Breakaway Cook

The Breakaway Cook

The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen


Table of Contents

Global Flavor Blasts



"The Breakaway Cook is all about leaving the old, greeting the new, and having an adventure in your kitchen. It's fun and refreshing and best of all, a pleasure to use. I loved the dishes I made and so did my guests." --Deborah Madison


"Eric Gower has a knack for making food and recipes that are positively inspirational. The simplicity of the text with clear instructions weave a tapestry of wonderful east/west aromas that mark the modern cuisine of our times. His passion and love of cooking is evident on every single page."--Ken Hom


A breakaway cook is, above all, someone who loves great home cooking without excessive fuss – it’s all about keeping things very simple and accessible. Simplicity is what distinguishes breakaway cooking from fusion food, which often muddies the waters with needless and excessive complexity. Breakaway cooking reaches all over the globe for inspiration and ingredients to produce easy, no-fuss food. The flavors are bright and fresh, and the ideas are simple yet sweeping.

Breakaway cooks aren’t fancy restaurant chefs trying to achieve cutting-edge or trendy results. They typically work solo, or if they’re very lucky sometimes have a friend or family member to help out, and they typically work in imperfect kitchens, with imperfect tools, limited budgets, and limited time to cook.

A breakaway cook is someone who's willing to take a culinary leap by combining everyday staples—chicken, eggs, common vegetables, pasta—with an international bazaar of readily available ingredients: miso, green tea, tamarind, chutney, star anise, pomegranate molasses, lemongrass, ginger and galangal . . . the list seems to grow everyday. The Breakaway Cook shows home cooks how to take these "global flavor blasts" down from the shelf and use them in new, time-saving ways. These intense flavors then get combined with the freshest of local organic produce, and are woken up even more with the liberal use of excellent salts, citrus, fresh herbs, and good olive oils and vinegars.

Sprinkle poached eggs with maccha salt (powdered green tea and sea salt) for an all-in-one savory and salty breakfast. Braise duck legs with pickled plums and plum wine for a sweet-and-sour flavor. Pan-fry flank steak with an Indian-inspired spice crust and accompany it with a simple tamarind-tomato chutney. Bake convenient frozen peas with a pestolike mixture of tarragon, scallions, yogurt, and pistachios for a creamy, earthy complement to any meal. Add tea to biscotti for an Asian-Italian-inspired cookie.

But breakaway cooking is not only about food: Eric's 15 years in Japan have given him a rich appreciation of aesthetics that he loves to share. Using beautiful handmade ceramics and tableware you love makes having dinner a special and truly fulfilling experience, to be enjoyed again and again. It's about the fast and mindful preparation of food and about the slow savoring of that food. It's a new way to experience the multifaceted pleasures of eating well.

The Breakaway Cook is available in bookstores everywhere, and online. Eric is also happy to send out signed and personalized copies - - just contact him.

Photography by the amazing Annabelle Breakey.
Styling by the equally inspiring George Dolese.


Recipes from the breakaway cook