INDONESIAN REGIONAL FOOD AND COOKERY
Doubleday, London and Sydney, 1994
awarded a Premio Langhe Ceretto (for recipe books), Alba, Italy, 1995
Paperback edition published by Frances Lincoln Ltd, London, 1999
Dutch edition, De regionale Keukens van Indonesië, Schuyt, Haarlem, 1995
INDONESIAN REGIONAL COOKING
US edition, St Martin's Press, New York, 1995
nominated for Julia Child award, USA, 1995
Line drawings in all editions by Soun Vannithone
Travelling for this book occupied us very happily throughout the first half of 1993. I recall sitting in our hotel room in Jakarta (or was it Medan?), watching President Clinton's inauguration on TV and trying to spot our younger son, who we knew was in the crowd somewhere; he was studying for a year at George Washington University and working as an intern in a senator's office on Capitol Hill. Indonesia doesn't allow foreigners, like me (since I married a Brit), to stay in the country for more than eight weeks without a visa, so after 55 days we flew away to Australia for a few weeks, then came back to complete our tour through some of the remoter islands. This made me, born and bred an Indonesian, realise how huge and diverse that great country is. Roger the Welshman still hasn't got over hearing the congregation in a Christian church in Ambon sing 'Cwm Rhondda' (and sound as good as a Welsh choir). What was much more important for both of us was that I was able to go home, with my husband, to my own place, the Minangkabau region of West Sumatra, which I had last seen when I was a little girl, fifty years before.
Back in Wimbledon, there was the usual unpacking and sorting of books and notes, reviewing of videotapes, sending off rolls and rolls of film to be processed, and racking our brains for the names that we never wrote down because we couldn't imagine we'd ever forget them. Out of all this turmoil 'Indonesian Regional' was born, which, on reflection, I think is possibly the best of my books although (or because) it was much tougher to write than The Rice Book. And all Roger's ingenious travelogue- introductions were cut to ribbons on publisher's orders (the book was far too long, and of course the recipes couldn't be cut - oh no). So I'm going to put the uncut chapter introductions onto this website in the near future, and maybe we'll fire up the ancient scanner and see if we can get some enticing pictures to illustrate them.
The scans on the left show (top) the original UK edition from Doubleday, published in 1994, (centre) the US edition from St Martin’s Press, 1995; (bottom) Frances Lincoln’s paperback edition, London, 1999. These are all now out of print, but I have a few copies of the paperback edition for sale at a very moderate price; just e-mail me if you’re interested.
Two charming Italian wine producers, the Ceretto brothers of Alba, gave this book a prize of their own in '95, a Langhe Ceretto prize, which has led us to our association with Piemonte in north-west Italy ... but that's another story.