Kyle Cathie, London, 1991; paperback edition 1992

Line drawings by Soun Vannithone

I wanted to write a book of seasonal menus to show how Asian ingredients and methods could be incorporated into western dishes and how Indonesian dishes could fit happily alongside French, Italian and English ones in the plan of a good meal. ‘Fusion’ food has had - still has, for some people - a bad name, but this is only because it’s often been badly done. ‘Exotic Feasts’ was published by Kyle Cathie in 1991 and it closed what I think of as my ‘Early’ period as a food writer. It came out in hard covers, very nicely produced but at a price rather too high for the market at that time. Even in paperback, it was still overpriced and sales were low. Amazon still seem to know where to get copies.

This relative failure didn’t discourage me at all, but it saddens me a little because there are some really good recipes in this book and I want the world to know about them and enjoy them. In the next book perhaps ...

By this time, our older son had completed his time at university and was independent, and his brother, still a student, was well able to look after himself as long as he was supplied with carefully-judged amounts of money at long intervals. Life in Wimbledon Village High Street, agreeable though it was, began to seem a little tame. We live on the crest of Wimbledon Hill, with extensive views across South London from the top floor, and the bustle of the street goes on just below our living-room windows. But there was nothing now to stop us from locking the place up and going away for weeks or months at a time.


Kyle Cathie Ltd