The Burma Cookbook won World’s Best Asian cookbook of the year at last week’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China. Competing against entries from some 205 countries and thousands of titles, The Burma Cookbook vied against four finalists from all books published in Asia.
Authors Robert Carmack and Morrison Polkinghorne were in Shandong to receive their award.
Over a decade in the making, these intrepid travellers and authors travelled extensively to Myanmar, or Burma, to compile its 175 recipes, plus extensive glossary. Part travelogue and coffee table book, of special significance is the book’s historical research of Burma’s colonial period, and the author’s exclusive access to The Strand hotel’s private collection. (In Myanmar, the book is titled “The Strand Cookbook.”) Lavishly illustrated and photographed, it is equally a travelogue and cookbook suitable for coffee table and kitchen alike.
“When we crossed the border into Burma some 20 years ago, little did we imagine it was our fledging steps to a cookbook. The first restaurant we entered was dirt-floored, with myriad curries including wild tiger. It wasn’t the food that set us on our culinary journey, it was the friendliness of the people that cajoled us to return again and again,” said Robert Carmack.
The book spans Myanmar’s opulent traditions of empire: from the past century’s best fare to contemporary dishes. Sample the heritage foods of Myanmar’s immigrant populations as well as the country’s diverse regional specialties so popular today.
The former British colony’s cuisine is rich and varied, subtly imbued with the flavors of ginger, onion and garlic; uniquely different from neighboring India, China and Thailand, and without fiery spice.
About The Burma Cookbook:
Hardbound, 392 pages, 343 illustrations. Introduction by Anne Willan.
River Books Publishers, Bangkok www.BurmaCookbook.com
About Robert & Morrison:
By trade, Morrison is a textile designer fashioning 18th century French-style trimmings and tassels; he maintains an extensive collection of Burmese silks. His photographs are featured throughout the book, as he still runs his textile company www.Passementeries.com, now distributed in Australia through Boyac. Robert is author of five books and holds culinary grand diplomas from France. He is a sought-after television food stylist by trade. www.RobertCarmack.com