(英文版) むきもの入門 - The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving: Elegant Garnishes for All Occasions (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/7/8
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Japanese food is renowned for its elegant presentation. One of its key elements is mukimono the decorative garnish or carving that adds the final flourish to a dish. The cook might select a carrot round in the shape of a plum blossom. Or a scattering of cherry blossoms plucked from a radish. Or perhaps a swallow or a butterfly or a cluster of pine needles. Whichever culinary embellishment is employed, it will have been chosen to delight the eye and the palate with its shape, color, and taste. In The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving, internationally acclaimed chef Hiroshi Nagashima offers more than 60 garnishes and food carvings for home, party, and professional use. Some are designed to be set on top of the food. Others are fashioned to hold the food. And still others . . . simply are the food. Each decoration is introduced in full color, with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, sample food arrangements, and further ideas for your table, as well as secret, insider tips for successful presentation. Most are simple enough to master in seconds, although a handful will challenge your skills. All will lead you down new culinary avenues. These savory garnishes will bring fresh inspiration into your kitchen. They will add color and movement to your cooking re
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The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving is filled with instructions and photos that give you the skills to recreate these wonders at home, as well as simple recipes and a guide to carving tools. Most impressive is the delicate and thin slices that chef Hiroshi Nagashima, of Hongan-ji temple restaurant Shisui in Tsukiji, uses to transform fruit and vegetables into edible art.
We tested a few of these techniques at home and were tickled by the successful results. Complicated as some of the shapes look, it is actually easy to make the curls and knots. The chapter on cucumber carvings in particular was a snap to recreate at home, and satisfying to the palate.
a) the book, at only 112 pages, really doesn't feature a lot of different techniques. There is a pretty good little selection but I would have preferred a much more comprehensive overview;
b) Although the illustrations are all very beautiful and artistically executed, they often aren't taken from the best point of view so as to clearly illustrate the techniques involved.
Nice little book otherwise, though.
Mostly the book tackles precise but easy enough to accomplish looking dikon redish and carrot designs along with smaller zucchini/eggplant(aubergine)creations. It doesn't show any of the garnishing techniques to make say a large watermelon into a flowery center piece utalizing the green and pink of the fruit like the Thailand books...but does have a few basic melon/fruit as bowl designs. It does show one blooming chrysanthemum in the medium of carrot via repeated v cuts that echoes the idea of melon carving but it's somehow a different style in the end.
Essentially all any of any of this is simply repeated, precise, v, u, or circular cuts and thin slices and clever arrangement that somehow makes everything seem special, elegant, or breathtaking...and I think this book is a great book for copying directly or using as inspiration as how to think about making the food on the plate a little higher.
I especially liked that most of the cuts are shown done using a pretty big sharp flat kitchen knife and basic step one or two kitchen tools like a melon baler, peeler, and corer nothing so fancy or expensive...the most unusual tool is a v cutter which may be accomplished with a pointed knife... unless one invests in a really nice blade and sharpener or really high grade equipment, one can get started trying most of these garnishes with the tools you already have in your kitchen.
The back explains a few more tools and tools for saving time but most of the instruction is done using a pretty standard knife.