This is a 2019 James Beard cookbook award in the restaurant and professional category. And rightly so. If you want to open a yakatori joint or add skewered chicken to your menu for grilling at home, this book is all you’ll need–and more. It is a detailed how-to-book on how to butcher a chicken for yakatori, how to season and assemble 22 yakatori variations, what to serve and how to prep veggie and soup sides and how to make the cocktails to go with the feast. All from a young man who cooked and traveled and traveled and cook from St. Louis to Hong Kong via Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Korea. He learned, made friends, dreamed and finally opened “Yardbird” in Hong kong. You will get endless ideas with step by step photos on skewered chicken–more than you need to know. Perhaps best of all, there is a large section on vegetables–twenty-eight large and small plates and bowls. Inventive ideas and combinations that I will try for sure. Vegetarians, if they can get past the butchered chicken pics, will revel in this section–worth the cost of the book.
Chicken and Charcoal is hard to put down. That’s why it’s an award winner. It’s quality writing, artwork and photography front to back. A definitive presentation of the yakatori scene that’s fun to read.