One of the exciting projects we are working on at Applewasabi is a 15 Recipes for Kikusumi cookbook that will offer a sample of the cookbook series to come. The book will offer a few recipes in several categories that give a glimpse of our approach to teaching cooking. Cooking for 25 years in kitchens across the globe including some of the very best has given us great insight into how best to learn to cook well. The basic principal that we will apply throughout the series is that it is better to learn one skill and practice it over and over than to attempt a variety of new skills all at once and not so often. It is for this reason that the series of books will focus on one specific cooking method and teach variations of it throughout the book. In this way the cook will master the method and can then apply that skill to the ingredients available to them. A secondary benefit of this method is that it encourages the cook to adapt the skill to their environment and season. Contrast this to most books that offer a snapshot of a time and place that probably doesn’t apply to most buyers of the book. Rather than offer hard to find ingredients that make recipes difficult to replicate our series will encourage the cook to learn a technique well and apply it to ingredients of their choosing. It is a highly workable method that encourages engagement and ultimately will allow the cook to express their creativity through cooking. Sounds fun!
In the 15 Recipes for Kikusumi cookbook we will introduce recipes for Rice, Soup, Stew, Burgers, Salads and Dessert. The actual series will eventually cover an even broader number of categories that will be released over the coming years. We think offering these books by single cooking method will help the cook focus on improving their cooking skill in a manageable way just as a professional cook would do. So let’s dive into the layout of the coming series.
As stated above each book will be centered around a single cooking method. Let’s take soup as an example. The book will begin with an introduction of the importance of how and where you should source ingredients, good storage practices and important equipment that will be used in the book. Next, the method of cooking great soups will be laid out in logical and detailed steps with a series of photos and videos. This will be the blueprint for the book and will be referred to in all of the recipes. In the case of soup there will be 3 basic methods to learn: clear soups like consommé , chunky soups like minestrone and smooth or pureé soups. Naturally the cook can choose a method to learn and then follow the links to the recipe they want to do. The reverse will also hold true and in this way take advantage of the e-book technology to make the book more flexible to the reader’s choices. That will form the front section of the book and be the reference point of all recipes.
The bulk of the book will be a series of recipes divided by season to encourage the cook to choose ingredients that are at their peak. This is a most important step in cooking because it is always the ingredient quality that makes the dish. Of course ingredients are best when in season. Next, the recipes themselves will follow a minimalist layout designed to both focus and inspire. One photo for ingredients and one for the the final dish. Some might be startled that the technical photos lie in a different part of the book but is for good reason we choose to use this method. Cooking is a craft that has two aspect to it – one technical and the other creative (some may say artistic). The point is they occupy different parts of the cooking process and our experience shows that separation is beneficial at least until the technical part has been mastered.