from.  What he doesn't mention is that physically, it's a piece of junk:  bad design, bad construction, bad photos.  I still think everyone who's serious about Thai food has to own this book, but I can't get as excited about it as other people.

I have been given three copies, two Australian printings, one UK and all have been fine in phyisical quality. Could be a USA specific problem? Certainly, USA paper backs fall apart very easily.

As to cooking from the book, I haven't seen any real issues with it. I live in Edinburgh, which produce wise is terrible, but I can get all the ingredients, except yabbies and murray cod, which are Australian specific, and long coriander, which is I know not what. I know that you had problems getting fresh green peppercorns, but I assume that other ingredients should be OK?

#25 Miss J

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:54 AM

Hey, I'm a little surprised by the assessment of the US copy, too. My book is gorgeous, with a heavily stitched binding and lush pics. Sometimes I just like to take it down from the shelf and pet it.

As for ingredients, after my brief phase of not knowing where to find things I've now located just about everthing I've needed. I do agree with mamster on the technique front, though - Thompson is absolutely uncompromising. Sometimes I follow his instructions to the letter, and sometimes I cheat a little. But overall, I have learned to love to pound.

#26 Charlene Leonard

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:58 AM

As for ingredients, after my brief phase of not knowing where to find things I've now located just about everthing I've needed.

ohh, please tell all Miss J. You could save me hours scouring the streets of London.

#27 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:02 AM

Pounding is good.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#28 Adam Balic

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:05 AM

I'm not sure about this 'un-compromising' thing. Yes, he gives detailed instructions on how to make a curry paste via mortar and pestal, and says that this is the best way. However, he does say to use a blender as well, as he relises that it is very time consuming to pound (pounding good BTW). He then goes on to describe why a blender is better then a food processor for the job. What problem with this? Sad if a book gets canned because it is too authentic.

#29 Miss J

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:11 AM

Charlene, for a big, stock-up-on-everything shop I go toTawana Supermarket on Chepstow Road, W2. If I just need fresh ingredients (some of which I expect will be hard to find, like green papaya, fresh green peppercorns or fresh tumeric) I go to New Loon Moon Supermarket on Gerrard STreet. And when I'm in the middle of putting something together and suddenly realise I don't have kaffir lime leaves, I drop everything and run to Wing Yip. :smile:

Adam: I'm not talking about the pounding quite so much as the heavy sigh you can almost hear Thompson make when he concedes that most cooks simply don't have time to make their coconut cream from fresh coconuts.

Edited by Miss J, 04 March 2003 - 10:14 AM.


#30 Jinmyo

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:16 AM

you can almost hear Thompson make when he concedes that most cooks simply don't have time to make their coconut cream from fresh coconuts.

Oh, well. I never do that.

I've done it a few times just to see.

I open a tin.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM





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