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awbrig

"Thai Cooking" by David Thompson

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awbrig   

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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ngatti   

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

Nick

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Fat Guy   

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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Kikujiro   

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.

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Vanessa   

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

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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.

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tommy   

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

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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.

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tommy   

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.

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

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Jinmyo   

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 (log)

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=Mark   

This topic is inducing Larb Jones. Must go get Larb for lunch... firesmile.gif

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tommy   
This topic is inducing Larb Jones.  Must go get Larb for lunch...  firesmile.gif

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

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mamster   

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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tommy   

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.

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Jinmyo   

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.

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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.

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Jinmyo   

That's right.

And I think that the blender rubs the oils the wrong way but I can't prove it.

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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?

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Miss J   

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.

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