The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

THEBal­iCook­book by Lonny Gerun­gan, pho­to­graphs by War­ren Bright (Kyle Cathie/ Si­mon & Schus­ter, $34.95) is a fi­esta of retro colours, with pages of teale blue, burnt orange, lime and hot pink in­ter­spersed with white. Frangi­pani, hibis­cus and ba­nana leaf or pan­els of Ba­li­nese fab­ric dec­o­rate the pages. The ef­fect is to high­light the vi­brancy of the dishes.

In a fore­word, the au­thor says his book ‘‘ paints a pic­ture of the daily life of the Ba­li­nese’’; a sec­ond fore­word is by the Gov­er­nor of Bali, who sees Gerun­gan as an am­bas­sador (he has made TV pro­grams in The Nether­lands and au­thored other books). Gerun­gan refers to the food’s re­li­gious con­nec­tions and says recipes have not tra­di­tion­ally been recorded on pa­per and are in dan­ger of be­ing lost. Th­ese fra­grant, au­then­tic dishes — spicy fish in ba­nana leaves, mar­i­nated chicken, sa­tays, sal­ads and sauces — must be pre­served. And with its pic­tures, in­tro­duc­tion to each dish and the recipes, this book en­cap­su­lates Bali’s cul­ture. Ju­dith Elen

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