April 22, 2009 / 10:13 AM / 10 years ago

Orchestra cooks up gourmet symphony with new book

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Music may be food for the soul, but one of Asia’s premier orchestras has taken a more earthy approach and launched a cook book aimed at whetting the appetite for classical music and feeding its own finances.

Filled with artistic photographs of food and instruments, “A Symphony of Taste” is a glossy compilation of 32 recipes of Asian and Western food for each season, put out by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The book includes two CDs of music from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky performed by the orchestra of nearly 100, which critics say is gaining global renown.

“We wanted to show people that classical music is as approachable and integral to people’s lives as food,” said Kwan Lui, founder of gourmet chef academy At-Sunrice and member of the SSO fundraising committee.

“The worlds of food and music are intertwined and we hope this book will help people appreciate both worlds, and be inspired to try new recipes as well as listen to music that is sometimes seen as intimidating,” she told Reuters.

The book devotes several chapters that link the development of food and music, how both have inspired authors, playwrights and poets throughout history, and how a musical composition can be compared to a recipe that brings diverse elements together.

Quotes from musicians, playwrights, performers and poets also pepper the book, which sells for S$125 ($83) and is sponsored by culinary firm Miele and Switzerland’s BSI Bank.

The “Four Seasons” of recipes were devised by 10 chefs who work in Singapore and include pomegranate bencurd wrap in black moss and poached egg with white asparagus and truffles.

Liu said the chefs were given classical music CDs to listen to while coming up with the recipes, which are accompanied by wine recommendations.

Lan Shui, the orchestra’s music director and conductor who critics say is helping to raise its global profile, said savoring both food and music was a creative process and encouraged people to try it.

“Just as there is a wide range of cuisines to choose from, so too is there something for everyone within the realm of the classical music world,” he wrote in the book. “No one is born a gourmet or a classical music aficionado. We listen, explore.”

Editing by Jerry Norton

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