There is a new wave of professional macrobiotic chefs courageously pioneering the frontiers of macrobiotic cuisine. Led by the likes of this book's author, Aine McAteer, as well as Christina Pirello in Pennsylvania, Lee and Darlene Gross in California, and Patricio Garcia de Paredes in Japan, these trailblazing chefs are setting new standards for macrobiotic cooking by inventing dishes that are stunningly beautiful, refreshingly innovative, incredibly delicious, appealing to both macros and non-macros alike, and that still manage to maintain balance and healthfulness.
I had the good fortune to meet Aine in person last year at the Fortunate Blessings Foundation's "The Passage." While she is small in stature, Aine exudes an aura of powerful presence and her warm demeanour and graceful charm will make anyone feel at home. It was quickly apparent that these same qualities were infused in every meal she created during the week. To taste Aine's cooking is to discover the very best of contemporary macrobiotic cuisine - world-class dishes that could grace the tables of the most demanding clientele.
Aine's employment record reads like a "Who's Who" of the entertainment industry - she has been a personal chef to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Pierce Brosnan, "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, and Robert Redford. Redford's accolades subtly grace the cover of the book: "Aine has distilled the creativity and love that goes into preparing her food into the recipes that she shares with us in this wonderful book."
Aine begins the book with a personable introduction, explaining her discovery of macrobiotics and Ayurveda and how it shaped her dietary approach. "I simply believe you are what you eat, and that if nutrient-rich whole foods form the basis of your diet, you will be healthy inside and out," she writes. She explains how her origins in Ireland and travels around the world have influenced her culinary creations, such as her "Mexican Bean Pie," "Pineapple Ginger Ice Dream," a macrobiotic "Shepherd's Pie," "Seductive Salmon with Rainbow Salsa," "Pumpkin Coconut Bisque," and "Hawaiian Sunset Soup."
The recipes in this book are organized into several sections, including "Food for One," "Food for Love," "Healthy Kids," "Picnic & Finger Foods," and "Festive Foods." By addressing these different considerations of the cook, Recipes to Nurture offers dishes for many types of situations and makes it a cookbook to return to for any occasion.
Recipes to Nurture is the most beautifully designed cookbook I have ever come across. Bobbi Fabian's photographs are alluring and seductive, and the elegant typography throughout the book quietly enhances its high-class appeal. It is no surprise that with such delectable recipes and riveting imagery this book won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook award of "Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World" last year in Barcelona.
Macrobiotics is continually dogged by its popular characterization as an ascetic approach for only dietary extremists and the terminally ill. Recipes to Nurture challenges this stigma through its broad variety of mouthwater dishes that can appeal to anyone. "For many people, the idea of `healthy food' doesn't exactly conjure up images of sensual delights," Aine writes in her introduction, "It's my mission in this book to dispel that myth." n|c