Celebrity chef cookbooks

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Time Out reviews the best celebrity recipe books to give you culinary inspiration

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Peter Gordon, Jacqui Small, £25

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‘Fusion food’ had its heyday in the 1990s, and few were sad to see it go. It’s easy to retrospectively mock the fad with its mix-up of culinary styles, but when done well, fusion cooking is imaginative, creative and exciting.

Few have championed fusion cooking as ably as Peter Gordon, the New Zealand-born chef who launched the era-defining Sugar Club in 1996, and who is now co-owner and consultant chef at Providores. [editor's note: since this review was written, Gordon has also opened Kopapa in Covent Garden.

For Gordon, fusion cooking was never just a trend, but a creative approach to cooking that he’s still putting into practice. Nor is the cross-pollination of ingredients and cooking techniques particularly new, as Gordon points out.

The book is more than just a collection of recipes – there’s a great deal of autobiographical material from the well-travelled Gordon. Turkey, Japan, Spain and Malaysia/Singapore are covered in most detail. The recipes are as cunningly conceived as ever. Gordon’s a master at pulling together strands from various cuisines and weaving them into something that tastes and looks marvellous, but which never lapses into outlandishness.

Recipes such as coffee, star anise and liquorice-braised pork belly with quince and mushrooms; or roast butternut squash with Turkish-style poached eggs with yoghurt-and-chilli butter demonstrate a keen understanding of how and why certain ingredients work well together. The recipes really work too, although you may have to spend some time tracking down the ingredients.

Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 2062: February 25-March 3 2010

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