A couple of years ago, while walking into the lobby of his apartment building in downtown Manhattan, Nicholas Lin, overheard a conversation about duck fat that Chef Adhika Maxi was involved in with his friend. Nicholas couldn’t help but interject in an exciting discussion about the many uses of duck fat. At that time, neither Nick nor Adhika knew that they will publish an internationally-recognized cookbook some 18 months later.
Actually, the book has been a dream of Nicholas’ for quite some time. When he was only 11 years old, Nick began to experiment with a vegetable root in his mother’s kitchen, trying to make something tasty. By 13, he was already able to cook for himself, and he continued to enjoy cooking since. Living in multi-cultural Singapore society helped Nick develop a discerning palate and a keen appreciation of all types of cuisines. After moving to New York in 2004 to continue business degree studies in Rochester Institute of Technology, Nick continued his passion for cooking which led him to complete, in 2008, the Japanese Culinary Technique courses at the Gohan Society in New York and various courses at the French Culinary Institute.
Adhika also attended the French Culinary Institute, but a year earlier, in 2007. Upon graduation, Adhika worked at Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Restaurant Asiate, under Chef Nori Sugie, where he mastered modern Japanese cuisine prepared using classic French techniques. Later, Adhika worked at Gordon Ramsay’s eclectic American cuisine restaurant, Maze, under Chef Andy Cook. He made further advancement in his culinary journey when he became a "chef de partie" at the Michelin 2-Star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel in New York City, under the guidance of Chef Josh Emmett. In early 2009, to fulfill his curiosity for Japanese food culture, Adhika spent several months in Japan and completed various stages at Izakayas and ramen houses in Tokyo and Osaka.
But back in 2008, when Adhika and Nick just met, they were merely united by the common interest in the art of cooking. Later, over a dinner at a restaurant in New York’s Chinatown, Nick introduced Adhika to his cookbook concept, in which he wanted to demystify the cooking to an average man and make him realize that preparing a tasty and presentable meal is not rocket science. Having lived and cooked in New York City, both, Nick and Adhika had their fair share of culinary adventures and knew how intimidating it could be to prepare an impressive meal under pressure. Nick invited Adhika to co-write the book, and then, over cured jellyfish and egg congee, the idea was agreed and a partnership was born.
Within a week, cooking, photography and writing commenced. Nick and Adhika titled the book “Bachelor’s Banquet,” since the book was designed to enable a modern bachelor to cook a tantalizing gourmet meal while using very simple recipes. The preparation methods were intentionally kept simple so as to allow “the chef” to focus on building lasting relationships with his guests or a guest, especially, if he’s having a dinner date. Both authors strongly believed that men should be more concerned about the social aspects of a special occasion than on what is cooking in the oven.
After the cookbook was released in October of 2009 in Asia, it was an immediate success. The “Bachelor’s Banquet” was nominated best seller two consecutive years by Kinokuniya Singapore Bestseller and Kinokuniya Indonesia Bestseller. In addition, Borders and Periplus Indonesia also awarded the cookbook a bestseller status in 2010. Both authors were also invited to present the book and its effortless cooking style on television programs with Channel News Asia, News Radio 938 in Asia, RazorTV, and are expected to feature in 2011 in series for Modern Comfort Cuisine and the Bachelor’s Banquet TV series.
The authors were certainly hoping that their cookbook would have its audience, but never expected such an explosive effect. Many women were especially impressed by men who were now learning their way around the kitchen. The book was featured in numerous magazines and newspapers around Asia as well as the U.S., and authors were invited to guest-chef events in Meile Jakarta, WMF Jakarta, Periplus, Kinokuniya, 25 Degrees C, Shermays cooking school, and other restaurants.
Now, for the first time ever, the “Bachelor’s Banquet” cookbook (AsyncMinds.com) is being released to the world via iPhone application in a digital format. Everyone with an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad will have access to the recipes featured in “Bachelor’s Banquet” and cook right at home, wherever in the world their home may be. The cookbook is as easy to use as any other application and is interactive, allowing user to easily access all required ingredients in a shopping list format that the user can take right into a store and check-mark anything purchased. Then, the application takes its user step-by-step through the food preparation. The cookbook features such dishes as Serrano Ham Salad, Lemon Chicken with Cord Relish, Tuna Nigiri, Bocconcini Meatball Salad, and other recipes with fresh ingredients and classic flavors.