Hottest new Fusion Cuisine Cookbooks for Christmas 2010

Fusion cooking is the art of combining recipes and ingredients from different food cultures to produce something new and exciting. Celebrity chefs often act as if they invented it, but in fact fusion cuisine has been going on for a long time, as migration takes people to different places around the globe, and people fuse their old cooking techniques and ingredients with the new. This year’s crop of fusion cookbooks are taking a less earnest and serious approach, which makes them more fun, and the recipes infinitely better. After all, why combine incompatible ingredients simply because it’s fashionable? Concentrate on creating dishes that taste delicious.

Asian Fusion by Chat Mingkwan

Mingkan’s engaging book  is an odyssey around the various styles of Asian cooking, bringing them together and making them easy to prepare in western kitchens. Bangkok born Mingkwan was a chef in the San Franscisco Bay area for some time, and is the author of Buddha’s Table, a very popular gourmet cookbook for vegetarians. The recipes in Asian Fusion are vegetarian too, but so delicious everyone will want to cook them.

Yumi’s Yummies by Yumi Weeks

The Japanese started culinary fusion as soon as they left their own shores, and Yumi Weeks calls on her own kitchen knowledge to create this lively cookbook. She has a way of fusing Japanese and American cooking that is both original and adventurous. She makes miso with ground turkey and American spices – in fact her book is mainly about how she uses basic Japanese recipes and spices them up with healthy American ingredients. She even suggests a way of keeping the weight off by eating half portions only – she calls it the Yumi Hanbun Diet.

The Breakaway Cook by Eric Gower

Breakaway cooking is Gower’s next step from fusion. He wants to encourage timid cooks to break away from tradition and experiment with unfamiliar ingredients. He presents ‘global flavor blasts’ to give home cooking a swift international kick. He keeps it simple, knowing the home cook doesn’t have the resources of a restaurant chef, like making maccha salt by combining green tea and salt and sprinkling it on poached eggs.

The Alchemy of Food by Peter Schleicher

Food is alchemy – the combing of ingredients to create something magical – and Schleicher is a great believer in the healing effects of the right food, and the alchemy that occurs in our bodies when we are well nourished. By infusing food with neglected or unusual ingredients, he opens up new taste territories that also promote well being. The book is aimed at those who are suffering from cancer, but would also benefit those who want to avoid disease.

Package your fusion cookbook gift with something extra, like a packet of Asian spices or saffron, to make it extra special.