Cookbook: Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker with J.J. Goode
Overall Impression: The Thai cookbook I've been waiting for. A little maddening in the demands it makes on the cook, but oh the food!
We all have have gateway foods and recipes, the ones that led us into a deeper interest in cooking. Mine was Thai food. Coming from a white bread Midwest background, I hesitated for years before trying spicy foods, and then a friend introduced me to great Thai food on a trip to Los Angeles, and it was all over. I found I craved the salty, spicy, sweet, and sour pungency that many classic Thai dishes elevate to a sustained pitch of perfection. But Thai, like many East and South Asian cuisines, lacks, in my mind, a great translator to bring those flavors to Western kitchens.
So when chef Andy Ricker's cookbook, named after his Pok Pok restaurants, came out last fall I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. Was it the manual to Thai food that I was waiting for?