Chef Ming Tsai shares his thoughts about his cooking series, Simply Ming, and companion book... :
Q: What is the idea behind the cooking series Simply Ming and how does this differ from the other series East Meets West With Ming Tsai?
I've received tons of e-mails about my shows and a common response was "the food looks great, but I wish it was a little bit simpler to make." I took that to heart. Plus, I really want people to cook East/West style. I think that East/West style is a very healthy, tasty way to cook. My book called Simply Ming is based on 36 "master recipes" or "master sauces." The master recipe may take longer than the other recipes to make, but once you make it, there are three or four other recipes that you can make from this base recipe. For instance, on a Saturday you can make mango salsa and then that night you can make a dish of "pan-crusted cod with mango salsa." Two days later, you would mix mango salsa with ground pork to make "mango pork potstickers." Or maybe a week after that you could take the mangos (even though the color may have gotten a bit darker, but the flavor is actually a little better) and puree it with oil to make "mango syrup." The idea is that you can get more than one dish out of a master recipe and you get very tasty food.
Q: Are the recipes accessible to audiences?
A: The recipes, absolutely. There isn't a recipe that contains over ten ingredients. Other than the braised dishes, which you have to braise for two or three hours, the actual preparation will be around a half hour at most. We are focusing on getting people to cook East/West food in their own homes without having to go to New York City, Boston or Los Angeles.
Q: What is the format for each show?
A: Each one of the 26 shows features a "master recipe." For example, today we did a show with ganache as the master recipe. First, we made the ganache, then we went to see the truffles being made at my restaurant Blue Ginger, then we made the recipe for pots de crème, chocolate soufflé cake and finally a banana split. We then sat down at the table with all of these desserts and matched wine with them all. We also travel offsite for a part of the show. For instance, if we were doing an apple show, we may go to an apple orchard and sometimes people may be guests on my show — such as Todd English (Olives, Kingfish Hall, Figs, Bonfire), Ken Oringer (Clio), Jody Adams (Rialto) and others.