TWO OF Hong Kong's food personalities have come out with cookbooks within the past month. Eat Cook Hong Kong (Asia 2000, $138) is a compilation of Nell Nelson's columns that were published in the South China Morning Post's Post Magazine. The slim, colourful volume has photographs by Chester Ong, illustrations by Rachel Brebner and recipes by Nelson as well as a host of chefs the author has encountered in Hong Kong and on her extensive travels. Included are recipes for the Mandarin Oriental's chocolate brownies, Thai Basil's sticky banana pudding with vanilla ice cream and honeycomb, kimchee as made by the chef of Sorabol restaurant in Seoul, and barbecued fish in banana leaf, which Nelson learned at a cooking class in Bali.
Wilson Kwok - the man behind French restaurants W's Entrecote (in Times Square) and W's Alsace (in Festival Walk) - has written Western Home-Cooking Dishes With Wine Recommendations (Wan Li Publications, $138 for hardcover, $98 for paperback). The bi-lingual book (English and Chinese) reflects Kwok's strong French influences (he trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu and travelled extensively throughout France for his wine studies). He includes recipes for French classics such as blanquette de veau Provencale, pot-au-feu, coquilles St Jacques a la creme, and profiteroles au chocolat. All the recipes are quite easy, although they do assume that the reader has some knowledge of basic cooking techniques.