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Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen    by Kate Klippenstein order for
Cool Tools
by Kate Klippenstein
Order:  USA  Can
Kodansha International, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

From the tako-biki or octopus knife to the goma-iri basket used for toasting sesame seeds to the ori-oroshi or 'devil grater' used for grating daikon radish, Kate Klippenstein's latest book shows them all. Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen is a tribute to the many items Klippenstein has both seen and used, having lived in Tokyo since 1986.

Illustrated with beautiful photographs by Yasuo Konishi, Cool Tools displays everything from Japanese knives to spoons to steamers to cooking pots. The photos demonstrate both the craftsmanship and the functionality of Japanese cookware. Especially enjoyable are the pictures of utensils used by different sized and aged families. Divided into four chapters the book covers preparation, cooking, presentation, and cleaning up. Klippenstein also adds a section to aid those who want to stock their kitchen with some of the items featured in the book, with ideas and tips on shops and restaurants.

Cool Tools takes a fascinating look inside the Japanese kitchen. For those attempting to learn more about Japanese cooking, or for serious foodies, this book is a fun addition to any cooking shelf. Klippenstein does a wonderful job demonstrating the interrelationship between the beauty and presentation of different elements of Japanese cooking and the artisanship and culture surrounding Japanese cooking utensils. She provides an interesting history, along with common uses of the items featured within the book's glossy pages. Klippenstein's descriptions of tasty foods add mouth-watering appeal as brilliant copper, golden bamboo, and warm bronze colors leap from the pages catching the eye.

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