Item description for Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant by Yoshihiro Murata, Masashi Kuma, Ferran Adria & Nobu Matsuhisa...
In the same way that Kaiseki itself is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, chef Murata's Kaiseki is at once a cookbook and a work of art. This sumptuously illustrated volume features-in seasonal format-the style of cooking that began as tea ceremony accompaniment and developed into the highest form of Japanese cuisine. Kaiseki celebrates the natural ingredients of each season with a spectacular presentation. After a front section explaining the history and components of kaiseki cuisine, Yoshihiro Murata, the third generation owner/chef of Kyoto's famed Kikunoi restaurant, introduces the establishment's menu. With candidness and insight, he shares his thoughts on ingredients, preparation methods and the philosophy behind his dishes. He explains how the cuisine has changed over the years-and continues to do so. He even explains how some dishes evolved as he searched for the proper combination of ingredients. Approximately twenty dishes from each season, chosen by chef Murata, have been lovingly and carefully photographed to convey the experience of being a guest at the Kikunoi restaurant. The book also features a glossary of kaiseki terms and exact recipes from the Kikunoi kitchen.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 9" Height: 11.5" Weight: 2.85 lbs.
Release Date Sep 8, 2006
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770030223 ISBN13 9784770030221
Availability 0 units.
More About Yoshihiro Murata, Masashi Kuma, Ferran Adria & Nobu Matsuhisa
Reviews - What do customers think about Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant?
Culinary disappointment Jun 7, 2008
Kaiseki is reputedly an exquisite Japanese cuisine that I had hoped to explore in this volume. The book is lavishly produced and a feast for the eyes. The next time I am in Kyoto or Tokyo, I will book a table.
Unfortunately, the ingredients needed for most of these dishes are either unknown or unavailable to the Seattle area where fresh seafood abounds. If you have ready access to sea bream milt, salted cherry blossoms, fresh sea cucumber roe, and tosa-zu vinegar jelly, ingredients from the first four recipes for illustration, then you should have this book in your kitchen. No substitute ingredients or resources are provided. Although lavishly produced, it is destined for a dusty corner of my pantry, being fairly useless as a practical resource.
For looking, not cooking Mar 1, 2008
There is no way anyone outside of Japan will be able to make any of the recipes in this book. Don't even try. Just enjoy the beautiful photos and the charming descriptions of a very exotic cuisine that is inaccessible even to the Japanese!
I rated it high because most people will never get the chance to have a Kaiseki meal so this is the next best thing. Just gorgeous.
Stunning. Jan 10, 2008
This is the most beautiful cookbook I own. Stunning photography and lovely design captures the spirit of this immaculate cuisine perfectly. Many of the ingredients used in the recipes will be hard to find if you're not living in Japan, but this is unlikely to be a book you'll cook from on a daily basis anyway. It acts more as a source of inspiration and has changed and informed the way I think about technique and presentation, not just of Japanese food, but everything I cook. A must-buy.
A new look at an old tradition Nov 30, 2007
This is a beautiful book. It looks at the Kaiseki meal (which comes from the food served during the Chaji, or tea ceremony, and how it has evolved into a seasonal culinary art form. Mr. Murata shows his skill at creating food that evokes the culinary traditions and the seaonal landscape of Japan while transforming this artform into his own unique expression of Kaiseki. It's a beautifully put togheter book. the recipes are surprisingly easy to follow and offer great results. As a History buff, I would like more back ground on Kaiseki and it's relationship to the tea ceremony as well as the seasonal, traditional foods. Still, this is a great book and a welcome additon to your cookbook collection.
Gorgeous. Sensual. But probably not for dinner tonight. May 13, 2007
I have two sorts of cookbooks in my collection. There are the books that I cook from, in which many pages have food stains, folded-down corners, and bindings that fall open to favorite recipes. I also have cookbooks that I consider "picture books." Sure, they have recipes, but I look at them primarily for inspiration or entertainment or fantasy ("Yeah, like I'm gonna cook something with two pounds of fois gras!" or "That's over the top, but isn't it beautiful?"). I rarely cook anything from the picture books, but that's okay; I enjoy them nonetheless.
Kaiseki is very much in the latter category. If this book isn't nominated for an award on visual merit alone, I shall be appalled. Photographically, it's simply stunning. If you appreciate how beautifully food can be presented... well, it earns its five stars right there. It's also a stunning example of how good Japanese food can be; many of the photos make me yearn to consume them.
The cookbook is organized in an unusual manner. The recipes are all in the back of the book, in small type (too small, I think). Most of the book is given over to the delicious photos, menus, and text. The text is largely what you'd expect as a long headnote in a regular cookbook. For example, you get two long paragraphs about the seasonality of fresh bamboo shoots, accompanying a blow-you-away picture of bamboo shoot sushi (it looks like a bird of paradise flower arrangement). These sections are divided into Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, reflecting the restaurant's focus on eating whatever is ripe right now.
I can't imagine that I'm going to cook anything here, though. The author doesn't try to Americanize anything, or to suggest "if you can't find sea bream, substitute [something else]." It's definitely a Japanese book. Maybe, if you have more Asian markets than I do and you know the cuisine better, you're better able to contemplate the recipes. If so, you'll probably be interested in steamed tilefish with fresh green tea leaves; or abalone in a salt dome; or fresh black soybean skewered on pine needles.
But don't worry if your ability to make these recipes is as distant as my own. Kaiseki may spend more time on your coffee table than in your kitchen, and that's okay. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous book, and well worth it for anyone who simply loves to admire food treated well. It would make a superb present for any foodie, too.