Sharing Gifts of Food for Christmas, by the Book : 1988’s Holiday Volumes Address Topics From Cookies to Environmental Toxins
Master Class: Lessons With the World’s Greatest Chefs, by Diane Holuigue (E. P. Dutton: $29.95, 240 pp., illustrated)
This book is a great “read,” as they say, and one can get full benefit from it without preparing any of the recipes. What sets it apart from other overviews of today’s culinary scene is that it was written by an Australian, published first in Australia and covers leading chefs in that country along with international greats.
After reading the Australian passages, one longs to taste the cooking of Stephanie Alexander at Stephanie’s restaurant in Melbourne, which was named Australia’s best in 1987. Or to sample the exotic dishes of Mogens Bay Esbensen, a Dane who cooked in Bangkok and Manila before settling Down Under. Or to take a flying boat from Sydney harbor to the rustic site of the Berowra Waters Inn whose owner, Gay Bilson, was rated a national treasure by one critic.
European celebrity chefs such as Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge, Alain Senderens and Giuliano Bugialli are included, and California is represented by Jeremiah Tower, Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, John Sedlar and Ken Hom. Holuigue, a food editor who runs a cooking school, is up to date enough to situate Madeleine Kamman in her new post as director of the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards and to account for Patrick Terrail’s new restaurant at Ma Maison Sofitel.
The book contains chef biographies, recipes, cooking lessons and beautiful color work by a variety of photographers, most of them Australian.