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Indochine [Hardcover]

Luke Nguyen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 12.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Oct 2011
"Indochine" sees Red Lantern's Luke Nguyen revisit his beloved Vietnam and seek out the food and cultural remnants of this former French colonial empire. On his regular visits to Vietnam today, Luke is often struck by the appearance of people wearing berets, speaking French and the aromas of coffee and butter emanating from cafes and patisseries. The recipes and accompanying stories showcase the French influence upon Vietnamese history and cuisine. Against a backdrop of grand colonial hotels, bars, restaurants and terraces, to private estates dressed in antiques and textiles of the period, Luke talks to chefs, bakers and family members to extract the very essence of French-Vietnamese cuisine. From coffee and croissants at breakfast to high tea and supper, Luke unravels the origins of Vietnamese dishes such as pho, which began life as a 'pot au feu', and experiments with new versions of traditional Vietnamese food. "Indochine" appeals to lovers of French, Vietnamese food and travel alike. This title is from the author of best-selling cookbooks "Secrets of the Red Lantern" and "The Songs of Sapa". It features vibrant food photography shot entirely in Vietnam and more than 100 regional recipes showcasing Vietnam's French culinary roots.

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Indochine + The Songs of Sapa + Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books (3 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742665705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742665702
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 27.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Luke Nguyen is a proprietor of the acclaimed Sydney restaurant, Red lantern. Informing all of his writing and recipes is the Nguyen families difficult history and having left Vietnam as boat people they eventually settled in Australia. His books tell the story of a love of food - it helped to placate homesickness and became central to their early success, it was sometimes the only language the family could use to communicate with each other. In the end, it was this shared passion for food that reconciled the family and help create Red Lantern's success. Later, with the book Songs of a Sapa, Luke travels on a personal and culinary tour through Vietnam. Luke visits his family and friends, and is invited into the homes of local Vietnamese food experts and cooks, to learn more about one of the richest, most diverse cuisines in the world.

Product Description

About the Author

Luke Nguyen opened his award-winning restaurant, Red Lantern, in 2002 with his sister Pauline and her partner chef Mark Jensen. Luke's TV work includes Food Safari and Heat in the Kitchen, and he currently hosts his own cooking show, Luke Nguyen's Vietnam.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indochenius! 14 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully presented, as is the norm for most cook books these days and includes stories about Luke's travels and his inspiration for this book.

Don't let the slightly obscure ingredients put you off, I found most of them online very easily (and cheaply) and in supermarkets (one ingredient I thought was obscure, I found two days later in a store!).

If you want good, tasty Asian food which is the opposite of your run of the mill Chinese takeaway, books like this are the way to go- you have to be prepared to prepare in advance buying ingredients and also to prep the meal, but then you would need to do this with Gordon Ramsey or Heston! Most of the ingredients can be kept so you can cook the same meals at a fraction of the cost of a takeaway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 18 Feb 2013
By I. Darren TOP 1000 REVIEWER
You might be forgiven for assuming that traditional food in Vietnam would be a variant of the typical Asian fare that you might know of and love. You might not, however, have realised that there is a very definate French connection!

In what looks like a hybrid between a richly-decorated travel book and a picture-rich cookery book, the author takes the reader to Vietnam to discover just how much of an influence French cuisine has in the country. For the avoidance of doubt this is not a faux-innovative fusion type of book, looking at combining the traditional food cultures of two disparate nations, but a gastronomic, historic, cultural, present-day consideration of something that not many people possibly know.

The author noted during many visits to the country that the deeper you look into things, one realises just how integrated French culture overall is in Vietnam. Whether it is the stereotypical wearing of French-speaking people wearing berets or the rich aromas of coffee and butter from cafés and patisseries, French-ness is not a stranger or cultural imposition. A natural cuisine fusion has occurred and not many people thought anything of it!

As part of the author's own 'cultural journey' he spoke to people from all classes of society: chefs, bakers, high society and ordinary people alike and through this has gathered a tremendous cache of recipes and over 100 of these are presented as part of this culinary travelogue. The recipes are stated with their original Vietnamese name and are accompanied by a free English translation to assist those whose grasp of Vietnamese is not entirely up to scratch.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a cook book 20 Nov 2011
Indochine has some great recipes that are a real bonus in this book.
But like the two preceding books I own that were written or co-written by Luke (Secrets of the Red Lantern, and The Songs of Sapa), Indochine offers further fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary life Luke and his family have led since fleeing Vietnam following the war. These books describe, quite personally, the challenges faced and the hard work, dedication and generosity shown by this generation of displaced Vietnamese - both the parents and their children.
Indochine, while searching out the influences that the former French colonial empire has had upon Vietnamese food and history, is still a delightful continuation of the story of Luke's exploration of the food of his home country and culture, its history and influences.
Indochine, and Luke's other books, are simply a great read.

And don't miss Luke's TV series - like the books it is fascinating and is almost as good as being in Vietnam. And, like in his books, Luke's enthusiasm takes you along for the ride.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine 12 Nov 2012
By Cherry
Beautiful book ,I just learned quite a lot from it.Life is short,seize the day,enjoy every single minute in your short life
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yummy 11 Dec 2011
There are some great recipes here, however i didn't give it five stars simply because of some of the more obscure ingredients that are either not the most easy to obtain or the most appealing (frogs legs?). But, despite this the book is brilliant, and the recipes and the great personal and historical references aside, the book itself is very attractive and weighty. It looks amazing on my cook book shelf, and if you peel back the dust jacket the designs are beautiful. A very attractive item as well as a good cook book. Very happy indeed :)
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