Simple Menus for the Bento Box

Overview

Japanese food is traditionally served in a simple, sleek, and dramatic style unmatched by any other cuisine. How can you re-create the visual drama of the Japanese presentation? Simple Menus for the Bento Box has the answers with recipes and designs for meals served in a shokado bento box.

The black lacquered shokado bento box, covered with a lid and separated into four square compartments, a common sight in Japan, is appearing with increasing...

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Overview

Japanese food is traditionally served in a simple, sleek, and dramatic style unmatched by any other cuisine. How can you re-create the visual drama of the Japanese presentation? Simple Menus for the Bento Box has the answers with recipes and designs for meals served in a shokado bento box.

The black lacquered shokado bento box, covered with a lid and separated into four square compartments, a common sight in Japan, is appearing with increasing frequency in America as an artful way to present food. Acclaimed New York City chefs Ellen Greaves and Wayne Nish have created twelve seasonal menus especially for the shokado bento box. Each menu has four contrasting but harmonious recipes, one for each of the four shokado compartments.

Ellen Greaves is the chef of The Tea Box restaurant in the Takashimaya department store on Fifth Avenue in New York, where the bento box menu changes daily. She is a graduate of École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris and the Stratford Chef's School in Ontario.

Wayne Nish is the chef and owner of the highly acclaimed New York restaurant March. After graduating from New York Restaurant School, Wayne worked at The Quilted Giraffe and The Casual Quilted Giraffe. He was then executive chef at Colombe d'Or, which received three stars from The New York Times. He opened March with partner and wine director Joseph Scalice in 1990.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Japanese shokado bento (boxed meal) is a gustatory treasure chest: open the lid and discover a meal of four highly flavored, complementary dishes, artfully arranged. New York City chefs Ellen Greaves, of Takashimaya's Tea Box Cafe, and Wayne Nish, from the restaurant March, have collaborated on a truly unusual cookbook, managing to focus closely on presentation while keeping flavor and ingredients of primary importance. Each of the 12 seasonal menus features four mostly American dishes of about half the usual entr e size, with no designated first course, main or side dishes. The winter dinner pictured on the cover, for instance, includes saut ed Spinach with Sesame Seeds, a pyramid of tiny Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, triangles of Herb-steamed Swordfish, and Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-dried Tomato Soup. Most of the 48 recipes can be prepared ahead, leaving time for the all-important assembly and presentation. Over 75 color photographs (taken by Nish) illustrate the effect of attentive composing: chives and cr me fra che stripe Sweet and Snow Pea Soup; the sticky rice in Japanese Rice with Salted Peanuts and Scallions is pressed into a flower shape. Instructions are straightforward and will please any home cook who relishes the processes of cooking and plating. While the authors provide a source list for boxes themselves and suitable serving plates and cups, recipes for such dishes as Lobster on Leeks with Fennel and Carrot to Arborio Rice with Goat Cheese and Tomato can also be served on conventional dinner plates. (Aug.)
Library Journal
A bento box can be described as a Japanese lunch box, but it's nothing like what most people would think of as a lunch box; even the simplest of these compartmentalized lacquered boxes can be beautiful, and many are of museum quality. In this unusual book, two talented New York City chefs (Greaves is at Takashimaya's Tea Box Cafe, Nish is chef/owner of March) present exquisite seasonal menus inspired by the concept of the bento box, each with four recipes designed to balance and set off one another. While the authors bring an appreciation of Asian presentation and culinary sensibilities to their task, the recipes tend to be "contemporary American" more than anything else: Chicken Breast with Corn, Walnuts, and Cilantro, for example. Most are uncomplicated, and almost all can be prepared in advance. Nish's color photographs add to the book's appeal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688142049
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 8.31 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.74 (d)

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