Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
Finally, I have found a refreshing cook book to review. There are some cookery books that miss the mark, merely because the book is too flowery or concentrates on image as opposed to substance. Well, in Teage Ezard's cookery book, Ezard, the essence of what makes a good cook book can be found. That is, well though out recipes presented in a manner that is clear along with some beautiful photographs that add to the whole experience. To wit, you are looking at an excellent cookery book.
As you read through the recipes, the quintessential nature of modern Australian cookery, with the use of traditional European and modern Asian infusion, you understand that Teage has mastered the bold blending of cookery style that has make his food stand out in a very competitive Melbourne food scene, and which has won him Three Chef Hats and Best New Restaurant from The Age Newspaper in Melbourne.
The book is divided into four recipe areas, being basics, starters, mains and desserts. Additionally, there is an introduction, were Teage takes us through his 'foodie' history. Then there is my food philosophy, which allows us to understand the approach he has developed when it comes to recipes and food. Next there is cooking equipment, a list of equipment that will help you in your everyday cooking. Then there is the special ingredients, the list of less common ingredients that are used in the recipes, along with a description. The chapter on basics is just that. You find recipes for stocks, batter, syrups, rice, egg wash, and savoury mousses. While not exciting, they are the stock and trade of any good chef, so learn them off by heart if you want to be an accomplished cook.
The Starters cover both classic and modern, like Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Spicy Prawn Wontons in coconut and coriander soup, Chilli Salt Squid with Asian Herb Salad and Palm Sugar-lime Juice Dressing, Hot and Sour Thai Beef Salad and Chargrilled Asparagus with Gippsland Blue Cheese Bavarois, Nut Oil Dressing and Garlic Nougatine. These recipes, alone, would make the book a worth while investment, but there are over twenty additional starter recipes that are equally as exciting.
The mains are just as diverse, with the Asian influence showing through in dishes, as in: Baby Snapper with Roasted Rice Crust with Cucumber, Coriander, Shaved Coconut Salad and Red Nam Jim, Roasted Barramundi with Yellow Curry Dressing and Baby Shoot Salad, Red Roast Baby Chicken with Prickly ash, Green Nam Jim, Sweet Soy and Chilli Sambal, Corned Beef with Mustard Mash, Brown Mushrooms, Beans, and Crispy Parsnips and Sumac-spiced Lamb Cutlets with Sweet Pomegranate, Egg Plant Two Ways and a Soft Herb, Persian Fetta and Lemon Salad. I would like to point out that writing this review is unfair, as the idea of those mains are making me very hungry, in deed.
So all that is left are the dessert recipes. While there are only ten recipes, you won't be disappointed. They are a real treat, with recipes like: Mascarpone Parfait with Fresh Figs and Sticky Vanilla Syrup, Green Coconut Pancakes with Dark Palm Sugar Syrup and Coconut, Chilli and Lime Sorbet and Honeycrunch Ice-Cream with Toasted Gingerbread, Cinnamon Oil and Sugar Swirls. They are real works of art, so the less experienced cook may be put off trying them, but Teage Ezard's descriptions will guide you through the tricky steps to a successful outcome.
So, after all those dishes, I hope you understand why we hold this book in high esteem. Teage Ezard is known for excellent food and a first class restaurant, and with his book, Ezard, you can create his dishes at home.