About Eric  

A week after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in modern Japanese literature in 1987, Eric Gower found himself hitchhiking around Japan. He wound up staying fifteen years, working for the Prime Minister's office as an editor and ghostwriter on political economy. Eric became fascinated with Japanese food—in restaurants, in markets, and, especially, at home, where he began to cook with Japanese ingredients in nontraditional ways, which both surprised and delighted many Japanese, including two editors who asked him to write cookbooks explaining his “breakaway” methods and theory. Over time Eric focused more of his energies on food and cooking, and did a great deal of traveling throughout the world (especially in Asia) while based in Japan; he tasted, cooked, and learned new things wherever he went.

Eric returned to the United States in 2002, to San Francisco, and began frequenting the wonderful world of ethnic markets, especially Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets, and combing those ingredients with his weekly trips to the astounding bounty of Bay Area farmers' markets. That combination—staples from the world’s great culinary traditions plus local, preferably organic produce and meat, with supporting roles from the judicious use of excellent salts, fresh herbs and spices, citrus, ginger, and good oils—forms the backbone of what he calls breakaway cooking, which stresses simplicity, ease, and powerful flavors above all else.

Eric is currently a writer, cooking teacher, and private chef. He is the author of three cookbooks: The Breakaway Cook (Morrow), The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen (Kodansha International), and Eric’s Kitchen (Kadokawa Shoten, in Japanese). He lives and works in Marin County, CA.

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