NerdBaker: Extraordinary Recipes, Stories & Baking Adventures from a True Oven Geek
Shortlisted for Best Book Cover Design for Singapore Book Awards 2016
Food writer and cooking teacher Christopher Tan busts the world of home baking wide open, with unique recipes, stories and detailed knead-to-know advice from the deepest corners of a true oven nerd’s mind. Explore over 60 breads, cakes, cookies and dishes inspired by his life, travels and food obsessions. Geek out with him over ‘intelligent’ black rice cake, homemade Pocky, the tangled histories of puff pastry and a breathtaking luncheon meat extravaganza. Learn how to make Banhmiclairs, smoked cloud cookies, bundt cake with built-in frosting and much more. Follow the NerdBaker through the oven door into a whole new baking dimension.
“I hadn’t expected a baking book to make me laugh out loud, but NerdBaker did—often. Filled with devilish wit, dazzling images and lucid recipes, the book is a delightful gallimaufry of culinary inspirations from all over the globe.”
—Fuchsia Dunlop, award-winning author of Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking and consultant to London’s Barshu restaurant
“I know few people as passionate as Christopher when it comes to food. Thankfully, he’s chosen to share his knowledge and insights. This book is a beautifully baked gem for eaters and bakers alike.”
—Willin Low, chef-owner of Wild Rocket
“This is Christopher’s most engaging book. His remarkable recipes are filled with solid instructions, historical details and vibrant inspirations. There’s never a dull moment in these pages.”
—Andrea Nguyen, author of Asian Dumplings and The Banh Mi Handbook
“[An] intensely personal, incredibly useful book...[by] one of the most fervent food lovers on any continent.”
—James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Rodale’s Organic Life and author of Cradle of Flavor
“The majority of the baking books on my overcrowded shelves are by French, Spanish and American pastry chefs who, naturally enough, approach what they do with a Western perspective. So it's refreshing to find a baking book by someone who's blending Western techniques with Asian flavours.”
—Susan Jung, The South China Morning Post
“In between pages of food porn, geeky photos of a younger Tan and food travel pieces are home cook-friendly recipes that don’t call for arcane techniques or obscure ingredients—even if you’re looking to recreate his vision of Samoan pain popo, Lhasa flatbread or choux-pastry Banhmiclair.”
—Natasha Hong, Time Out Singapore
“Written by award-winning food author and culinary instructor Christopher Tan, this book is meant to be thoroughly used, dog-eared, accidentally splattered with batter and crumbs while you flick through it on the kitchen counter for the umpteenth time... And even if you never ever turn on your oven, his evocative prose makes NerdBaker a lovely read and a definite keeper.”
—Tiong Li Cheng, The Edge
“A breath of fresh air among the piles of bakery books from the west, which often rehash the same old repeated recipes... [It is] an exceedingly enjoyable, useful book, with international appeal and one that also flies the flag for English-language Asian cookbook writers to blaze their own path and write their own story.”
—BBC Good Food Asian edition
“Singaporeans know him for his recipes, food writing and cooking classes, but after nine cookbooks, Christopher Tan’s latest book is as much about his own life story as it is a repository of his original recipes for cakes and breads...In five main chapters, Tan reveals his inspirations, and then his exploration into breads and cakes that cut across different countries in the region, like the ubiquitous kueh bengka with its many variations. One chapter is dedicated to his travels and foods discovered on and off the beaten track, another on hybrid flavours (which is oh, so Singaporean) and then the last chapter is an immensely useful one on tools and gadgets for the geek bakers among us. What is refreshing are the original recipes.”
—Cheah Ui-Hoon, The Business Times
“[O]ne of the best written local baking books that I have read in a long time. Most importantly recipes look interesting and makes you want to bake them all!”
“You can sense [Christopher Tan’s] passion, not just in baking, but [also] to share his knowledge on how to bake better and more delicious food. And that book, NerdBaker, also showcases what he has researched, tested (tasted of course) and presented to you in the most detailed manner on how to replicate his wonderful recipes. The other main reason why I love his book is that he incorporates local flairs or flavors into his bakes.”
—Honey Bee Sweets
"One of the best Singapore cookbooks published in the last couple of years…[Christopher Tan] is a serious baker who can also communicate methods and techniques clearly…This is a keeper of a book, but more importantly, it raises the bar for all Singapore cookbooks."
—Tan Hsueh Yun, The Straits Times
About the Author
Christopher Tan, 47 (www.foodfella.com) is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and photographer.
He has been commentator on and chronicler of food, culture and heritage for publications such as Singapore's Sunday Times and Straits Times, The Peak, and America’s Saveur magazine. He believes that what we eat is but the littlest part of any food encounter: it is in the how, why, when, where and with whom we eat that much of its flavour lies.
Christopher has given talks and demonstrations at Singapore’s National Museum, Peranakan Museum and National Library, the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, Paris’ Le Musée Quai Branly, the Sydney International Food Festival, the Singapore Writers Festival, and the annual Kueh Appreciation Day organised by Slow Food Singapore, the local chapter of the international grassroots association devoted to preserving heritage food and culture.
He has authored and co-authored numerous cookbooks. His most recent cookbooks include The Way of Kueh, a collection of recipes that pays homage to numerous kueh traditions; NerdBaker, a memoir-cum-baking book; Cheat Sheet, a compilation of his Sunday Times columns; and Peacetime Kitchen, a collection of re-envisioned recipes from the WW2 era.
Christopher teaches cooking, baking and kueh classes regularly at The Kitchen Society in Singapore. Find him on Instagram at @thewayofkueh.
Size: 190 x 250mm
Published: April 2015