Famous Chef Shares His Secrets

Thanks to the growing popularity of cooking shows and even television channels devoted entirely to food, more people are embracing foods they might never have heard of as recently as 10 years ago. Renowned chefs like Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse have become household names, a product of both chefs' personalities as well as the growing passion many people have for food.

A lesser known, at least in North America, yet equally talented chef is Tetsuya Wakuda. One of the most popular chefs in Australia, Wakuda is also considered one of its most original. Arriving in Australia in 1982 with little more than a love for cooking, Wakuda opened his first restaurant fewer than 10 years later, and it quickly became one of the country's most popular places to enjoy a good meal.

Much of that popularity is due to Wakuda's unique approach to cuisine. Combining a Japanese philosophy of natural flavors, the freshest Australian produce, and traditional French cooking techniques, Tetsuya creates imaginative dishes unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Those hoping to bring a touch of Wakuda's magic into their own homes can do just that thanks to "Tetsuya" (Ten Speed Press), a collection of Wakuda's recipes, including the following for "Seared Tuna with Apple and Olive."

Seared Tuna With Apple and Olive

Serves 4

7 ounces tuna fillet, trimmed into a square block

1 tablespoon finely grated green apple

1 tablespoon finely grated daikon

1 teaspoon white sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon mirin

Grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Bamboo leaf

Garnish

1/3 teaspoon black olive paste

Shiso or mint leaf, julienned

Black sesame seeds

In a non-stick pan, sear the tuna in a little grapeseed oil over a very low heat until the flesh just turns white. Cool and slice thinly into 1/4-inch pieces

Combine the grated apple and daikon with the white sesame oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Place the bamboo leaf on a serving plate. Place the tuna on top. Mix the soy sauce and mirin together and spoon over the tuna. Spoon on a little green apple and daikon mixture. Garnish with a little of the olive paste, shiso and black sesame seeds.

Wine suggestions: 1998 St. Huberts Roussanne, 1998 Cline Cellars Roussanne Los Carneros, 1998 Yves Culleron St. Joseph "Le Coteau St. Pierre" Roussanne.

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