Burst of Flavor: The Fine Art of Cooking With Spices

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University of Hawaii Press, 2001 - Cooking - 264 pages

A native of Sri Lanka and one of Hawai'i's most celebrated chefs, Kusuma Cooray is a pioneer in the blending of Asian spices and herbs with Western ingredients to create flavorful and aromatic dishes that please both the eye and the palate. In Burst of Flavor: The Fine Art of Cooking with Spices, Chef Cooray combines the foods of her South Asian childhood (spicy curries, fresh vegetables and fruits, curd, treacle) with her later discoveries as a culinary student in Europe (ripe cheeses, wine, crusty breads, creme fraiche) in new and imaginative ways. Throughout her diverse culinary education and experiences, Chef Cooray's love of spices and herbs never diminished. This compilation of more than 200 recipes showcases her bold use of fresh herbs and spices, from the familiar (nutmeg, fennel, saffron, basil) to the exotic (burnet, ajowan, mace, neem).

Several dishes--a caviar and blini appetizer created for Rudolf Nureyev, a soup celebrating a visit by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis--are accompanied by lively anecdotes. Chef Cooray also provides some food history and serving suggestions-all written in her graceful and engaging style. Noted wine expert Richard Field contributes guidelines for wine selection and makes recommendations for ten specially selected recipes. A helpful glossary explains the characteristics and origin of the spices and herbs used in the recipes.

Here is ample evidence of Chef Cooray's talent for creating exciting combinations of ingredients and flavors and for bringing out the best in each.


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About the author (2001)

Kusuma Cooray is associate professor and chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, University of Hawaii.

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