New Asian Cookbook From Mai Pham

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Chef Mai Pham, the owner of Lemon Grass Restaurant on Munroe Street, has just published a cookbook. The Flavors of Asia (The Culinary Institute of America, $35) is a stylish coffee-book-style cookbook, with 125 recipes from seven Asian countries, accompanied by gorgeous color photographs.

The book came out of an Asian cuisine conference series held in 2007 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. The series, says Pham, assembled “the best minds on the topic”: 40 leading chefs from India, Asia and the United States. The CIA wanted to publish a book to extend the conference and asked Pham—one of the country’s top Thai and Vietnamese chefs—to write the text.

Pham helped select the recipes—there are more than 10 each from China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Korea—and wrote the text. She also contributed all the book’s Vietnamese recipes.

While it grew out of an academic setting, the book is designed for the home cook. “I tried to make it approachable, not so intimidating,” says Pham.

The Flavors of Asia is just hitting local bookstores now. At 7 p.m. on May 5, Pham will be signing copies of the book at Borders at 2339 Fair Oaks Blvd.