Asian Culinary Evolution

August 8, 2009

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It seems that it wasn't that long ago in America when an exotic Asian dinner was chicken Chop Suey, or even MORE adventuresome, Chicken Chow Mein, with an egg roll.  We've come a long way, baby, and who better than to take us on our Asian culinary journey than Bruce Cost. 

Called by Alice Waters “one of the greatest cooks I have ever known,” Mr. Cost is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on Asian food.  His 1980's restaurant, Monsoon, in San Francisco earned a 4-star rating, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, The San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune, to name a few. Not so incidentally, Mr. Cost has written three books on Asian food  (Asian Ingredients, Ginger East to West, and Big Bowl Noodles and Rice). With Asian Languages professor, Donald Harper, he completed most of How to Steam a Bear, a translation of the world's oldest collection of recipes from a 5th Century Chinese manuscript.  

Bruce Cost currently lives in Chicago, where, in 1995, he partnered with Rich Melman's Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, in creating the Big Bowl restaurants, casual restaurants featuring Chinese and Thai food.  An inveterate traveler, Mr. Cost has flown more than a million miles visiting the world's rainforests, and scouring the world's food markets where he tracks down and samples new foods and ingredients. 

 

Recorded Saturday, August 08, 2009 at Big Bowl Restaurant.