Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen. Kate Klippensteen.

Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen

Kodansha 講談社. 7.75 x 10", 111 pp., fully illustrated in color, boards, d.j., Tokyo, 2006. Item #32734
ISBN: 4770030169

What do chefs use to grate wasabi, the eye-watering Japanese "horse radish"? To pick up the delicate cubes of tofu from boiling water? To cut those elegant slices of sashimi? Or scoop freshly steamed rice from the cooker?

Japanese cuisine is flourishing among the food-conscious all over the worldas are the recipe-laden cookbooks. Now, this book goes inside the kitchen, but this time into the cupboards and drawers, onto stovetops and wall hangers where all sorts of utensils, pots and pans are stored. Here are the items that are manipulated in the hands of the famous in their awe-inspiring kitchensand the not-so-famous in their homes.

As with so many Japanese creations, the utensils that stock a Japanese kitchen are both functional and artistic. And the pieces that are the focus of this book are treated as both works of art and items of practical interest. The photography, by one of Japan's leading lensmen, Yasuo Konishi, celebrates the care in materials and design. The text, by a longtime columnist on Tokyo dining and entertaining, celebrates the history, the usage, the people behind these tools in brief, informative and entertaining entries.

This is a book for the professional chef and the curious amateur, a perfect addition to the well-stocked cookbook library.

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