Umami: The Fifth Taste
by Nobu Matsuhisa (Author), Heston Blumenthal (Author), Michael Anthony (Author)
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Japan Publications Trading Company; 1st edition (2 Sept. 2014)
Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 1.5 x 21.8 cm
Highly qualified food and nutrition scientists combine with some of the world s greatest chefs to produce this superbly illustrated revelation of the mysterious fifth taste that has gained global recognition in recent years and has become such a key component in cooking. In the words of chef Yoshihiro Murata: Umami is a Japanese word, and the taste was originally identified by a Japanese scientist, but it has been used in cuisines around the world for centuries by people with no knowledge of the word or of dashi, the umami-rich stock used in Japanese cuisine. Examples include Russia s beet stock, made with beets and beef, Britain s Marmite and vegetable soup, and China s shang tang made with Jinhua ham. Chicken breasts, dried tomatoes, and morel mushrooms can also be used to make stock. Now that chefs have learned about umami, they are actively using it in their cuisine, and health-conscious diners have also picked up on this taste, promoting its spread to tables around the world. The ingredients of good food know no borders. But good cooking also requires communication. We Japanese chefs have been picking up hints from the cuisines of other countries, such as China and France. And non-Japanese chefs have been adopting practices from Japan, including the use of dashi and of umami. The world surely has many more umami-rich foodstuffs waiting to be discovered. As a chef, I am eager to try out diverse ingredients. And I am also eager to share Japan s splendid techniques, such as the use of umami and dashi to bring out the best from ingredients of all sorts techniques that can present wonderful new possibilities for cuisines of every genre.
About the Author
Michael Anthony is the executive chef-partner of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, and received the James Beard Award for Best Chef: NYC. He has cooked in Japan, in some of the finest French restaurants (Jacques Cagna, Michel Guerard, L'Arpege, L'Astrance), and at Daniel in New York. His book, The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook, was published in October 2013 Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, in Berkshire, UK, was awarded three Michelin stars in 2004, and was twice voted "The Best Restaurant in the World" by an international panel of 500 experts. In 2006, Blumenthal was awarded an OBE. He is the author of a number of cookbooks, most recently, Historic Heston, the James Beard Foundation's "Cookbook of the Year" for 2014. Alexandre Bourdas was the chef de cuisine and director of Michel Bras's Michelin 3-star restaurant in Japan. He then opened the renowned Sa.Qua.Na in Normandy, France. David Kinch, a champion of contemporary California cuisine, has won the Best Chef in America award for the Pacific region from the James Beard Foundation. His restaurant, Manresa in Los Gatos, California, has been awarded two Michelin stars for five consecutive years. Kinch's cookbook, Manresa, came out last year. Virgilio Martinez is the chef-owner of Central in Lima, Peru and is known for applying modern cooking techniques to indigenous Peruvian ingredients. Nobu Matsuhisa was born in Japan and classically trained in a sushi restaurant in Tokyo before he headed to Peru. In 1987, he opened Matsuhisa in Los Angeles, followed by Nobu New York City seven years later. Since then, he has launched 29 more restaurants around the world. Kodansha published two previous books with Nobu: his first cookbook in 2001 and Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook in 2008. Yoshihiro Murata is the third generation owner-chef of the famed Kikunoi restaurant in Kyoto and the author of Kaiseki and Japanese Home Cooking with Master Chef Murata, both published by Kodansha. Chef Murata is the chairman of The Japanese Culinary Academy and plays an integral role in the Japanese food industry. He was instrumental in the campaign to add traditional Japanese cuisine to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage Assets. Pedro Miguel Schiaffino is the chef-proprietor of Malabar in Lima, Peru. Known as the "jungle chef," he has worked to highlight the foods of the Amazon jungle and Amazonian cuisine."