Eric Silverstein, a Chinese and Jewish American chef who grew up in Japan and Atlanta before moving to Texas to start a food truck, restaurant, and catering business, draws upon his culturally rich experiences to serve up “modern Asian comfort food” in The Peached Tortilla. It blends a food memoir with exciting recipes—unique takes on everything from gussied-up hot dogs and burgers to cross-cultural noodles, tacos, and cocktails.
Silverstein’s focus is getting to his alluring recipes and explaining his culinary inspirations and preparation methods, so there is only the briefest preamble about “Cooking Methods to Get out of the Way.” His recipe chapters are inspired by street food sampled during his extensive travels, his mother’s Chinese home cooking, Southern American favorites, and his own restaurant creations.
There are quick and simple preparations like Japanese Street Corn, but most recipes are more involved dishes with layers of homemade components and accompaniments. Though the cooking techniques are not difficult, many recipes call for ingredients that may be unfamiliar to home cooks. However, Silverstein’s unusually well-described and illustrated Asian food glossary is a fantastic resource that will enable anyone to easily negotiate the aisles of their nearest (or online) Asian food market.
Chapter introductions evince Silverstein’s passions for food, work, and family. There are evocative memories of after school snacks of yakitori and smoked yam and of dining at Southeast Asian hawker-stands, blissfully slurping off melamine plates despite the oppressive heat and humidity. He does not stint with descriptions of the exhausting, often financially unrewarding marathon of building his food business. All sections brim with passion and personality.
Many pictures of the Peached Tortilla kitchen staff at work and beaming out from the acknowledgements section demonstrate that Silverstein knows that his accomplishments are shared by his team. This refreshingly gracious tone, the creative recipes, and the personal introductions combine to make this an outstanding book.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.