Meet the collaborators of Rice, Noodle, Fish – chef Anthony Bourdain and author Matt Goulding. In case you don’t already know, Mr. Bourdain is a leviathan among guppies in the world of food travel and food culture. He is a cooking god among mere mortals. To read him is to love him. He’s my hero. Moving on.
Matt Goulding, the author, is one of the chief editors and publishers for Roads & Kingdoms an independent journal that, while only in its second year of existence, is making some big footprints. What I mean to say is these two alone are reason enough to go grab a copy right now.
A taste of what to expect
Goulding touches on every point, from “the eight wonders of the Japanese convenience store” to what he so aptly titles “the ramen matrix.” Did you know that there are at least 22 accepted regional styles of ramen in Japan alone?
He takes you with him as he traverses Tokyo and allows you to come along on the days he makes his way through the countryside. Rice, Noodle, Fish is more than just a book about food culture, it is the ultimate travel guide, allowing the reader vital snippets of information:
- Japan is a cash-based culture; some top tier restaurants won’t even accept credit cards.
- Never mix your wasabi into your soy sauce.
- Tattoos aren’t allowed to be shown in most bathhouses for gang reasons (see: Yakuza).
- The term Shokunin refers to an artisan deeply and singularly dedicated to their craft (imagine eating that chef’s sushi compared to the American stuff we get).
Why we needed this book
Rice, Noodle, Fish intimately shows the instant life-changing love affair that comes from exploring a new place and its foods. Matt Goulding shares with the reader something that is too often forgotten; the hunger, patience, and commitment that goes into a simple, delicious meal.
From each encounter and every page, this book reminds us that there is a journey every ingredient, every knife, and every chef goes on to create something truly magical.
This book is essential for any new cook looking for inspiration, any foodie hungry to read something delicious, or any chef who needs to be reminded of the mysticism and responsibility that comes with their title. It is through these stories that we begin to see the similarities in food culture, and the unique differences that speak to us and remind us to keep tasting, traveling, and respecting the earth that provides us with all of this.