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A good cookbook from Indonesian culinary master. A slightly change on some ingredients due to the market. However this cookbook represents the traditional Indonesian foods from some different ethnic groups of Indonesia. I also like the way where Mr. Wongso remade the traditional recipe by adding the westernized way by introducing the traditional first.
I recently returned from two wonderful weeks in Indonesia and thought it would be great to put together a dinner party based on my experiences. I took a chance on this book, although it had not been reviewed yet, based upon a glowing review from Anthony Bourdain. Here is what he said "thrilling, enjoyable, and essential reading." I guess it's my own fault for not noticing that "cooking" is not mentioned. This is more of a reference book than a cookbook. It's more about reading than cooking. It goes 117 pages before it gets to the first recipe, and there are only about 35 recipes included.
If I were a TV chef, thinking about opening an Indonesian restaurant, this book might earn a spot on my shelf because of it's extensive discussion of ingredients and its useful, if breezy, discussion of the various Indonesian provinces. But for my purposes, I'd like to see a chapter on each province with the food of that province covered in a whole lot of recipes. I'd like to be able to construct a whole meal from each province.
Had really high expectations from his book but it fell a little flat to me. I've met him in person a few years ago and he is really knowledgeable in Indonesian cooking which is why I started reading more about Indonesian cuisine. I have purchased other Indonesian recipe books and found them to be more informative and complete than this one. Flavors of Indonesia is at best a very nice food photography book, the information in it isn't anymore informative than other Indonesian cooking books that have been written years before. I would like to see more recipes than the handful thats in here and to go more in depth about the people and regions of Indonesia and their food specifics.