Monday, 7 January 2019

Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki + #Giveaway + Author Interview

Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G

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Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.

Watch the book trailer:

Meet the Authors:

Noam Kostucki


I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way from the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers

Quentin has been cooking in restaurants since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he led a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Q1 - Why did you write this book?

I am a believer that it is a gift to share what we learn with others. My background is in corporate training and business coaching because I love teaching. When I started my fine dining restaurant, it was just a temporary project and it grew far beyond my expectations. I learned a lot more in the last two years than I had imagined and cooking for me has become more fun than ever before. Clients in our restaurant always ask us questions about how we started the restaurant, how we cook dishes and how we come up with new ideas. Our guests regularly tell us what we’ve created ought to have an episode of Chef’s Table or Vice, which has inspired me to want to share our stories and what we’ve learned. I’ve published a few books before so I figured a book would be a nice first step to sharing with the world what I’ve learned in two years of jumping from a regular home cook to fine dining chef.

Q2 - Why write a cookbook without recipes?

For me, cookbooks with recipes that teach you to mechanically reproduce a dish is like a paint by number art book. It’s good to practice skills, but it’s limited in artistic creativity and self-expression. This book is more about how thinking artistically at your cooking. I share stories about how to elevate food into an experience that guests will remember and talk about because it moved them. The book is not so much about cooking techniques, as it is about how we shift from thinking about “serving food” to thinking about “creating an experience”.

I have friends who visited me a few months before I started the fine dining restaurant and they tell me that they’re confused. Many friends told me “I ate at your place and the food was very nice, but it was nothing like what you do now… how did this happen? How did you change so fast?”.

I applied to my cooking and my restaurant everything I knew about theatre, drawing, painting, jewelry making, civil engineering, judo, training, coaching, business, and photography. And over the past two years, cooking with guests chefs and doing pop up events at restaurants in Los Angeles and New York added to my repertoire of experiences, knowledge, and skills. I learned so much in two years, and this book is about the most important principles that help me elevate my cooking. I hope it’ll help readers create more exciting dining experiences, which will make them happier about hosting dinners and their guests happier to visit them. In a possibly childish way, I hope in that way it makes the world a better place one dinner at a time.

Q3 - What cooking level do people need to make the most out of this book?

When I wrote the book, I intended it for people who are confident home cooks. To my surprise, people who don’t cook said they enjoy the stories and that the insights get them to enjoy food more than before, so I guess that it’s more open than I had imagined.

I think that from a home chef perspective, to make the most out of this book, you want to be comfortable in your kitchen. As the book doesn’t have basic recipes, it assumes that if you want a lasagna recipe, you know to google it and draw the best from different recipes. If you feel comfortable with the idea that you can google a recipe and generally follow it, then this book will be the leg up to the next level. This book is a stepping stone to lift the reader from cooking food that feeds and tastes nice to food that tell a story and create memorable events in people’s minds.

Q4 - You published books about photography, business and now cooking… can you really be an expert in all these fields?

Yes and no. I’m not Gordon Ramsey and wouldn’t pretend to be anywhere close to his level, yet in the world of cooking, I’ve achieved high enough result in fine dining that most home chefs could learn a lot from my experience. The same goes for photography and business. I’ve achieved enough successes that people who are starting their journey can learn from what I’ve done. My photography got exhibited at the European Union’s Innovation Conference and my business coaching work was featured at Harvard, Standford, Yale and many other of the world's best universities.

In terms of cooking, I’m not hiding it: my experience is actually very limited. I’ve only been a professional chef for two years, and this book aims to get the most out of that reality: I’m writing for people who were me two years ago. I know what it’s like to just cook for myself every day and feeling like I don’t want to wash the dishes, and that I just want some nice, easy and quick. I’m writing this book for people who like me two years ago love cooking, but don’t know these tips from the professional cooking world. This book offers home chefs an insight into what they can learn from fine dining chefs that doesn't have to cost them an arm and a leg.

Enter the Giveaway!
Grand Prize: Win a 4-seat dinner at HiR Fine Dining in Costa Rica (value $580) or win a paperback or ebook copy of Accessible Fine Dining (20 Kindle copies and 10 paperbacks) open int’l to wherever Amazon delivers.
Ends Feb 7, 2019

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Noam Kostucki / Food and Cookery Books / Books from America



  1. oh Noam sounds like a very interesting person! From homeless and drop out to traveling over 40 countries, authoring a required reading book and speaking at Harvard about entrepreneurship! I would say this is a life intensively lived especially for such young person! :)

    Love that the purpose of this book is to think about to elevate your cooking. The trailer is awesome. It reminded me of a YouTube channel I've been watching about a Vegan Family in Hawaii: Ellen Fisher. I'm not fully vegan but I love how happy they look with their lives :)

    1. Thank you so much Daniela :) It has indeed been a very intensively lived life!!! That's why I choose to retreat to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica: after so many years of doing so much, I just wanted a bit of peace and quiet. That worked great for a year or so and then I got busy with this new project :) Sending you lots of love :)

    2. The food images are just so deliciously and delicately presented aren't they!

  2. The pictures of the different foods look great. I love trying new recipes and types of food.

    1. Me too! Half the fun of our travelling is spooting new ingredients to try :-)

  3. Thank you for this lovely blog post :)

  4. The closest I get to fine dining is watching Master Chef DD: But it was so cool to read about in this guest post ^.^

    1. Lol, I'm not a fine diner either, but I love Noam's ideas about cooking creatively rather than being restricted to a recipe

  5. I am an armchair foodie so I love that experiencing the book isn't just a dry encyclopedia of recipes. Such beautiful photography to enhance the written portion.

    1. The pics are divine aren't they! I doubt I'd ever present a meal that beautifully, but hopefully I've now got a few creative ideas!

    2. Thank you Stepahnie :) You won't know until you try!! Two years ago, I never thought I'd ever present a meal that beautiful!!

  6. I love food and cooking. This sounds so good.

  7. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone.