Tetsuya Wakuda went to Australia 24 years ago in search of kangaroos and koala bears. What he found instead were ocean trout and octopus, two of the local ingredients that inspired his ground-breaking cooking style. In recognition of his singular impact on Australian cuisine he was last week named personality of the year along with French chef Pierre Gagnaire and British wine writer Hugh Johnson.
Paris pastry chefs are outdoing each other this holiday season in reinventing the most kitsch of all French desserts, the Christmas yule log cake, dressing them in ivy, marshmallows and snowflakes. More traditional than turkey, more feted than foie gras, the buche -- literally "log" -- has crowned the French Christmas table since the 19th century.
Beneath the civilised veneer of Helsinki's broad boulevards lies a throbbing night scene fuelled by tar-coloured liquorice schnapps, lethally sweet cider and Lapin Kulta beer. Perhaps nowhere illustrates this better than Hevimesta, whose sober wooden doorway in the ministry of agriculture building gives away nothing by day.
So far this could be any dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. But the menu of stone fish dishes and the lurid green and pink desserts whizzing past on the trolley tell you that something different is going on in the kitchen. Super Star Seafood belongs to a generation of Hong Kong restaurants leading the way in creating "nouvelle Chinese" fusion of Eastern and Western flavours.
Cookbooks might be the biggest-selling form of non-fiction ahead of health and gardening, but the well-thumbed and tomato-spattered favourite remains a rarity.