• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Amirault

David Thompson's Thai Street Food is Out!

38 posts in this topic

My heart is racing.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, David Thompson's Thai Food is one of the most important cookbooks I own. Just yesterday I spent an hour or so drawn back into it, pouring over the recipes and descriptions while preparing a beef penang recipe. So I got very excited to read that his Thai Street Food came out yesterday.

You can learn more about it in this Gourmet Traveller interview. You can't, however, buy it on Amazon or anywhere else north of Australia, as far as I can detect.

I'm dying to know what's in it, how to get it, and what people think. Anyone Down Under got a copy?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris: the page you linked to says it comes out next Monday. I'm not sure if there's conflicting info somewhere else...

That said, this better come out in the U.S., like, now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an interview with Thompson in the Weekend Australian magazine (a liftout in a national broadsheet newspaper) on the weekend in which he slagged off el Bulli in particular and molecular gastronomy in general. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be online.

You can buy the book here but it's not cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was at the Sydney International Food Festival Chef's Showcase on 10-11 November, they had managed to secure a number of copies, which sold out pretty quickly. As David was there to sign them, some people received an added bonus.

The booksellers said it was due to be released publicly in a few weeks. The publishers website says 26th October.

From memory (I didn't buy a copy), it is a larger format hardcover with a recommended retail price of A$100. As we are rapidly moving towards parity with the US dollar, you could read that as US$100, plus postage.

It is published by Penguin Australia (see this link).


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$100? EEEK!

Are most cookbooks in Australia quite expensive? That's more than the price of all but the super fanciest coffee-table picture books with recipes here in the US....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the price comes down, but this book is definitely on my list. Thanks for linking the interview, which was very funny. I appreciate Mr. Thompson's rare combination of obsessiveness and humor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$100? EEEK!

Are most cookbooks in Australia quite expensive? That's more than the price of all but the super fanciest coffee-table picture books with recipes here in the US....

Cookbooks are quite expensive here but when I said "large format" I meant something to the effect of "fancy coffee-table picture book." You wouldn't have this one in your kitchen slopping fish sauce over it.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the price comes down, but this book is definitely on my list. Thanks for linking the interview, which was very funny. I appreciate Mr. Thompson's rare combination of obsessiveness and humor.

Obsessiveness and humor: I think he'd fit in well around here...

Cookbooks are quite expensive here but when I said "large format" I meant something to the effect of "fancy coffee-table picture book." You wouldn't have this one in your kitchen slopping fish sauce over it.

Oh yes I would.

From the "look inside," it seems the index starts at page 368. So it's about 375-80 pages?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently it's A3 size, which is pretty big (11 x 17 inches). It's 374 pages.

The cheapest price does appear to be Fishpond, as I linked earlier in the thread.

You can use this search engine to establish the cheapest price. I don't know what will be the cheapest when you take into account shipping to the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I talked with David in Bangkok the other week, he was looking for the Australian release around, well, now. The anti-antipodean release isn't scheduled until early next year, however, which means that I won't be able to pick up a copy on this trip out.

From what he's said, it'll be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently it's A3 size, which is pretty big (11 x 17 inches). It's 374 pages.

I looked at a copy I found at Borders Carlton (Melbourne, Australia), and it certainly is a physically large book.

On first impressions, I thought, "Wow! This is amazing." It is a stunning looking production. But browsing through it, I found it to be disappointing, especially at the price. There seemed to be a lot of filler in terms of photographs of Thai street markets, and as for the recipes, many of them looked similar to those that can be found in his (brilliant and essential imho) book, "Thai Food". There was even a chapter on "Chinatown", and the recipes in there are ones that you'll find in many other books.

Keep in mind, this is just a first impression from me. I would recommend anyone thinking of buying the book (especially online) should check it out first before committing to a purchase.

If the book was in a smaller format and at a cheaper price, then I think it would be better value.


Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the book was in a smaller format and at a cheaper price, then I think it would be better value.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a paperback or otherwise slimmed-down edition in a year or so, just like the Fat Duck cookbook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently it's A3 size, which is pretty big (11 x 17 inches). It's 374 pages.

I looked at a copy I found at Borders Carlton (Melbourne, Australia), and it certainly is a physically large book.

On first impressions, I thought, "Wow! This is amazing." It is a stunning looking production. But browsing through it, I found it to be disappointing, especially at the price. There seemed to be a lot of filler in terms of photographs of Thai street markets, and as for the recipes, many of them looked similar to those that can be found in his (brilliant and essential imho) book, "Thai Food". There was even a chapter on "Chinatown", and the recipes in there are ones that you'll find in many other books.

Keep in mind, this is just a first impression from me. I would recommend anyone thinking of buying the book (especially online) should check it out first before committing to a purchase.

If the book was in a smaller format and at a cheaper price, then I think it would be better value.

My first impression was much the same, that's why I didn't buy it when I saw it a few weeks ago.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

does Amazon Australia not ship world wide? I've ordered from Amazon in Germany several times, don't even have to create a new account, has all my info available.

Does Australia have price protection on books? In Germany you are not allowed to sell a book below cover price (except books not published in Germany) which makes Amazon more a matter of convenience (not having to go to the store).

I love Thai food, I'm gonna have to check out that book!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second some comments here. It's more a travelogue/food p0rn rather than a genuine recipe book. Some dishes (such as kanom sai sai, guay jap) are unique to this book and definitely the first time I see written down and published in English anywhere in the world, but the number of recipes are disappointing low. Most are photos of various street food and the marketplace and the people.

I feel cheated after begging the staff at Borders Christchurch to allow me to have a peep at the book, 1 day before its official release date. It is definitely not worth the NZ$125.00 price tag. A disappointment I'm afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spotted another copy on Saturday. Just to be sure, I had another look at it and my opinion is still the same. I agree with johung; it is food porn with lovely pictures rather than a recipe book that would interest most here.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Nickrey, I've also had a second look at the book.

I doubt that I'd buy it even if it was in a paperback version.


Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at all the negative reactions. David Thompson seems like the last person to put style over substance. I'm really curious about this now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at all the negative reactions. David Thompson seems like the last person to put style over substance. I'm really curious about this now...

I don't know if I'd say that. I've heard enough about his restaurant in London to make me think style is just as if not more important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at all the negative reactions. David Thompson seems like the last person to put style over substance. I'm really curious about this now...

I don't know if I'd say that. I've heard enough about his restaurant in London to make me think style is just as if not more important.

I believe Thompson now merely 'consults' to Nahm, so it's not quite 'his' restaurant in the same sense that it used to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at all the negative reactions. David Thompson seems like the last person to put style over substance. I'm really curious about this now...

I don't know if I'd say that. I've heard enough about his restaurant in London to make me think style is just as if not more important.

I believe Thompson now merely 'consults' to Nahm, so it's not quite 'his' restaurant in the same sense that it used to be.

Nahm opened in 2001. I don't know when he became a "consultant", but this review was written in 2003. I doubt it was that soon after opening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be more precise, and prevent my innocuous posts from being unnecessarily dissected, I will try this again. What I meant was: based on my relevant experience with Thompson's Thai Food, I am surprised that his book would fail to be substantively valuable. Thai Food is the most used book in my kitchen, and the effort and research obviously put into it leads me to believe that Thompson would not trend toward style over substance. I, having never been to Nahm, know next to nothing about his involvement or how that relates to his general attitudes toward style or substance. My post merely reflects my personal feeling of surprise at this reaction to his new book. I apologize for apparently conveying the belief that I was well-enough versed in all aspects of Thompson personal and professional endeavors to have an opinion on this matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree completely with Mike:

Based on my relevant experience with Thompson's Thai Food, I am surprised that his book would fail to be substantively valuable. Thai Food is the most used book in my kitchen, and the effort and research obviously put into it leads me to believe that Thompson would not trend toward style over substance.

There are plenty of chefs who run high-quality restaurants and turn out coffee-table clunkers, and perhaps Thompson is someone who has a snazzy, unserious restaurant but managed to write one of the handful of essential cookbooks published in the last decade. Doesn't matter a bit to me: Thai Food set such a high bar because of Thompson's commitment to treating Thai food with the seriousness it deserves, and it'd be disappointing if this book doesn't approach that very high bar.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Started in on Rob's book tonight.  Nice pictures, interesting philosophy.  The bit about grapevines reminded me ever so much about my balcony.  My grapevine has been growing ten or twenty years, planted by the birds.  Never a grape, ever.  Only recently did I learn that unlike European grapes, the native grapevines are sexual.  This one is undoubtedly a boy.  He provides lovely leaves and shade, and something for the tomatoes to hang onto.
       
    • By Bon Appetit Cookbooks
      This topic was hijacked from the Vancouver Board.
      What cookbooks do you love to cook out of at home?
      Is there a specific recipe that is your favorite?
      Or is there a book you just can't live without?
      If you have pictures, even better! Lets see how it turns out!
      Some of my favorites to cook out of:
      The Balthazar Cookbook - The Beef Tartar is amazing! As is the Chicken Liver Mousse
      The Babbo Cookbook - The Strawberries & Peaches with Balsamic Zabaglione
      Barefoot in Paris - The Blue Cheese Souffle looks JUST LIKE THE PICTURE!
      The Bouchon Cookbook - The Roast Chicken will seriously change your life
      Gordon Ramsey Makes it Easy - The Chocolate Pots are the easiest dessert in the world and tastes so good....especially with the Amedei #7
      There are lots more. Hopefully I can take pictures and show you.
      Hopefully this post can be an ongoing thing.
      I think we are all interested in what eachother cooks!
      Happy Cooking

      J
    • By Dave the Cook
      Those of us that have been following Rob Connoley's (aka gfron1) trek from home cook to down-and-literally-dirty locavore James Beard-semi-finalist chef are justifiably proud of his well-deserved transformation to a published author, which he has faithfully detailed in an earlier topic. If you're not familiar with his story, I urge you to catch up, then come back here, because we're ready to move on to the next step.
       
      Rob's book, Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field, is finally, officially available. This alone is awesome news, and you should totally order your copy today. Or . . . 
       
      . . . we want to continue the conversation about Rob, his book and his future plans in this topic. And just to up the awesomeness, Rob is offering a free book to a randomly selected participant here.
       
      Simply post a question or comment in this topic between now and 11:59 p.m. CST (US), 13 September 2016 and you'll be eligible to "win," based on a random drawing to be conducted, with each participant getting one chance, not including Society volunteers (and Rob himself. Multiple posts will not improve your chances, so don't get overheated.)  The winner will be announced on 14 September.
       
      Rob will be along shortly to add his encouragement and whatever late-breaking news he has -- he's busy guy these days, so be patient -- but there's no need to wait to post questions or comments.
       
       
      P.S. And if you don't win, you should still get this book.
    • By liuzhou
      A few weeks ago I bought a copy of this cookbook which is a best-selling spin off from the highly successful television series by China Central Television - A Bite of China as discussed on this thread.   .
       

       
      The book was published in August 2013 and is by Chen Zhitian (陈志田 - chén zhì tián). It is only available in Chinese (so far). 
       
      There are a number of books related to the television series but this is the only one which seems to be legitimate. It certainly has the high production standards of the television show. Beautifully photographed and with (relatively) clear details in the recipes.
       
      Here is a sample page.
       

       
      Unlike in most western cookbooks, recipes are not listed by main ingredient. They are set out in six vaguely defined chapters. So, if you are looking for a duck dish, for example, you'll have to go through the whole contents list. I've never seen an index in any Chinese book on any subject. 
       
      In order to demonstrate the breadth of recipes in the book and perhaps to be of interest to forum members who want to know what is in a popular Chinese recipe book, I have sort of translated the contents list - 187 recipes.
       
      This is always problematic. Very often Chinese dishes are very cryptically named. This list contains some literal translations. For some dishes I have totally ignored the given name and given a brief description instead. Any Chinese in the list refers to place names. Some dishes I have left with literal translations of their cryptic names, just for amusement value.
       
      I am not happy with some of the "translations" and will work on improving them. I am also certain there are errors in there, too.
       
      Back in 2008, the Chinese government issued a list of official dish translations for the Beijing Olympics. It is full of weird translations and total errors, too. Interestingly, few of the dishes in the book are on that list.
       
      Anyway, for what it is worth, the book's content list is here (Word document) or here (PDF file). If anyone is interested in more information on a dish, please ask. For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the dishes here exactly, but can certainly describe them.
       
      Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme. I'm not one to slavishly follow instructions, but saying "enough meat" in a recipe is not very helpful. This book gives details (by weight) for the main ingredients, but goes vague on most  condiments.
       
      For example, the first dish (Dezhou Braised Chicken), calls for precisely 1500g of chicken, 50g dried mushroom, 20g sliced ginger and 10g of scallion. It then lists cassia bark, caoguo, unspecified herbs, Chinese cardamom, fennel seed, star anise, salt, sodium bicarbonate and cooking wine without suggesting any quantities. It then goes back to ask for 35g of maltose syrup, a soupçon of cloves, and "the correct quantity" of soy sauce.
       
      Cooking instructions can be equally vague. "Cook until cooked".
       
      A Bite of China - 舌尖上的中国- ISBN 978-7-5113-3940-9 
    • By Lisa Shock
      The team over at Modernist Cuisine announced today that their next project will be an in-depth exploration of bread. I personally am very excited about this, I had been hoping their next project would be in the baking and pastry realm. Additionally, Francisco Migoya will be head chef and Peter Reinhart will assignments editor for this project which is expected to be a multi-volume affair.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.