Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers

Book Details:
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.

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LOCAL INGREDIENTS (an excerpt from Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki)

Over the course of twelve years, I have lived in eight countries. Everywhere, I discovered that if I wanted to cook what I used to in the previous country, it didn’t work out the same. It was more challenging to find the ingredients, and when I did find them, they were far more expensive and often didn’t taste as good. I quickly understood that I had to adapt, to cook with what came from where I was living. Every country has amazing local ingredients, some used commonly, and others are forgotten. If you want to create something new, what better than an ingredient you didn’t have access to before?

In Costa Rica, I discover new ingredients all the time. Miel de Carao and Vino de Coyol both come from trees. The first is a syrup, the second a white liquid that ferments into alcohol. Mani de aire literally translates as “air peanut”. Cuadrados is a square shaped banana-plantain that we’ve made incredible ice creams from. Dragon fruits, Cas, Tamarindo and many other ingredients make our kitchen a joy to work in here.

We live in the jungle, close to a tiny little village. The village has a football (soccer) field around which you can find a church, a pub, a corner store and a school. That’s it. There’s nothing else except a few houses spread out in nature. The only roads we have are dirt roads. So, neighbors show up occasionally to sell us stuff, because that’s how it works here. One day, a neighbor shows up with tiny mackerel fish that he got from his family; his mum has a store three hours away, and his brothers like to fish. So, he travels there once a month and brings back fish to make a bit of money. They were at most 15 cm long and looked beautiful, so I bought a few from him. We thought that it would be so nice to cook them whole on a grill or barbecue them, but, of course, we have neither. What we do have is a gas cooker, so I used the metal grid from the oven to lay the fish on and put that on top of the gas burner. It turned out to be perfect. Clients loved it and couldn’t believe we got a fire-grilled mackerel inside our kitchen. It was a huge hit, and if I were to do this again, I would look for wood that I can burn to give them a wood smoke flavor. I love thinking of myself as a MacGyver of the kitchen: you can do so much with so little if you allow yourself to be creative and resourceful. Don’t limit yourself with what you don’t have; you can create infinite possibilities with what you do have.

Your country may not have tropical fruits, but you’ll have many other ingredients you take for granted. Here, we don’t have many berries, or fruits like peaches, apricots, apples and pears. We have fantastic fish, but the meat we get isn’t as good as many other places around the world. By asking the old people and the local farmers, you will discover ingredients that you may not find when searching online. Building a network of people who grow food locally will help you learn more about the local ingredients you don’t already know.

Meet the Authors:

Noam Kostucki


I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers

Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram



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